We went to Taormina for lunch to celebrate my co-worker’s birthday. This was my fourth visit to this beautiful Italian restaurant. The service is always warm and gracious and I love the modern interior design. It is exactly what I’d want my dream house to look like one day.

However, I’m sad to say I was a little disappointed with the food this time around. I’ve always loved their food and in fact, I’ve said they serve the best pasta on this island. However, the items we ordered today were hit-and-miss.

Taormina - Organic Salad Sicilian Style

Taormina - Organic Salad Sicilian Style

Taormina - Seafood Risotto Primavera

Taormina - Seafood Risotto Primavera

We shared:

  • Caesar Salad ($15.00): This salad was topped with toasted pine nuts, almonds and walnuts.
  • Organic Salad Sicilian Style with Blood Orange Dressing ($8.00): This was just a bed of lettuce topped with their signature Blood Orange Dressing. The dressing was tasty, but the presentation was so boring. Previously, they used to have a much nicer version of this salad with olives and bell peppers, etc.
  • Fresh Tomato and Basil “Pomodoro” ($18.00): Spaghettini with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. Simple yet delicious.
  • Veal “Siciliana” ($36.00): A huge breaded veal chop with melted cheese and tomato sauce. This was good.
  • Seafood Risotto Primavera ($23.00): A risotto with vegetables and seafood. The presentation was not appetizing and it had just 3 or 4 pieces of clams and mussels in it. Previously they had a much nicer Risotto with Grilled Shrimps and Scallops which they took off the menu and replaced with this – why!?
  • And they serve a selection of breads – Walnut, Fig, and Pesto Focaccia which I enjoyed 7 slices of (hey, there were small slices)!
Taormina - Fresh Tomato and Basil "Pomodoro"

Taormina - Fresh Tomato and Basil "Pomodoro"

Taormina - Veal "Siciliana"

Taormina - Veal "Siciliana"

The Chef is an Italian trained Chef from Japan, and all of the dishes reflect a certain delicacy in the flavors and presentation that I believe is characteristic of Japanese Chefs, no matter what type of cuisine. Even the portion sizes are on the smaller side (as compared to most local restaurants), which is perfectly fine with me because then it makes me appreciate the dishes more. However, the Caesar Salad, Sicilian Style Salad and Risotto Primavera were not up to par with the rest of the food I’ve had here. How the same Chef could send out dishes looking like that is puzzling to me.

But anyway, I’ll shrug off today’s experience (maybe the Chef was out on vacation?) and I’ll definitely go back for another try.

Lunch Special: I just want to mention that they also have a lovely lunch special where you get your choice of soup or salad, pasta, and a scoop of gelato for just $14-$16. If you don’t want to spend $40+ on lunch ordering off the regular menu, this Lunch Special is a great deal (probably better for the ladies, since the portion sizes are on the smaller side).

Overall: OK today
Price Range: $8-$19 for salads and appetizers, $18-$28 for pasta and risotto, $19-$45 for meat and seafood entrees. $14-$16 lunch specials.
My Bill: The bill split three ways came out to $47.00 per person
Returning?: Yes

227 Lewers Street R100
Honolulu, HI 96815
(Validated parking at the Embassy Suites or Wyndham Hotel)
Sun-Thu 11:00a-10:00p
Fri-Sat 11:00a-11:00p


1 Response to “Taormina”

  1. 1 sachi March 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    i only went there once. it was super good!
    taro’s ramen thing was funny.

    i wanna cook pasta now.

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