After our much needed couple’s massage at Na Ho’ola Spa, we headed to Japengo for dinner. We’ve never eaten at Japengo before so we didn’t know what to expect.
Japengo is only a few steps away from the famous Duke’s Statue in Waikiki. It’s located on the 3rd floor of Hyatt Regency Hotel in Waikiki. Due to the hotel’s location, it is on the higher end of dining. The lounge is open starting at 5pm (1700) and dinner service starts at 6pm (1800) but our dinner reservation was set for 6:30pm.
The restaurant setting was really nice inside. It didn’t have a traditional feel that a “regular” high-end restaurant normally does. Instead, it felt like a business lounge. Contemporary arts, lounge chairs, and cozy couches were scattered throughout making the ambiance feel very homey.
Being that it wasn’t busy when we arrived, right before the night time rush hour, we opted to sit outside as the weather was clear and cool temperature. As soon as we saw the outside setting, we were in awe! It was so beautiful and open! Just look at those comfy chairs!
We were given the menu and soon after, the waiter placed napkins on our lap… fancy! The menu was simple yet contained many items to choose from. We loved that they offered meat, seafood, and healthy alternatives influenced by many local dishes and flavors.
Drinks & Appetizers
Scallops Truffleyaki – My choice of appetizer was from the Japengo’s Classics. The scallops were huge; it was torched and lacquered, served over garlic. The sauce and garlic potato complemented each other wonderfully!
Macadamia Nut Shrimp – Reid’s choice of appetizer was also from the Japengo’s Classics (which was also his favorite dish of the night!). It was flavored with thilemon, tobiko, and condensed milk (no wonder it tasted so amazing!). The combination of shrimp with a freshly squeezed lemon emphasized its taste and increased it by tenfold!
Singaporean Chili Lobster Tails – I typically don’t choose anything with “chili” or spicy on the menu but in this case, I wanted lobster tails. With the waiter’s suggestion of it not being that spicy, I chose this dish. He was right, it was the perfect degree of spice. I actually ended up devouring the soup more than the lobster tail; It was so yummy with the man tou bun!
Hawaii Ranchers 6oz Fillet Mignon and Lobster Tail – sake creamed spinach | Hamakua mushrooms | garlic potato | sauce bordelaise. Reid’s main course dish. He devoured this as well! He said the meat was very tender (cooked to his preferred medium well) and the lobster fell right out of the shell making it easy to handle with utensils and chewing. From its appearance it was very juicy and smelt ambrosial. I was too busy slurping down my delightful soup that I didn’t want to try anything else. This dish is the most expensive plate on the menu but from Reid’s opinion: “it’s completely worth it!”
Signature Coconut Crème Brûlée – The presentation of this dessert is to die for. We love coconut, therefore we had to try this dessert! I wish we were able to eat the coconut skin (white meat inside the coconut). Inside the coconut was the creme brûlée and on the bottom were toffee crumble which tasted a lot like Heath chocolate. So yummy! This dessert definitely takes the pacific twist on the creme brûlée and a great way to top off the night.
We absolutely enjoyed our dinner at Japengo. The staff we’re brilliant, honest, and very informative in regards to any food related questions we had. It’s also very convenient that you can make a reservation through OpenTable. Aside from the excellent service and great quality of food, parking was a breeze! Hyatt Regency Hotel offers a free valet with a validation.
For more information on Japengo Restaurant, visit here.