Great Italian in O’ahu
It had just started to lightly mist when we arrived at this restaurant for dinner, so despite the beautiful ambience of the outside dining area, we chose to go indoors. This fine restaurant, serving up a great selection of food with a strong modern Italian twist, sits in the Royal Hawaiian Centre on the ground level. The gentleman who served us was also the sommelier, which supported the very large cellar and wine list that accompanied our menus. Service was excellent, and much effort was taken to talk to us about the menu, which we love.
Il Lupino offers a fine dining atmosphere if you are after a break from the more casual eating places along the Waikiki strip. Consequently, you will also pay more here, and they are experts at upselling without you even knowing about it. Even with their sales skills, they still weren’t able to convince me to order dessert. I’ve been here eight days and I still haven’t found the need to eat dessert. I honestly don’t know how people fit it in with the size of the servings here.
Interestingly, I have been checking out Yelp whilst over here as it is used prolificly to review restaurants (and other things). Most of the time I find them useful. I am glad however that I didn’t read these reviews before dining because I would not have ventured through it’s doors. I understand there are always likely to be a mix but the reviews for Il Lupino were quite negative. Whether the chef or staff have changed is unknown, but for us, we could not fault anything. The hostesses at the front are probably the only piece of the dining experience that isn’t cohesive. I think their dress code would have them far better suited to a club. The meal sizes were generous and well cooked, and we did not have to wait for very long at all. They obviously have a PR problem though so hopefully their management team is taking heed of what is being written.
Don’t look at the photos if you are hungry ! They are guaranteed to make you want to eat!