On our summer vacation to Hawaii, we stayed at the Royal Hawaiian hotel, located in the heart of Waikiki and adjacent to Waikiki Beach. Naturally, we ate a few of our meals in the hotel – especially when Surf Lanai, their casual restaurant was just a few steps away from the beach. No matter what time of the day you go, they always seem to have an open table somewhere – whether it is inside (where Azure, their upscale dining option, is) or outside on the patio.
I’ve eaten at Surf Lanai for breakfast and lunch before. We had received vouchers for a free continental breakfast – which would normally cost $25 if you ordered it off the regular menu. This included Kona coffee or tea, a fresh fruit mix, and 3 pastries of the day. You’re also given a shot of the smoothie of the day. We enjoyed this breakfast quite a few times during our stay – it might not look like much but it’s actually quite filling!
Lunch at Surf Lanai is a bit more filling. We were having a beach day and didn’t feel like going too far for lunch since we planned on spending the whole day at the beach. We started off with an Island Poke Trio ($20.00), which included shrimp, octopus and ahi tuna. All tasted very fresh but my favorite was definitely the ahi tuna.
I had the Fire Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwich ($22.00), which comes with a side of fries. The fish was super soft and tender, which was surprising because grilled fish comes out dry very often. The portion size was huge and I couldn’t even finish it!
We also ordered the Lobster Roll ($24.00), which comes with tempura lobster instead of lobster salad like we do on the East Coast. The lobster, like everything else we ordered, was very fresh. The tempura batter was very light and not heavy at all. The portion size, again, was huge!
The service at Surf Lanai varies day by day since we’re usually seated in a different section every day. Sometimes we have excellent and attentive service and sometimes we get a more detached and cooler server. I did learn that many of the servers are Cantonese speakers who moved to Hawaii at young ages.