To grill or not to grill?
It was 5 p.m. on a lazy Friday evening and I found myself enjoying a Fire Rock Pale Ale at the Shorebird Bar and Grill located at the Outrigger Reef in Waikiki/Honolulu, Hawaii.
Grill and Chill at Shorebird.
After a day at the famous Waikiki Beach, I brushed sand off of my legs and asked the pleasant waiter with a smile of Aloha for a menu in order to see what this grill at the Shorebird was all about. Upon viewing the menu, I realized that I was about to embark on something as familiar to me as unconventional as it may sound to some. The concept at the Shorebird for their dinner menu calls for the patron to select from a menu of various types of meats, perfectly trimmed and prepared for the grill. This comes with a catch, as you must grill it yourself.
Now, the grill your own food concept is not new to me. In fact, back on the Mainland where I live in San Diego, my friends and I often prefer to dine at two familiar grill-your-own establishments, the “Turf Supper Club” and the “Riviera”. Here in Hawaii, I encountered a major problem. At home when I frequent the Turf Club or the Riviera there is usually one additional component, that being a male companion. He is typically of a handsome sort and comes equipped with some great grilling skills. Hmmm, on this trip to Hawaii I seemed to not have packed him. It was my mother and I off for our Hawaiian adventure.
I looked around to see what kind of suitor would be up to the task of grilling a “Houlie” girl’s steak. As I scanned the Shorebird, my options were looking grim. The one at the table to the right was too old, another at the bar was much too drunk, one to left was too married, and the one with the Chef’s hat on, hmm maybe he was the ticket. I think it was about time to pull up my big girl pants and figure out this grilling thing for myself. The waiter then informed me that the man with the Chef’s hat would be available to assist with any grilling needs, ensuring that your rare was rare and your well done was well…done.
We ordered an Ahi Tuna Kabob and a Teriyaki Steak Kabob, both reasonably priced. The dinner menu also included a crisp salad bar with various side dishes and dressings. I preferred a seemingly local choice to dress my salad, Papaya Seed dressing. Light with a hint of sweetness, we need more of this dressing back on the Mainland.
It was time to grill those skewers up! Mom wanted her Ahi tuna seared and we were kindly instructed to keep it to about 30 seconds per side, while for a medium finish on my Teri Beef Kabobs, I was instructed four minutes per side. My mom returned from the salad bar with four slices of fresh golden pineapple to throw on the grill. I think we started a trend because within two minutes (about the time the Tuna was done), some Japanese tourists and a few folks from Alabama were also grilling pineapple to give their dinner some island flair. My 16 minutes of cooking time seemed to be close and those perfect grill marks had branded my Kebob nicely. It was time to try this fare for ourselves.
From the first bite until the last tender morsel, it was perfectly grilled! Yes!
Full from a wonderful meal, we finished up our drinks and headed out to the Waikiki Beach Walk. It stretches from the doorsteps of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach into the distance.
The Waikiki Beach Walk is conveniently located across the street from the Outrigger Reef, our hotel of comfort for the last leg of our trip to Oahu. WBW is filled with over 40 shops and restaurants, it makes for tons of convenient shopping and a plethora of dining choices. At various times of the day, you can also stumble upon Hawaiian musicians playing tunes paired with local Hawaiian girls dancing the traditional hula.
Outrigger Waikiki Reef on thr Beach’s inviting entrance.
After indulging in several Hawaiian cocktails and basking in the summer sun, I was just out of steam. I was tired and wanted to return back to our room at the Outrigger Reef.
I love the entrance to the Outrigger Reef hotel. It just might be my favorite hotel entrances in the Waikiki Beach area. Its dramatic and tall A-frame Tiki style opening takes me back to the days when Elvis roamed the Hawaiian Islands, drinking Blue Hawaiians all the day long. The fiery Tiki torches swaying in the trade winds like palm trees as the sun sets, adding to the magical Tiki allure.
The beach or The Reef pool?
The Reef has a great pool centered in the middle of the property which you pass going to and from your room. The sensation of water is ever present as the Reef is located directly beachfront. For additional relaxation, there is also the Serenity Spa to help unwind with a Lomi Lomi massage perhaps.
Relax at Serenity Spa.
We found our way back to the Pacific Tower and up to room 350. There are 12, yes that is right 12, different types of rooms to chose from at the Outrigger Reef ranging not only in price, but also in design. From a “Moderate” room to a “Four Bedroom Ocean Front Suite” which is over 2100 sq feet of oceanfront living, they are all spectacular. The Reef also offers some great deals online or through various air and hotel packages.
We booked a “One Bedroom City View Suite”. Lucky for us, this suite actually had a fabulous view of the pool. This was a nice plus! One tip I can offer is to have them show you where your room will be located on their hotel map upon check in. You may be able to get a little better view or a little closer to the beach depending on where your room is located.
A one bedroom Suite.
The Outrigger Reef went through a hefty $110 million dollar renovation in 2009. This made the property nothing short of impressive.
The 639 rooms are now equipped with whirlpool bathtubs in all of their suites and 32” flat panel LCD televisions. All rooms are also smoke free. As a complimentary service, long distance phone calls are free to neighboring islands and to the U.S. Mainland.
A double ocean view room.
A one bedroom King bed.
Our one bedroom suite had both a modern feel and an island feel. Warm wood island-style furniture is featured throughout each room of the suite in natural tones of green, rusty coral, tan, and gold. The layout of the suite was well planned with an open feel. This included a living area that was completely separate from the bedroom. The sofa pulled out into a queen sleeper and the bedroom had a heavenly king sized bed. So heavenly, in fact that I woke up one morning confused as to where I was! The bathroom was decorated with very modern fixtures, marble counter top, and tile floors.
The Reef suites are fit for families.
The renovation had definitely paid off. I would recommend this property to anyone. This is a great place to stay for young couples wanting to have fun, families with children of all ages, and adults with any number of traveling needs.
As I stated before, it is also right on world-famous Waikiki Beach. To get to the golden sands walk out the back of the hotel between the Shorebird and one of the hotel’s other restaurants, the Ocean Room, and you will find yourself on the shore with sand beneath your toes.
Tropical dining at The Ocean House.
There are three dining options available to choose from on the hotel grounds. The previously mentioned Shorebird and Ocean House as well as the Kani Ka Pila Grille, which is adjacent to the pool.
The Ocean House offers oceanfront dining in a casual, but elegant style. Prime Rib is the Chef’s specialty.
Although we did not have a chance to try said Prime Rib, we did however, manage to eat at Ocean House for a scrumptious seaside breakfast. I devoured an omelet while my mother enjoyed Eggs Benedict. Both were very excellent menu options. There is also a Starbucks Coffee in the front of the hotel, which is convenient if you are still finding yourself jetlagged.
See the activities desk at any Outrigger for adventure.
One final thought: For any of you gentleman back home that enjoy grilling my steak, I would still prefer your grilling skills anytime. Please rest assure gentleman, that if I ever become stranded on a deserted island or maybe back at the Shorebird at Waikiki, that my Teriyaki Steak Kabob and I would get along . . . well done.
— Feature by Michelle Schoser, Jetsetters Magazine San Diego Correspondent.