Large portions and a cozy, tropical setting are the key features of this Hanalei eatery. Although the interior of the restaurant sports captain's ... More
Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant
Large portions and a cozy, tropical setting are the key features of this Hanalei eatery. Although the interior of the restaurant sports captain's chairs and other nautical accessories, it manages to avoid the hokey atmosphere characteristic of the average ocean-themed restaurant. The clientele here is mixed. Dress is casual to elegant, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Fish is the specialty, prepared just about any way you like. Prices are relatively high, but portions are sizable and most meals can be split.
My wife and I arrived late (as usual, we are in holiday mode) for dinner, and opted for the sushi lounge. We had to wait for a half hour and we were not disappointed. The rolls were excellent, and the wait staff very enjoyable.
Tonight is our last night in Kauai, and without a doubt, we will go there and try some more delicious sushi rolls. We have been here for 10 days, eaten at various north and south shore restaurants, and no other had been as fun nor as satisfying for the food and price.
This place was a good place in Hanalei, but since the new owner bought out the prior partner it has gone down in quality and the management doesn't know up from down. This is a seafood restaurant and the fish I received was charcoal burned, the waiter said that only the skin was burned, however, the whole fish had charcoal burn marks on bottom, sides and the top. I can't believe I put up with trying to eat a burned piece of fish. The burned part on the bottom of the fish was totally black and I had to cut it off. Unlike me to put up with that, I think we were just trying to have a nice time. I don't know about you but a nicely cooked fish should not taste like it was burned. The wine list is a joke, just about the worst wine list I have ever seen. Even the cocktail waitress commented on the poor list. There are so many better choices on the Island. Try another place, don't waste your money. The atmosphere previously was relaxed and enjoyable, but now has loud music and loud crowds. Not a nice experience.
My wife and I plus 2 friends had a great dinner at the Dolphin. The service from our waitress, Alouette was friendly and prompt. Michael our busboy kept our water glasses filled and our bread basket stocked with great bread. As to the fish 3 of us had the grilled catches of the day and one of us had a steak. Each dish was perfectly prepared and served hot, but most important they were all great. Dinner at The Dolphin is worth every penny you pay. Make sure you ask for Alouette and Michael!!
After reading some reviews for restaurants in the Hanalei bay area we decided on The Hanalei Dolphin for its supposedly great fish and atmosphere. We were so sorely disappointed on all accounts of this restaurant. From the minute we arrived there was an air of snobbish aloofness. We were first shown a table located next to the restroom and kitchen. We declined and asked for a table on the outside deck. There was a wait and we had no problem sitting and enjoying a cocktail at the bar. The bartender also acted aloof and not friendly. A table came available and to are disbelief was given to another couple that arrived after us.We thought we would wait it out but as more tables became available and others were being seated before us there was no way we were giving this place are money or time. The lack of any communication from the host to us was just horrible. We would never recommend or go back to this place. It was one of the most unfriendly restaurants we have ever encountered.
We were happy to put our names down for what was said to be a 30 minute wait. After noticing others around us ordering drinks and appetizers, I went to the Host to ask what we had to do to be afforded the same opportunity. He said to grab that waitresses' attention next time she came out to the outdoor waiting area. After finally grabbing her attention, she took our order for drinks and apps. As she moved over to another couple who had also been thirstily waiting, our pager went off to notify us of an available table. It was then that the waitress advised us to simply order the same drinks and apps. from the waitress or else it would be on a separate tab. All good except it took abut 20 more minutes for anyone to aknowledge us at our new table. Now 50 minutes in and not even a drink. The atmosphere was good (Kauai outdoors) but the table we had felt like we were an item for sale at one of the strip of shops and not patrons at a restaurant. The food was good but the extremely slow service was unbearable and truly ruined the experience.
We paid $80 for two without drinks for a very average meal. There are sooooo many better places to eat in Kauai for that price. It was a once in a lifetime experience - once in a lifetime was enough. As I read the raving reviews I have to wonder if we went to the same place.
For most big city folk you might find restaurants closing on Sunday to be unheard of. Well this place was open on Sunday. But we had to wait a full hour for our party to get three mahi mahi salads and one mahi mahi sandwich/burger. The time lost and the money spent makes this review an awful rating. It was 12pm on a very sunny Sunday. We were not allowed to sit inside and made to sit outside in the sun where the umbrellas only cover a half of the table. So I baked for an hour in the sun while the inside stayed empty. All the other outdoor seats were also used. So an hour and a half after being seated I go to try to pay for the bill. I found a errant charge for a beer that was not ordered. Bill came to $60 plus tips... for 3 salads a sandwich and 2 cups of seafood chowder. We must say that the food was not bad. But still, an hour wait for food? Even water took a while to get. The only good out of it was my tan and nice shots of a Red Cardinal flying around. If the wait wasn't an issue, my rating would not go beyond 3 stars.