It’s the thrill of the grill that often attracts customers to the Shore Bird in Waikiki’s Outrigger Reef Hotel, and makes dining in Hawaii feel more like a backyard barbecue. For more than two decades, the restaurant on the beach has allowed customers to take control of their dinners by seasoning and grilling fresh meat or seafood on a huge community grill.
The grill’s fired up, and the race to grub time is on!
And let me tell you, the local and visiting customers just LOVE this! We tried it recently for my sister’s 19th birthday dinner, and as we waited for our turn to cook, I couldn’t help but compare the sizzling grill to a fiery red carpet runway. Flashes lit up the dim restaurant as cameras clicked away to capture customers posing with spatula in hand behind a cloud of smoke. One couple from Japan even took a picture with the in-house cook, who gladly helps those not too confident in their grill skills.
Lucky for my sister and mom, the men in our family insisted on doing the grilling while we enjoyed our plate from the salad bar buffet (which has more than 25 items and comes with every dinner entree). Because of the opened windows that give the restaurant a patio dining feel, it’s best to pick the side of the grill that the ocean breeze isn’t blowing toward. The grill gets pretty excited with each new slab of fresh meat that touches its surface and creates a billow of smoke that sometimes stings customers’ eyes. Ouch!
Sizzling steak and chicken kabob at the Shore Bird.
While night time at the Shore Bird means grilling your own meal, daytime suggests options just as tasty. A breakfast buffet includes honey-glazed ham, roast turkey, fried rice and freshly-baked pastries and breads; the lunch buffet let’s customers try some Hawaiian-style dishes, like beef stew, homestyle chili, and on Fridays, kalua pig, poi and haupia.
I really like the Shore Bird’s plantation home feel. Wooden ceiling fans, white wood paneling and hints of Hawaiiana on the lamps and fabrics create a relaxed environment that makes customers feel like they’ve stepped back in time; so far back that you can almost hear the sounds of Old Hawaii or maybe it’s the free sing-a-long karaoke that starts around 9:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Cathy Navares
SHORE BIRD RESTAURANT & BEACH BAR • 2169 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815 • 808-922-2887 • www.shorebirdwaikiki.com • Free parking; Near bus route
Posted by: Bruce Fisher