A Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom Luncheon

Yesterday we attended a special luncheon that included some very distinguished guests, including Governor Lingle, Senator Inouye, KSSK’s Michael W. Perry and Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerly, just to name a few of many more.  And of course YOURS TRULY was “in the house”, adding to the VIP list.

Just kidding on the last part about me being one of the VIP (actually we were though), but I was there, and thought why not? Might as well blog this one. Well, at least the people sitting on our table were cool about me taking photos of the food. lol

As with most ballroom functions that aren’t buffet, you don’t have a choice, but are given what’s been selected by the event organizer.

With that, let’s begin with our appetizer, which was called a “North Shore Salad”. It’s made with Baby Romaine, North Shore Farms Tomatoes, Kahuku Sea Asparagus, Kahuku Corn, chopped Macadamia Nuts and shaved Parmigiano-Regianno…

It was served with a Caesar Dressing on the side…

This Caesar dressing was EXCELLENT, tasting like they had made it from scratch just moments prior the traditional way in a wooden bowl with a coddled egg, garlic clove, anchovies or Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard or wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

As you can imagine, the combination of  flavor and texture contrasts between the robust Macadamia Nuts, sweet Kahuku Corn, slightly salty and earthy Kahuku Sea Asparagus, pungent Parm’, fresh Romaine and zesty, full-bodied tableside style ceasar dressing was absolutely DYNAMITE. 4 SPAM Musubi on Sheraton’s Ceasar Salad. Had it actually been made tableside for us, I’d give it a 5.

Also joining us from the start was a basket of what they call  “rustic” bread..

These were accompanied on each table setting with a small plate that included two butterballs rolled in basil-infused olive oil…

And also some Hummus on the side…

The bread was nicely seasoned with just the right amount of salt mixed in the dough-making process. It had a very hard crust and pliable-meets-chewy texture inside in a good way, with the only problem being that they were too cool (literally speaking). Of course, had they been kept warm or hot before being brought to the tables it would have been much, much better.

I didn’t really care for their hummus, finding it bland and boring. I think it needed more garlic or herbs in it. As it was, it tasted like a plain ‘ole garbanzo bean paste.

The basil-infused olive oil butter certainly helped to liven up the taste of the cool-temperatured bread.

As they were, I give Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom’s Ciabatta Bread 2 SPAM Musubi.

For the main course, we were served Gingered Pomegranate Braised Beef and Garlic Glazed Mahimahi with Bok Choy and Baby Carrot…

As mentioned earlier, everyone was served the same dish, like the person sitting to the right of me lol…

and the person sitting to the left lol…

That may look like a chocolate brownie on there, but no, it’s braised beef. As always in the “Tasty Island Style”, let’s look what’s “inside”….

Mm-mmm-mmm. Fall-apart tender braised beef. Can’t go wrong with that! Yum!

You could certainly taste something “different” about it thanks to that Pomegranate demi glace sauce poured over it, and the ginger infused into the beef from the simmering liquid as they braised it. Really, really ono. Winnah!

So was that bed of sweet potato mash underneath it, which tasted like it also had garlic in it. Nice ‘n buttery too. The contrast of the sweetness of that along with the deep savoryness of  the braised beef was right on the money.

As for the garlic-glazed Mahimahi, it was very moist ‘n tender and not overcooked at all, as is often the case when served in mass production…

Flavor-wise, I didn’t really get the “glazed garlic” part, and the ginger chili sauce (that’s what the server said it was) served with it was rather subtle in that regard, tasting more like a simple tomato sauce. Maybe that’s what it was? Still, overall an entirely satisfying “surf” to compliment the “turf” sharing the same plate.

The Bok Choy and Baby Carrot were seasoned adequately and cooked perfectly al dente. Great choice to balance the overall dish.

With that I give Sheraton Ballroom’s Gingered Pomegranate Braised Beef and “Garlic Glazed” Mahimahi a solid 4 SPAM Musubi.

Finishing off the course was dessert, which were provided by Satura Cakes, who has a store just a step away in front of the Sheraton in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. One was a Satura Cakes Chocolate Tiramisu…

And the other was a Satura Cakes Strawberry Shortcake…

Both of them were prepared in the style of a delicate and light mousse, without being too sweet and rich, and both were absolutely INCREDIBLE. Especially the Chocolate Tiramisu, which had hints of coffee in it.  Each person had one or the other, yet I was lucky someone sitting next to didn’t want theirs, so I got to indulge in the both of them. I love when that happens. With that, they both get an easy-to-award, no question about it 5 SPAM MUSUBI.

Oh, the plantation ice tea (first photo) was great too, having just enough sweetness to it and flavor from the robust tea and pineapple for a refreshing, thirst-quenching sensation. Notice the real sugarcane stirring stick. Tasty to chew on. Nice “plantation” touch.

The staff on hand were also all very friendly and on the ball, keeping all our Plantation Ice Tea & Iced Water glasses and coffee cups topped, and removing finished plates promptly.

Summing up our VIP Luncheon at the Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom, I give the meal a “Way to go Waikiki!” 4 SPAM Musubi!


6 thoughts on “A Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom Luncheon

  1. Pomai, long time ago my first job in a another firm we had business luncheon at Sheraton. It was great food also. Did people ask why you were always taking pictures of food?

  2. Of course you’re a VIP! You’re Very Important Pomai, lol!

    Wow, they paid a lot of attention to small details (butterballs rolled in basil oil?!) for that banquet, didn’t they?

    Though I’m curious why they use Satura Cakes, though… It looked delish, but kind of different in appearance than the other plated dishes.

  3. LOVE Satura desserts! In fact, my daughter’s favorite cake is their strawberry shortcake. We’ve been getting this for her birthday the last 2 years.

    It was yummy!!!! – Jade (8 years old and future blogger)

  4. Deanna, you gotta’ try Satura’s Chocolate Tiramisu. I think you’ll like it more than the Strawberry Shortcake. Yet they’re both winners!
    Molly, ha ha, good one. 🙂 As for Satura, I know a few folks who work in Waikiki’s hotel industry, and they say their kitchens are resourcing outside their own kitchens more and more now for various reasons.
    Perhaps Sheraton struck a great contract deal with Satura Cakes who happens to have a shop just steps away from them. Although I doubt they make those HUGE banquet-sized orders in that tiny shop. Probably Satura’s staff uses Sheraton’s kitchen to prepare it. I’ll call Sheraton’s banquet manager later and get the inside scoop on that.
    Aaron, no one minded. They were all aware I’m a food blogger.

  5. Refills on plantation ice tea? Swanky!

    You guys must have been VVIPs!

    I love the salty chocolate cookies from Satura.

  6. I’ve been to tons of banquets at the Sheraton ballrooms for various reasons, and you know, I’ve always been impressed. Food’s always been good, and it never fails to amaze me that they can get so many dinners out at the same time. That kind of operation is definitely a prime subject for an episode of one of those Food Network shows.

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