A deep-sea world of magnificent flavors

Columns Lite Bites

July 5, 2015

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Since opening in 1979, Oceanarium Restaurant in Pacific Beach Hotel has served nearly 15 million pounds of crab legs and serviced 535 million guests, according to general manager Franklin Nagamine.

But it’s not just the tasty crustaceans that make this iconic Waikiki restaurant so popular. From the incredible wrap-around, floor-to-ceiling aquarium inside, to its flavorful menu and buffet — plus a friendly staff — Oceanarium continues to be a favorite for locals and tourists.

And after 35 years, the restaurant still makes it a priority to deliver the best experience possible for each guest. Recently, it welcomed a revamped look to the dinner menu with the incorporation of fresh, organic, locally farmed vegetables into its made-to-order pasta station, along with hearty items like sausage, meat-balls and calamari. The changes, Nagamine says, are a result of customer input and requests.

“We also are bringing in guest-inspired items, such as Kalbi Glazed Pork Belly, Roasted Leg of Lamb and Honey Glazed Ham to the Chef Carving Station on our King Crab Leg nights,” adds Nagamine. “We consistently strive to excite our guest experience with our atmosphere, as well as our delicious offerings.”

The award-winning eatery offers an extensive breakfast, brunch and dinner buffet. Breakfast and dinner buffets are available daily, and brunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays only. There also is an a la carte menu featuring a variety of signature entrees. Seafood Linguini ($27), for instance, consists of tiger prawns, Manila clams and sea scallops sauteed and tossed with an aromatic basil cream sauce.

Also highly-recommended is Pan-Seared Chicken Breast ($22), made with a 10-ounce Airline Chicken Breast in a wild mushroom and caper sauce. And for steak lovers, there’s Grilled Angus New York Steak ($31) served with a peppercorn and Cognac reduction.

Between bites, guests at every table can get a spectacular view of the three-story, 52-foot long indoor aquarium holding 280,000 gallons of salt water that comes directly from the Pacific Ocean via a 250-foot deep well below the hotel. Home to more than 70 indigenous fish species, including four large adult Hawaiian Rays, Oceanarium truly provides a unique dining experience.

For those celebrating a special occasion, be sure to order a dive sign to commemorate your special event. Just let your reservationist know in advance, and they will seat you next to the aquarium, offering an up-close and personal experience with the aquarium’s dive team and local sea life.

Validated parking is available in the hotel for $5 (self-parking) or $9 (valet parking).

Oceanarium Restaurant

Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
Monday-Friday, 6-11 a.m. and 4:30-10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 6-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4:30-10 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best