Not to be confused with the original Umeke’s, Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar and Grill is the full restaurant with a bar. Plenty of room here to meet up with friends to eat and drink. With all of Sunday dedicated to happy hour why wouldn’t anyone want to spend it here. Well, that’s if of course you were tired of the beach. But I digress. We wanted a glimpse of the Hawaiian food here in Kailua-Kona. This place kept coming up in our research so why not give it a try.
It’s a just a bit outside of downtown Kona along the same road you’d find Kona Brewing. Once you get in you’ll know you’re there. Plenty of people waiting for a seat. Plenty of souvenirs to buy along the wall. But not too much room to sit and wait. There’s a bar, but they don’t want people standing around there. It does make sense because you’ll end up crowding the tables near by.
For us, we were lucky a few seats opened up at the bar. Though it took 30 minutes for us to get seated.
Think of a sports bar slash restaurant and you have the vibe here figured out minus all the TVs. The place is lively though not at all loud. We needed to flag down the staff a few times as they tended other tables, but overall it wasn’t too bad. Our food came out in good time. Appetizers. Then the main courses. We ordered the heavier dishes and only included a couple orders of what they’re known for, the poke. I didn’t have any myself, so unfortunately I don’t have it in this write up. No worries, I will have this place again when I revisit the Big Island.
Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar and Grill
74-5563 Kaiwi Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
+1 (808) 238-0571
Verdict: A great spot for Hawaiian food with it’s own personal touch.
It only took three years since I first read about Addiction Aquatic Development from hungryintaipei to pay it place a visit. In retrospect, if I had done so, I would be here all the time. Not good for my wallet. But wonders for my belly. There’s just so much this place has to offer. As a meticulously run fish market slash grocery store slash restaurant options, I could come here for any occasion. Whether it’s a quick prepackaged bite at one of the seat yourself tables or a sit down meal at one of the put my name on the list restaurants, the Addiction Aquatic Development center offers it all. And if you’re thinking it’s just another fish market, you would be wrong, fear of missing out, then missing out, wrong. This place was fancy and well worth a visit, even if it were to only browse.
We went through the market and into the grocery store. It’s quite busy. Obviously with tourists like myself snapping pictures and looking through the super delicious looking bento boxes. But in the halls it’s pretty packed with people eating at the standing tables. It looked difficult to secure a spot. However, for us, we decided to try one of the restaurants.
It was late lunch so the wait wasn’t too long at Tresors de La Mar, a restaurant outside of the market. Inside the restaurant was modern and dimly lit. The blasting air conditioning was such a relief from the outside heat and humidity. I could have fallen asleep here if it weren’t for the anticipation of good food. Yeah, I’m going to be alert for that. The wait staff was very attentive and kept things going at a fast but unrushed pace. The meal was what I’d like to say, a Japanese-Taiwanese meal, a mix of traditional tastes from both cultures. We ordered a lot and unfortunately for this article, I didn’t get to pay for it. So I don’t know how much it all costs. I will say though that I’m am certainly coming back here.
Tresors de La Mer (上引煮海)
2F, No.20, Alley, Lane 410, Minzhu East Road
+886 2 2508 1268
Verdict: A must see for seafood lovers.
Similar to Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, heading to the Makishi Public Market means you’re looking for fresh local seafood. They do sell other things, but if it’s sashimi you want, good sashimi you’ll get. What you want to do here is to order food on the first floor and have the restaurants on the second floor prepare it. It does cost extra to have them prepare anything. Quite frankly if you’re only getting sashimi, you’re basically paying for a seat.
For us, we wanted a few cooked dishes. The place we picked charged us ¥500 and had a recommendation on which fish vendor to visit. This is common and I don’t think one place does this better than another. Or at least, that’s what I like to think given the food preparation is simple. We choose a place given the atmosphere, fun and lively, but not too crowded. We talked over how it all worked then went downstairs. There were about ten different shops to visit and surprisingly they had Mandarin speaking workers. They must get a fair share of Chinese tourists. Once we went through everything we wanted to try, we let them know which restaurant we would be at. After paying we went upstairs and waited. The food came out within ten minutes. First was the sashimi which was no surprise. The workers behind the counter were focused on preparing sashimi. And no, this isn’t the type of place you want handcrafted nigiri. This was local eating.
The restaurant staff was attentive for the lunch crowd. There was only one but she was effective catering about seven large parties. All we needed extra to the meal were the beers, Orion beer that is. I was a happy camper after this meal.
Makishi Public Market (第一牧志公設市場)
2 Chome-10-1 Matsuo
Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 900-0014, Japan
Verdict: If you check it out, be a little patient and check out prices at all the shops.
A little south of the San Francisco airport is where you can find the New England Lobster Company. A bit out of the way but when you’re craving a good lobster roll, you might want to make the hike. It’s not in a strip mall or near other restaurants. It’s just there, surrounded by warehouses and office buildings, ready to give you this mighty sea crustacean from the east coast. This place was a huge upgrade. I remember visiting their little food truck many years ago in a similar setting that left me with a “why are they all the way out here.” But like the saying goes, build it and they’ll come and we did.
This place was both a market and a restaurant which makes sense. The first time we visited them was to get some frozen lobster tails from the store. Now they got plenty of stock for all you seafood lovers. There’s dungeness crab, oysters, scallops, and many more. You can even take home some of their chowder. All that can be done on one side where the rest was dedicated to the restaurant. Plenty of seating. All you have to do was read the giant menu, order, get your number, find a seat, and wait for your food. Oh, you’ll want to pick up some utensils too. After the food came out, it was time to chow down. Great stuff. You can judge from the pictures below.
New England Lobster Company
824 Cowan Rd
Burlingame, CA 94080
+1 (650) 443-1559
Verdict: Not a bad way to upgrade your spot New England. When I return home from a trip and want a lobster roll, I’ll know where to go.
Hot pot culture is huge in Taiwan so when you find one that stands out, you kinda want to tell the world. And that’s what I want to do with this very modest looking restaurant,宅涮涮鍋. Inside, however, the quaint little place was very nice. The decor was modern with single seating at the bar. More intimate parties of two had table seating divided by walls.
Pricing isn’t too bad, though on the higher end but it shows in the food you get. As fresh as you can get for the seafood and the beef quality was superb. You can go over the top with the wagyu, but the sirloin was just as premium. Yeah, I chose the seafood set but had to try some beef.
The waitress went over all the items in our set. She let us know how long to cook everything. This was particularly important for my seafood set. Each item had huge differences in cook time. For instance, scallop shouldn’t be cooked for more then 30 seconds, shrimp should take about a minute, and the snails would take longest. All great tips because I’d probably overcook everything and ruin the whole dinner. Yay for instructions!
No. 34, Yongkang St
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
+886 2 2393 0051
Verdict: Yes, this is a great place for shabu shabu and try the seafood set!