Food La La: Sailing with the Star of Honolulu
BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Earlier this week, I was invited to check out the Star of Honolulu’s Five Star sunset dining and jazz cruise along with their new seasonally inspired seven-course French-style dinner.
The Star of Honolulu has four dining experiences with different price points, food, and entertainment. I’ve been on the ship a few times in the past and enjoyed the Pacific Star Tropical luau buffet and hula show, but the Five Star experience is on a completely different level, both literally and figuratively!
The Star of Honolulu is a two-hour sunset cruise that departs from Pier 8 at Aloha Tower Marketplace at 5:30 p.m. daily.
The Five Star dining area is located on the top deck in the Super Nova room. It recently underwent a $250,000 renovation, complete with beautiful chinaware, cutlery and artwork.
The cruise starts off with a photo session with one of the ship’s captains. Then there’s live Hawaiian music while guests get to enjoy the ocean view from the top deck while sipping on bellini’s and nibbling on appetizers.
The appetizers are bright and made perfectly for spring: a spicy Cajun shrimp with fire roasted peppers and boursin, prosciutto with baked brie and papaya salsa on an English cucumber, and a cream cheese mousse with a raspberry balsamic reduction on top a piece of lavosh bread.
There are three premium beverages included in the Five Star experience. For my first drink, I tried the sweet and sour three-layered Rainbow Martini. Then for the other two drinks I ordered red wine to go with my dinner.
This is the creamy zucchini soup with cilantro and crème fraiche. I love the attention to details in every dish.
The spring garden salad was vibrant and beautiful. It comes with pickled vegetables and herb vinaigrette dressing. The “soil” is actually mushrooms. The only problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to eat it! I looked around and everyone ate it in different ways.
The first main entrée was fresh Maine lobster with Tsar Nicolai caviar, pea puree, spinach and Ali’i mushrooms inside a fried won ton wrapping. It was poached in an herb infused butter broth. The live lobster is shipped by air to Hawaii, so it is very fresh.
Next, the intermezzo was a refreshing palate cleansing pineapple pinot grigio sorbet.
The second main entrée was top grade, melt in your mouth, prime tenderloin beef with carrots, asparagus, and cilantro mashed potatoes with a chimichurri and bordelaise sauce. The beef was very succulent and juicy! This was the highlight of the dinner!
This was the vegetarian option for the main entrée, a colorful roasted rolled eggplant stuffed with French green legumes with a sweet kabocha sauce.
The grand finale was a beautiful white wine-poached pear with Tahitian vanilla bean gelato and a raspberry anglaise sauce. I was so full but still managed to eat the entire dessert.
The other highlight of the cruise was the beautiful view of Aloha Tower, Diamond Head and a gorgeous Hawaii sunset.
At the end of the night, everyone was given a piece of chocolate, a gift card and a rose for the ladies!
Overall, I was very impressed by the service, food and live entertainment. It felt luxurious, and for a moment I felt like I was transported to a different world. I thought the Star of Honolulu only catered to tourists, but this experience proved me wrong. I think it would be perfect for a very romantic date, anniversary or birthday.
The Five Star experience is $189 per person; the current spring menu will be in effect through June. Visit the Star of Honolulu’s website for more information.
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at email@example.com.