The Superlative Sunday Brunch
Friday - December 23, 2005
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Chef Hardy and GM Philip Shaw
offer a memorable Sunday brunch
There are some truly outstanding places to enjoy Sunday brunch in Honolulu. You’d expect, I suppose, a city with a world famous beach and more than a handful of internationally recognized chefs to play host to a superior breakfast.
It may be pricey, but for the most part, brunch at a special occasion restaurant is a memorable meal - and a great way to celebrate.
If you live west of Honolulu - or don’t mind a drive - The JW Marriott’s Ihilani does an outstanding Sunday brunch complete with champagne, and a fine selection of food. The Moana Surfrider is the perfect special occasion brunch stop if you’re with family or guests from the Mainland. As well as a beautiful buffet, it has an ambience that’s hard to beat. And over at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Hoku’s excels when it comes to Sunday brunch. In addition to a magnificent seafood station of the highest quality, there’s an a la carte menu as well as the all-you-caneat buffet. A trip to Hoku’s is like a one-stop for the week.
And at Michel’s at the Colony Surf, they manage to combine effortless grace, first-class service and first-rate food.
Eberhard “Hardy ” Kintscher is the chef, and his European background lets him draw on some breakfast classics not seen elsewhere. There’s no allyou-can-eat brunch at Michel’s, just a stunning setting right on the beach with the kind of seamless service that everybody loves to experience once in a while, and outstanding food that’s cooked to order. Michel’s is known for its nighttime ambience and tableside service, but at breakfast you see the restaurant in a whole new light. Literally. Sunshine pours through the intimate dining space, laughter from children at play on the beach filters through open windows, and the smell of freshly baked waffles and apple pancakes drift through the restaurant, adding a surreal sensory background to this idyllic scene.
A harpist plays quietly throughout the morning and she is, comments general manager Philip Shaw, “just perfect for our kind of Sunday morning.”
“Our kind of Sunday morning” at Michel’s includes outstanding food. I’m a huge fan of Chef Hardy and I love his European style. They call the nighttime menu at Michel’s “French Renaissance,” and brunch here is as spectacular as you’d expect. The smoked salmon is made in-house by Hardy, the German Apple Blueberry Pancakes are from a recipe his grandmother used, gratin potatoes that come with the grilled lamb chops are as perfect as any can be, and the seafood (including ahi sashimi, iced oysters, black tiger shrimp and a Maine lobster-bay shrimp salad) is all you’d expect from an outstanding restaurant right on the beach. There’s even the “ultimate” Bloody Mary bar, where you can create your own drink at a leisurely pace.
It’s not the cheapest brunch in town, but it may just be one of the most memorable. Enjoy it while the holidays are still here and you have the time to sit, take in the ocean, enjoy a mimosa and stop and smell the pancakes.
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