A Sea Full of International Flavors

Columns Foodie Fare

December 22, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Leah Friel

Located in Pacific Beach Hotel, The Oceanarium Restaurant serves up what director of food and beverage Patrick Faas describes as “international eats.” And with its varied menu, the restaurant easily manages to please the most diverse of palates.

“We cater to all kinds of clientele ― visitors from the Mainland, from Japan, as well as the locals who come to Waikiki,” Faas says.

The Oceanarium offers breakfast and dinner buffets daily, along with brunch buffets on the weekend. Currently, Oceanarium presents its holiday menus for Christmas and New Year’s buffets ($65), and is still taking reservations for both meals.

“One of the highlights will be a whole roast pig. That is something that everyone ― visitors and kamaaina ― enjoy seeing on our buffet,” Faas says.

The buffets also will feature honey-glazed ham, prime rib and Alaskan king crab legs. The Christmas and New Year’s buffets include a champagne toast or a mimosa.

Oceanarium offers a banquet menu as well with dishes that include Beef Tenderloin, which also occasionally joins the buffet line. The beef is flavored with a brown gravy and served with vegetables, including squash, red pepper and bok choy.

On Friday nights, Oceanarium caters to kamaaina by serving up local-style dishes in its buffet, including Oxtail Soup. The dish features a hearty oxtail bathed in a delicate broth with a medley of vegetables that currently include bok choy, red pepper and ginger.

“Customers are always commenting on this, and they come back for the oxtail soup,” Faas says.

In addition to its buffet items, Oceanarium offers a menu that includes assorted sushi ($23), comprised of a spicy tuna roll, two different nigiri-style fish roe, salmon nigiri, ahi nigiri and kajiki.

Oceanarium’s menu also features popular items such as Fresh Catch of the Day ($25). The fish selection varies, but one possible option (pictured here) is mahi mahi accented with a dill cream sauce and served with roasted potatoes, along with red pepper, chives and yellow squash.

“All the vegetables that we use come from Lei Farms on the Big Island, and it is 100 percent organic,” Faas says.

Dinner buffet prices are as follows: $45.95 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday; $47.95 Monday and Thursday; $19.95 for children ages 5-11. Early bird and late-night kamaaina and senior specials are available from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and after 8:30 p.m. The breakfast buffet costs $24.95 for adults, $10.95 for children and $14.50 for seniors. Brunch is priced at $33.95 for adults, $13.50 for children and $22.95 for seniors.

On the Side

The Oceanarium Restaurant has been wowing diners with its varied menu and under-the-sea themed setting since 1979.

Oceanarium features a three-story aquarium with more than 70 species of fish that swim by as patrons enjoy their meals.

And with the new year comes new happenings for the restaurant. Beginning Jan. 1, The Oceanarium will launch themed nights. On Mondays and Thursdays diners can look forward to Alaskan king crab; shrimp will take the spotlight Tuesdays and Saturdays. Wednesday is hog night and Friday is kamaaina night with local-style dishes.

This new year, the brunch buffet will also feature an unlimited amount of champagne or mimosas.

For more great deals, check out The Oceanarium’s $10 breakfast specials, which include dishes such as Steak and Eggs.

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

The Oceanarium

Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakaua Ave.
Open daily, 6-10 a.m. (breakfast)
Saturday and Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; nightly dinner buffet, 4:30-10 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96815

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best