Ciao Mein at the Hyatt Ewa Tower

Another beautiful restaurant in Waikiki.  The theme of the restaurant is Chinese-Italian fusion.  Fusion is a big hit these days, as fetuccini alfredo can only be done so many ways.  This place had the right ambience for the most part.  However, they went a little too far with each staff member calling themselves by a fusion name: for example, one server’s “name” was “Bella Chai.”  Ha ha, we get it.  Please focus on the food.

We ordered and shared asparagus, the scallop ravioli, and a seafood lasagna that had been recommended to us.  The asparagus was crisp-tender with a light sauce, shiitakes, and bamboo shoots.  All three flavors blended well and were not overcooked or oversauced.  The scallop ravioli was a gorgeous presentation; however, the presentation made it nearly impossible to eat.  It was two large sheets of beautiful fresh pasta stuffed with small scallops and a light white wine cream sauce.  It was utterly delightful.  Again, the ingredient quality was stellar and each ingredient could shine.

Bonny DoonI was chosen as the sommelier for this trip and I was picking lots of wines I’ve read but never tasted.  I chose a Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling, thinking the East-West flair would go well with the dishes we’d chosen.  This New World wine has a clear green apple note with a lemon drop finish.  It paired well with all but the seafood lasagna.  Then again, the lasagna was gluey and lacked flavor, so I am not that disappointed.

The lasagna was highly recommended to us, so I was surprised when it was not good.  The fish and other seafood was almost indistinguishable from the sticky pasta pieces.  It was overgarnished with fried rice noodles.  The noodles were very good when just a few were eaten with the dish to add crunch.  I sincerely wonder if they were holding the dish too long or something because it was honestly out of character with every other aspect of this dining experience.

The service was understated but prompt.  The food actually came too quickly, as my dad didn’t have time to finish his salad.  I don’t like to feel rushed and I think that the kitchen simply had poor timing.

Once again, I was dealing with a relatively short wine list with a heavy bias toward new world- specifically California- wines.  Maybe because California is closer geographically?  Or the import taxes are awful in Hawaii?  If any wine geeks read this blog, please comment and tell me why this is so.

Atmosphere: [rate 5]
Beer Selection: Not rated
Wine Selection: [rate 3]
Food: Bipolar! [rate 5] and [rate 1]
Service: [rate 4]

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