27 July 2008

Sansei Waikiki

This is one of my favorite restaurants, although there were some disappointments since the last time I visited--back when it was still in Restaurant Row. (Also, note that there are *that* many good restaurants in Honolulu that I can not visit a favorite restaurant for years!)

Anyway, we ordered the Panko Crusted Ahi Sashimi Sushi Roll, which was awesome (photo above right). Although I don't know why the name is so long. The arugula and wasabi gave it a bitterness that I loved. And Kea did too even though he is not much of a fan of wasabi.

We also had the Mango Crab Salad Roll. I think the photo in the middle above is supposed to be it, but ours looked different. There wasn't enough mango and there was way too much crab salad. We all really liked the Thai chili sauce that came on the plate though.

Others at our table ordered the ahi poke, which tasted pretty good and came in a pretty large portion size, but was a little salty and honestly pretty basic. I go to Sansei for the special stuff, not the standards!

The Sansei Special Roll was a little sweet for my taste and wasn't rolled well--the pieces were falling apart! I probably wouldn't order this again.

I think everything else we ordered was from the list of specials. We had the collar of some fish which was pretty moist despite being over-cooked. It had a smoky flavor, which I also liked, and came with some greens.

My parents ordered the set meal for two and felt it was a waste. I could've told them that; it really sounded like something for tourists that had no clue what to order.

For dessert, some of the group loved the tempura ice cream, although it wasn't to my taste. My sister said it tasted like malasada. I loved the creme brulee even though it was pretty basic. I don't think the brownie sundae went over to well--or maybe it was just too big. My auntie had the apple tart and loved it--so much that she "forgot" to share some with her daughter.

Other than the food, there were some other factors that influenced the experience. First, as the restaurant is now in Waikiki, parking is a mess. The lot was full and though we managed to find street parking, everyone else in our party ended up paying $12 per car for the valet. My mom's theory is that they leave the "Lot Full" sign on permanently to encourage people to get valet.

Also, our party of thirteen was split onto two tables. I think they said they could accommodate one party of our size on a single table, but there was already a birthday party there. To be fair, they had told my mom on the phone that our party would be split up. On the plus side, when she did complain, the manager was kind enough to offer every member of the party a complimentary dessert.

My sister also felt that the decor was below par for the price of the food. The chairs were pretty generic basic restaurant chairs. Also, the tablecloths were covered with plexiglass like they do at Chinese restaurants. It makes sense at Chinese restaurants so that the staff can prep the table for the next party quickly, but the turnover at Sansei doesn't seem fast enough that a new tablecloth would be a big deal. It also seemed the plexiglass was there so that flyers about happy hour and other events could be slipped underneath. Kind of ghetto, although personally, as long as the food is good, I don't know that I mind a casual atmosphere. And there were other elements of the decor that were more attractive, like wood and other organic elements.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 9:19 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Yeah, that's right, we *do* have a ton of awesome restaurants in Honolulu! Suck on that, people who say it's not a "real" city!

Was this your birthday celebration with your familia? Fun! You're right about the plexiglass tabletops being ghetto. I would definitely not expect that kind of thing from Sansei.

At 10:12 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

Yeah it was with my family, but it ended up being extended family because my aunty and uncle were in town and they were staying with my other aunty and uncle and their kids. Hence the 13 people.

Oh yeah and after going to Hiroshi's where they also have plexiglass on the table, I think it's the flyers under the plexiglass that are the real problem.

At 5:25 PM , Blogger kristen said...

i went to Sansei when it was at restaurant row. it was yummy. i have had a craving for like two weeks now. for some reason, i crave spicy tuna!

At 6:56 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

i have been eating so much sushi! and you know what i realized? spicy tuna over here is so much better. i feel like in michigan, they only use the rubbish part of the fish to make spicy tuna. harumph! how is the sushi in seattle?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home