Crab legs galore — Photo courtesy of Jimbrickett
Having made a home along the Hanalei River for over three decades, the Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant is a Kaua`i staple eatery known for its fresh cuts of local fish, an ambiance of romance and nature, and wonderful Pacific Rim meals and sushi. As a restaurant, fish market and sushi bar, it's the perfect place for a romantic meal, a fun gathering of family and friends, and to pick up a fresh cut to bring home to chef up yourself.
Dishes include seafood in all of its glory: catch-of-the-day, sautéed calamari, scallops, broiled shrimp, crab legs, lobster or choose from chicken dishes, salads, burgers or the finest cuts of filet mignon and New York steak. Open only for dinner after 5:30 pm, the sushi lounge is a hot spot to kick back and socialize and, of course, enjoy spectacular sushi. Guests can easily go casual, but it's a nice enough place to dress up for the fun of it. You'll have the choice of dining riverside on the lanai (porch) or in the open-air restaurant.
To familiarize yourself with the local names of well-known fish to easily read the menu, browse through this list offered by the restaurant itself.
ONO - Also known as Wahoo or King Mackerel. White meat, mild flavored and firm textured.
AHI - Yellow fin tuna. Red meat, lean firm and flaky.
ONAGA - Red Snapper. This deep-water fish yields a very light meat, delicate in flavor and texture.
SHUTOME - Broadblll Swordfish. Mild, moist and slightly oily white meat.
MAHI-MAHI - (also known as Dorado) Mild tender, moist, white meat.
OPAKAPAKA - Pink Snapper. Opakapaka is a moist, delicate white meat.
MONCHONG - Sickle Pomfret. Mild, sweet and flaky white meat.
OPAH - Moon Fish. Orange color meat, moist, mild and flaky.
UKU - Grey Snapper. Firm in texture, mild white meat.
HAPU - Hawaiian Black Sea Bass. It is said to have the flavor and consistency of "Spiny Lobster," firm white meat.
WALU - Hawaiian butter fish. Rich, oily and buttery white meat.