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Sunday, September 21, 2014

BLUE MARLIN WAIKIKI

BLUE MARLIN WAIKIKI
HONOLULU, HAWAII

BLUE MARLIN WAIKIKI
364 SEASIDE AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-922-5552

UPDATE MAY 2015:  Blue Marlin closed and is now Crackin' Kitchen.

I liked my visit to Blue Marlin Waikiki.  Our waiter was friendly, we had a nice view to people watch on Kuhio and Seaside and the food was good.  Unexpected surprise was that the prices were really low for Waikiki and the quality was really high.  We started with the Poke Trio ($9).  Fresh Ahi, Hamachi and Salmon with slices of onion and cucumber along with seaweed, sesame oil and ginger.  The dish also had a hint of heat which I really liked.  This Poke was fresh and delicious and well worth the nine dollar price.  Next up was the Garlic Shrimp ($9).  Served with two slices of French Bread that could have used a little toasting and/or butter.  The Shrimp were cooked perfectly and moist.  Nice little appetizer full of garlic flavor.  The Crispy Fish Tacos ($9) are a bargain and probably the best Fish Tacos I have tasted in Hawaii.  The Tempura battered Mahi Mahi is delicious.  The batter is light and allows you to taste the fish.  The avocado is also fresh and abundant.  Add the Sour Creme, hot sauce and fresh cilantro and you have a super fresh and tasty taco that really surprised me.  Three tacos for $9 and that includes a small bowl of some very tasty Onion Soup.  I will be back for these tacos for sure.  Loved them!  My daughter enjoyed the Salmon and Spinach Pasta ($11).  Again a bargain for Waikiki.  The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sauce was fresh and light.  My daughter said she loved it and wanted to take the leftovers to school tomorrow for lunch.  All four of our dishes plus Onion Soup which is included was less than $44.  A bargain when you consider other places of lesser quality in Waikiki charge double the price.  I will return to Blue Marlin Waikiki soon.  I want to try some of the other dishes and see if they can deliver the quality, taste and service two times in a row.  
UPDATE 10/12/14 - Returned to Blue Marlin and found the place completely empty on a Sunday afternoon.  There was nobody working the front reception desk but we were noticed when we walked in and quickly seated outside where we had requested.  Had the same waiter as the first visit and again he was polite and friendly.  Started with Poke Trio again and liked it.  It was missing that hint of heat that I enjoyed the first time but still a nice dish for $9.  We tried the Shishito Peppers ($5) and liked them.  Caught a bit of heat in one or two of them but for the most part the Peppers were slightly sweet.  Liked the charred outside along with the mayo based sauce.  Ordered the Fish Tacos again and was very disappointed.  They had changed the size of the tacos (smaller) and added an Italian Tomato Sauce.  Both me and my wife thought the Tomato Sauce was good but did not belong on a Fish Taco. This is a case where the first time I ate Fish Tacos here I praised them as the best in Honolulu.  Now I would never order them again if they keep adding the Tomato Sauce.  Why didn't they leave good enough alone?  The Braised Short Rib Loco Moco ($11) included some really good well marinated, moist and delicious Short Ribs.  Great flavor.  The rest was pretty basic with white rice, egg and sauce.  The Poke Bowl ($12) is basically the Trio of Poke above served on a bed of rice.  My daughter was in the mood for Poke and ate part of the appetizer and Poke again for her entree.  As we were finishing our meal my wife said that we did not receive the soup with our meal.  We asked the waiter about the soup and he said that we should have gotten the soup.  He quickly brought three small bowls of Tomato Soup.  Soup was good.  To end our meal we all shared the Biegnets served with a chocolate and vanilla sauce.  No where close to the flavor of a real Biegnet from New Orleans but they were not that bad.  Service and management here needs some work.  Our waiter was sitting at a table folding napkins when he waved goodbye.  We saw customers approach the front with curiosity and they were not met by a hostess.  All walked away.   When a restaurant in completely empty at lunch time there is a reason for this.  I think the Blue Marlin needs to find itself, and a manager who understands how to attract, sell and service customers while holding his employees to higher standards for customer service.  The kitchen here puts out some good food and I can see this place gaining popularity if they can put it all together.

BLUE MARLIN WAIKIKI IS ON SEASIDE AND KUHIO WHERE THE OLD MATTEO'S WAS FOR YEARS
OUTDOOR SEATING OVERLOOKING SEASIDE AVENUE IN WAIKIKI
INDOOR SEATING AREA IS BRIGHT, FRESH AND CLEAN
PAINTING INSIDE RESTAURANT
WE SAT OUTSIDE ON THE COVERED PATIO
VIEW OF THE CORNER OF SEASIDE AND KUHIO IS GREAT FOR PEOPLE WATCHING
BLUE MARLIN WAIKIKI MENU
RAW BAR AND SMALL PLATES
LARGE PLATES
GOTTA TRY THIS ON MY NEXT VISIT
TRIO OF POKE
GARLIC SHRIMP WITH FRENCH BREAD
GARLIC SHRIMP IN BUTTER WITH CHORIZO
SMALL CUP OF ONION SOUP SERVED WITH ALL LARGE PLATES
SALMON AND SPINACH PASTA
THREE FISH TACOS FOR $9 IS A BARGAIN IN HAWAII
TEMPURA FRIED FRESH MAHI MAHI
BRIGHT FRESH INGREDIENTS MAKE THESE MY FAVORITE FISH TACOS IN WAIKIKI


SECOND VISIT TOMATO BISQUE SOUP WITH OLIVE OIL 


 SECOND VISIT SHISHITO PEPPERS


 SECOND VISIT TRIO OF POKE

 SECOND VISIT FISH TACOS WITH TOMATO SAUCE?


 SECOND VISIT BRAISED SHORT RIBS LOCO MOCO

 SECOND VISIT POKE BOWL

SECOND VISIT BIEGNETS

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