|Photo Credit: Duke's Waikiki|
Located oceanfront on Waikiki Beach, the restaurant is named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Father of International Surfing.” He grew up in Waikiki, where the aloha spirit is alive and well, and that spirit is very much a part of the atmosphere at Duke's.
The setting is open air and very relaxed, and patrons can choose to sit in the dining room or at the Barefoot Bar. I dined at Duke’s on a Wednesday night and it was very lively, with a band performing music. Weekend nights at Duke’s are even more happening, so be sure to stop by for a drink at the Barefoot Bar. Fantastic views of Waikiki Beach at night are a highlight of Barefoot Bar. Plus, the palm trees covered with lights and laid-back vibe create a nice place to go out on the town without dealing with the club scene.
The food at Duke’s is some of the best in town, and the wide range of menu items means everyone can find something to tempt their palate. Fresh fish, sizzling steaks, just-caught seafood, and island favorite’s like huli huli chicken staples of the menu at Duke’s. So much of the menu looked good I couldn’t make up my mind. Luckily, there was combo item featuring both the huli huli chicken and baby back ribs, so I got to try to of the most popular dishes. All entrees include Duke's Famous Salad Bar, freshly baked muffins & breads, seasonal vegetables and the choice of basmati rice pilaf or Yukon Gold garlic mashed potatoes.
Be sure to go hungry to Duke’s as one could eat for days at the salad bar alone. We opted to order the Crab Wontons as well, which were melt-in-your-mouth delicious, so we had plenty of food to start off our night. Since you’re on vacation, relax with a drink while you’re at Duke’s. They offer a variety of cocktails, beers and wine, although I recommend trying their famous Mai Tai. It’s the perfect blend of rum and Hawaiian juices. If you’re a beer drinker, order the Longboard Lager. Brewed by Kona Brewing Company, it’s a nice departure from the everyday domestics.
Once the food arrived, everyone in my party was very pleased with their order. From the kabobs to the lime and chili roasted fish to the New York Steak, the food was cooked just right and boasted island flavors you can only find in Hawaii. My plate of huli huli chicken and baby back ribs was exceptional. The meat on the ribs fell off the bone and the sauce on the huli huli chicken, made from pure Hawaiian brown sugar cane along with soy sauce, fresh ginger and other spices, added a nice sweet yet tangy bite to the juicy chicken.
Make Duke’s Waikiki part of your Oahu vacation experience.