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Inside Feature

Serving Up a Royal Feast

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Leah Friel
November 25, 2012

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After a brief absence, the familiar waves of flavor are rolling in yet again with the Surf Lanai’s gourmet Sunday Brunch at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort.

With the iconic “pink palace” serving as a backdrop and gentle breezes passing through the open-air setting, diners take in the sights and sounds emanating from the glittering ocean and golden sands of Waikiki Beach while enjoying a host of tantalizing creations that make up the elegant buffet. Visitors from around the world have flocked to the picturesque locale to enjoy the Sunday feast, and local residents are encouraged to make the short trip into Waikiki for a flavorful foray.

“It’s probably the nicest setting you can get in Waikiki, and we really want to get the local customers back to try our brunch,” says Surf Lanai restaurant manager Ricky Hamasaki. “With the ocean-front setting and Diamond Head view, it’s a wonderful atmosphere and you can’t go wrong with the price. It’s a great deal.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday, customers can fill their plates with a wide range of Pacific Rim cuisine with an island-style flair for $68 per person, and $34 for children age 5 to 12. The buffet features longstanding favorites including Roasted Suckling Pig with Steamed Bao Buns and Dry Aged Prime Rib. A sushi bar treats diners to beautiful and tasty creations from sushi chef Norimitsu Wada, and an elegant cold seafood display — that features hand-carved ice sculptures created at the resort by one of the skilled chefs — serves up local favorites such as Chilled Prawns, Crab Claws, Ahi and Salmon Sashimi and Ahi Poke.

“As much as possible we use local produce and ingredients, such as greens from the Big Island, as well as local fish — it’s bringing that homestyle local flair, but taking it to the next level,” says sous chef Kevin Nakata. “We feature a lot of Asian influences as well, especially with the recent popularity of Asian street food, but we also include some classic European-style dishes, so we really run through a wide range of cooking styles. We elevate the presentation and quality to reflect the hotel itself.”

In addition to a constantly changing assortment of entrees and offerings selected and created by Nakata and his highly skilled staff, the buffet also features regular favorites including pastries and other baked delights, a stunning island fruit selection, an omelet and egg station with all the toppings and fillings one could think of and, of course, a waffle station complete with all the fixings.

For dessert, the hotel’s bake shop provides a swath of colorful, tasty treats including Pink Haupia Lollipops, Bread Pudding, Marshmallows and Fruit, and all sorts of cakes and pies. Handcrafted cocktails and refreshing drinks are available from the nearby Mai Tai Bar, including the flavorful Mai Tais made from freshly squeezed juices.

“The desserts from our bake shop are done so well, they’re unbelievably delicious,” Hamasaki says. “And, add in this ocean view of Diamond Head and our available beachfront cabanas. What better place to have brunch?”

To sweeten the deal even further, complimentary parking is available for up to four hours, both in the Sheraton Waikiki garage as well as with the resort’s valet parking service.

“Everybody needs to try it, it’s a really well-rounded buffet,” says Hamasaki. “You can’t go wrong, and you definitely get your money’s worth. And, with the parking included, why not give it a try?”

Surf Lanai at the Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Ave.
921.4600
Sunday Brunch Buffet served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Royal-Hawaiian.com