Azure at the Royal Hawaiian

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this weekend with dinner at Azure and a weekend stay in Waikiki. Azure exists where the  old Surf Room used to be in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel prior to the 2008 renovation and I wanted to see what became of that lovely plot of beachfront real estate.

I was delighted by Azure, a gorgeously appointed restaurant in black and white patterns with cheery accents of yellow cushions. Romantic beachfront cabanas can be rented out for the evening (reservations are handled separately) if you want to impress your dinner date. I love to take in the decor and ambiance of a beautiful restaurant, as if it were the amuse bouche to start off my evening.

072409 azure interior

072409 azure interior 2

The real amuse bouche, as it turns out, was Chef Jon Matsubara’s (formerly of Stage restaurant) clam dip served with rosemary lavosh. Which seemed an unusual choice, because I initially mistook it for their bread. But a short while later we also received a basket of delicious freshly baked bread (olive roll, french bread, and multi-grain).   

Azure - Clam Dip

Azure - Clam Dip

 Azure - Bread

Azure - Bread

To start we ordered the Rice Paper Wrapped Caesar Salad ($12.00) which was a fun take on the classic salad. Served with a thick slice of heirloom tomato, this finger food was a refreshing start to the meal.  

Azure - Caesar Salad ($12.00)

Azure - Caesar Salad ($12.00)

We also shared the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($18.00), topped with baby greens, paper thin green apples, and Manchego cheese.  

Azure - Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($18.00)

Azure - Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($18.00)

My husband selected the USDA Prime Ribeye Steak ($45.00) for his entree, which he thoroughly enjoyed. It is served with corn, Hamakua Mushrooms, and this whimsical “dollop” of mashed potatoes.

 Azure - Ribeye Steak ($45.00)

Azure - Ribeye Steak ($45.00)

For my entree, I selected the Moi ($32.00) in their signature preparation: “simply high heat roasted with white wine, Meyer lemon and fresh herbs”, with a side order of Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Jasmine Rice ($5.00) . I hardly order cooked fish at a restaurant, but Azure’s specialty is the fresh fish they bring in from the Pier 38 fish auction every morning, so I had to try it. Doesn’t this daily checklist style menu showcase perfectly how fresh the catch is? I am a sucker for presentation… 

072409 azure fish menu

As for the taste, my fish was perhaps the best (cooked) fish I’ve had in a really long time. The flavors are so simple (olive oil, garlic, lemon, fresh herbs) which is why it brings out the flavor and texture of the fish so well. Our server described that the fish is quickly roasted in 650 degree heat, and taken out when the fish is still medium and it finishes cooking on its way to the table. The skin is crisp, but the meat is moist and tender. I couldn’t have said it any better.
Azure - Moi ($32.00) and Jasmine Rice ($5.00)

Azure - Moi ($32.00) and Jasmine Rice ($5.00)

We were treated to an anniversary Royal Hawaiian Banana Split with cinnamon-balsamic syrup, rum, and warm caramel syrup –  compliments of the house – to end a wonderful meal.     

 Azure - Royal Hawaiian Banana Split ($11.00)

Azure - Royal Hawaiian Banana Split ($11.00)

If you order the fresh catch at Azure, they are all ala carte so you’d need to add on the side dishes. Here’s a tip: their servings of bread are so generous and delicious that there’s no need to order a side order of starch – go with a veggie selection instead. The entrees are pricey, so I won’t be able to come back until another special occasion, but this was the perfect choice to celebrate our anniversary. Both service and food were memorable.

OVERALL: GOOD, bordering on WOW
PRICE RANGE: $10-25 for appetizers, $32-60 for entrees. Click here to view the menu on their website.
MY BILL: $150.00
RETURNING?: When I have $

Azure
The Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
808.923.7311
Daily 5:30p-9:00p

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2 Responses to “Azure at the Royal Hawaiian”


  1. 1 Keith July 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    After reading that report, I will definitely have to take “T”. My last experience, as I shared with you previously, was somewhat vodka-infused… I do recall that in the evening, the lighting and ambiance was quite sensual. Very chic.

  2. 2 Er July 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Wow that’s some fancy stuff! Bordering on WOW, huh? That’s good…I guess you get what you pay for…:-) Glad you guys got to celebrate your anniversary “in style”!


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