Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Eats: Oceanarium Restaurant

Located on the beaches of Waikiki in the Pacific Beach Hotel is the semi-famous Oceanarium Restaurant.  This unique restaurant is home to a 3-story, 280,000 gallon aquarium with over 70 different species and nearly 400 fish.  It's great to watch the the aquarium as you enjoy a meal and if you have kids, they'll be enthralled while you sit back and sip your coffee or tea.  I'd definitely recommend the Sunday Brunch, just make reservations before hand, they were full when we called, but were able to get a small table when we went early to the front desk at the restaurant.

The Pacific Beach Hotel is located right on the beach at 2490 Kalakaua Avenue.  On the beach side, you'll see the hotel entrance next to a 24 Hour Fitness and an ABC Store, but the restaurant/aquarium is by the hotel's main entrance on Liliuokalani Avenue.   

They roll out the full spread for Sunday brunch: prime rib, omelet station, tempura, king crab, roast pork or beef, chicken, bacon, eggs, eggs benedict, waffles, salads, pastas, and a dessert table.  Eu-jeania said she preferred the prime rib here over another restaurant.  She wasn't sure if it was the prime rib (that is seasoned with Hawaiian Salt and slow roasted) or the jus, but definitely the creamed horseradish was done well.  

And of course, there is seafood.  If you like shellfish, this buffet has large platters of clams and oysters on the half-shell as well as sushi, lomi-lomi salmon, New England clam chowder, and special catch of the day.    

Nothing like a full buffet with a great view of the aquarium.  While I can only recommend the Sunday Brunch buffet, the other buffets serve similar dishes.  They have a breakfast buffet (Monday to Friday) from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, regular lunch Monday to Thursday at 11:00 to 2:00 pm, Friday Aloha Buffet from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and a nightly dinner buffet from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm.  

And during the meal, you can have a personalized underwater sign for special occasions.  This party got a Happy New Year message for brunch and there was another party that celebrated their grandmother's 99th birthday. You have to call the restaurant to set this up in advance, but it's pretty cool.

There are set dive times around meal time that are for dive messages and fish feeding.  Feeding times are subject to change, but are Monday-Saturday at 12:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and a mermaid dive at 9:00 pm.  On Sundays, feeding times are 11:45 pm, 1:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and a mermaid dive at 9:00 pm.

The dives are relatively short, about 15 to 20 minutes, but all the fish know it's feeding time and follow the diver around the aquarium.  It's not everyday you see a stingray act like a pet waiting to be fed.  To make reservations and check the menu go to their website at The Oceanarium or call for information and reservation at (808) 921-6111.  

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