All You Need is Love-filled Eats

Ali Carte Columns

February 9, 2014

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Rachel Breit

As Valentine’s Day nears, thoughts of sweet nothings and classic love songs to the tune of “All My Lovin'” or “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” come to mind. In addition to giving and receiving tokens of affection and heart-shaped chocolate boxes, families, friends and couples alike will be sharing love-filled meals together during the holiday.

It seems like no coincidence then, that during this very same month in 1964 when The Beatles debuted those love songs to American audiences on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” a newly opened Kahala Hotel & Resort — then known as the Kahala Hilton — was introducing its first Valentine’s Day buffet in the middle of the Pacific. Fifty years later, lovebirds are still singing along to the band’s romantic lyrics, while an international range of diners continue to toast to love at the luxury hotel’s holiday buffet.

Located at The Kahala’s beach-front restaurant, the “Sweet & Spicy” Plumeria Beach House Valentine’s Dinner Buffet ($75 for adults, $37.50 for children ages 6-12) is available Feb. 14 and 15, from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Along with a diverse range of fresh, seasonal cuisine that highlights the eatery’s upscale take on island flavors and classic dishes, the buffet line also will leave diners in the mood for love. “We just try to feature a lot of foods that are aphrodisiac-related,” explains the hotel’s executive chef, Wayne Hirabayashi. “For example, mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, basil and rosemary are all foods that are supposed to hit the right senses.”

The infatuating spread of eats will feature a salad bar with items such as Garlic Roasted Salmon and Tofu Salad with watercress and an Asian-style dressing, as well as Mixed Vegetable Salad with seasonal ingredients such as mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus and tomatoes, all tossed in an herb vinaigrette.

Situated footsteps from the ocean, Plumeria Beach House is known for its high-quality seafood selection. The Valentine’s Day buffet will make good use of it with a selection of poke, sashimi, oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, nigiri sushi and sushi rolls. Hot items the likes of Snow Crab Legs served with lemongrass and a warm butter dipping sauce, and an assortment of lobster, shrimp, mussels and Seafood Pasta with tomato basil sauce also will be available.

After diving into numerous hot entrees, patrons may indulge in an action station serving Rosemary Hawaiian Salt Crusted Prime Rib with natural au jus and creamy horseradish.

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a host of sweets to devour as well, so Plumeria Beach House is welcoming the exquisite creations of hotel executive pastry chef Jeremy Choo. “What we create here at The Kahala Resort pastry-wise is a nice elegant ending to any meal we do here. A nice sweet finish is always my motto — that way, when guests do (leave), they’re not stuffed; they’re feeling a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and a little romance hopefully at the end of the meal.”

An array of sweets, including Coconut Cream Puffs made with a cream filling infused with fresh coconut milk and coconut puree, will tempt every diner. Chocoholics can fill their hearts’ content with one bite of Dark Chocolate Tart, prepared with chocolate hazelnut ganache and decorative hearts. Chef Choo’s personal recommendation, Almond Raspberry Tarts enhanced with fresh pastry cream, Maui raspberries and elegant gold leaf adornments, are sure to delight as well.

A trip to Plumeria Beach House this year will make it an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, and certainly one to sing about.

Plumeria Beach House

The Kahala Hotel and Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.
Open daily, Breakfast, 6:30-11 a.m. Lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Curry buffet Wednesdays, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner, 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday

Honolulu, HI 96816

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best