The Colony menu makeover

Jo McGarry
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Friday - August 10, 2007
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Chef Michael Imada
Chef Michael Imada

It comes as no surprise that when the crew at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki wanted to test some of its new menu items, they took the dishes straight to the people who matter most - their customers. With more than 5,000 enthusiastic amateur tasters sampling new creations like Fusili Pasta and Chicken with Creamy Macadamia Nut Pesto Sauce, Shellfish Bisque, and White Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Cheesecake at the inaugural Flavors of Honolulu last month, it didn’t take long for “the people” to decide that the dishes were all winners. In these heady days in Waikiki, where tourists descend nightly on dozens of new restaurants, Hyatt remains committed to kamaaina with good food and a staff that delivers great service with a simple message: They care.

“We have good feedback, always from our guests,” says Jarret Dukes, manager of The Colony, the resort’s fine-dining steak and seafood restaurant.“We try to stay competitive, and to keep things lively and fresh and different enough where people want to keep coming back.”

Michael Imada is the chef at the helm of The Colony, having worked with Hyatt for more than 13 years. He’s excited about the changes to the menu.

“Probably the biggest change right now,” he says, “is that guests who haven’t been here for a while will see a lot of new menu items we’ve been working on - and they’ll also notice that our menu is now a la carte.”

The Colony’s new white chocolate-dipped Oreo cheesecake
The Colony’s new white chocolate-dipped Oreo cheesecake

With a focus on fresh, locally grown ingredients, cut-to-order steaks grilled over kiawe wood and fresh island seafood, The Colony compares admirably to its fine-dining neighbors.

New menu items are debuting this month, and include entrées like sumptuous, sweet prosciutto-wrapped diver scallops sitting atop crispy potato pancakes ($12), and some tasty and tender Oyster Sauce Baby Back Ribbletes ($14) - mini ribs served in the restaurant’s secret sauce with a crunchy apple salad on the You’ll find more local ingredients than ever before on the menu, too, as The Colony follows the lead of more and more of our fine-dining restaurants. One of the most colorful side dishes on the menu comes as a Trio of Potato Purees ($7), a blend of sweet, russet and Peruvian varieties.

“Rather than just offering a potato with steak,” says Michael, “this is something different that looks great too.”

The Colony still offers a range of fresh island fish and steaks cut to order, and this month, a collection of new wines makes its debut at The Colony, Musashi and Ciao Mein. Canvas wines are the result of a collaboration between the Mondavi Family and acclaimed master sommelier Andrea Immer. There’s a Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay - all available at any of the Hyatt restaurants, for about $7 a glass or $30 a bottle. Rob Mondavi (son of world-famous winemaker Michael) says that it’s been an honor working with Hyatt and developing wines of a high caliber for them.

With new menu items, a host of award-winning dishes and now signature wines to pair them with, there’s never been a better time to revisit The Colony. And with a continuing commitment to local diners, there’s 15 percent off the food check for kamaaina.

The Colony, 923-1234 or go to

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