Hello All! Today I'll be reviewing Alan Wong's Pineapple Room, the casual dining extension of the fancier Alan Wong's, located in Ala Moana Mall. I have to say, as a diner that has eaten at both restaurants, the atmosphere of each restaurant is very different. Where Alan Wong's is a smaller, more intimate establishment the feeling I get from The Pineapple Room is somewhat reminiscent of Morimoto's restaurant, in the terms of both restaurant's atmosphere and capacity to hold lots of diners. There is an enormous dining area in addition to two bar seating areas, one surrounding the alcohol and the other bordering the open kitchen. I can't imagine very many seating issues with that much space, but if you definitely want to eat here you might as well make a reservation. My family and I went on a weekday, with a reservation, and the seating areas probably were at 1/3 their capacity. Despite the differences in atmosphere, the themes behind their cuisine are the same: "tasting Hawaii", the "Aloha Spirit", and modern Hawaiian sustainability.
Honestly, my family and I had a bit of trouble finding the place, it's located inside the Macy's section of the enormous Ala Moana Mall, and I didn't really expect to walk through the women's wear section to find the maitre'd stand. As you an tell from the photo above the aesthetic is somewhat reminiscent of the interior of a Tommy Bahamas store. The Pineapple Room utilizes the same color scheme from Alan Wong's, dark woods, light greens and creams, and some choice light fixtures and accent walls suggestive of tropical seas and sea life.
|The light is a fish|
Now onto the meal!
|IT'S A TRAP|
|Ahi Chili Nachos: Avacado Salsa, Chili Sour Cream|
|Shrimp Cocktail: Spicy Wasabi Cocktail Sauce|
|Fries with Foie Gras Dip|
I don't know the exact components of the dip, on the menu it was simply listed it as Foie Gras dip, but you can see the drizzle of olive oil and the chive sprinkled on top. The texture and consistency of the dip was thin, but viscous enough that it coated a dipped fry perfectly. The sauce was like a deconstructed seared foie gras appetizer...the seared foie gras was already perfectly blended with the sweet fruit (for example pears, apples, or peaches) that were usually paired with pan seared foie gras and the fries added the starch needed to deal with a "rich fat." I'm very pleased to report that the fatty nature of the foie gras didn't just add to the oily nature of the fry. It could have been a horrible greasy fat mess, but that didn't happen. It was an extremely addictive appetizer and I really wish they placed it on the permanent menu....it would be something that I'd go back for.
Unfortunately all three of these entrees are no longer available on the updated menu on Alan Wong's site. I'm very apologetic to provide outdated information, but I hope the quality and execution of The Pineapple Room's dishes are clear in these photos and my descriptions. However, I think it's great that Alan Wong's Pineapple Room changes up its menu depending on the seasons and what's locally available.
|Grilled Chicken Breast with Hollandaise Sauce and a Crab Cake|
|Big Island Steak with a summer salad|
It was well executed and simple, but my dad definitely also had a problem with the portion size of the whole meal. For me I did really enjoy the execution of the steak dish, but that was it for me. It was just a steak. I thought there were more interesting items on the menu that showcased Alan Wong's originality a bit more.
|Seared Scallops with Hash|
Ultimately, the Pineapple Room hasn't burrowed its way into my heart like all of the other restaurants located in Waikiki that I've shared with you. I think my main concern, as well as my mother's and my father's, was the portion control of all the dishes. Although we only each only ordered an appetizer and a main, we were all completely uncomfortably stuffed by the end of the meal. My father said that we could have probably fed four people with the quantity of food that we ordered. Even though I do like Alan Wong's main fancy restaurant I'm beginning to waver in my stalwart loyalty to the Alan Wong's brand from my last lackluster meal at their main restaurant to the sort of "meh" quality of The Pineapple Room...I dunno. The food was good and well executed, but just not very memorable to me. Since we're not native to Hawaii, I can think of other places that I would rather go than The Pineapple Room. My father also made the comment that the food here, for what we got, was more expensive than he previously anticipated. I'm just thoroughly "meh" about this meal and I don't think I'll return here.
Thanks for coming!
Kid Friendly: Yes
Repeatability: No..... ()-__-