Dining Review: Aulani’s Ama’ Ama’ Daily Local Plate Lunch

OK, I’m back at Ama’ Ama’ to try some of their new Island offerings for lunch. The menu has been slowly changing over the year, offering more “local eats” each time I visit.

I was a totally beautiful Hawaiian day (that’s why I live here!), so I started off with a Cucumber Lychee Fizz. If you didn’t know, Lychee is a locally grown fruit that originally came from China. It is very popular in deserts and as a flavoring on Hawaiian Shave Ice. This drink was very light and refreshing. It had a touch of Lemon and Ginger, and as you can see, nice and cold! Do you want to see the “Off the Hook” bar menu? Just click HERE!

From the starters section I ordered the Nori-wrapped Ahi Tuna Tempura with Mustard and Pickled Vegetables ($13.00). This dish was GREAT! The Ahi was done to perfection and literally melted in you mouth. It came with a soy-mustard-wasabi dipping sauce that really complemented Ahi Tempura. Could this get any better? The pickled vegetables were superb. I eat a lot of pickled veggies here in Hawai’i so I’m saying, without reservation, that these little gems were the best I have had in a very long time.

Next is my main entree’ the Daily Local Plate Lunch ($20.95). It consisted of Island style BBQ Pork Riblets with White Rice, a Mac and Potato Salad, and Chili Cheese Fries!

First I tried the Mac and potato salad. Everyone here on the Island has their own version of Mac Salad, and it’s taste can be all over the map (yucky to killer good). I found Ama’ Ama’s version well done.

Next is the Chili Cheese Fries. With this dish… what you see is what you get! The funny thing is that I was not expecting it as part of a Hawaiian plate lunch! It seemed really out of place. It would have been much better served with a Hamburger or a Hot Dog.


Now for the main part of the box lunch, Island style BBQ Pork Riblets with Rice. It looked yummy but after a few bites I found it overwhelming in the sauce department. There was too much Hoisin Sauce added to the base sauce, and it overpowered everything. I never tasted the Pork or Pineapple, just the sauce. Unfortunately I didn’t finish the dish.

So let’s review: Great Drink, Killer Appetizer (I should have ordered two), and a disappointing entree’ where none of the dishes complemented each-other. Why was there French Fries, Mac Salad and Rice? Someone needs to learn the old culinary adage, “three starches do not make a right.”

4 thoughts on “Dining Review: Aulani’s Ama’ Ama’ Daily Local Plate Lunch

  1. I’m sorry… but those prices are ridiculous. I’d head up Kunia Rd. to Wahiwa and grab a meat chun lunch at the Dong Yang Inn.

    Or plate lunch just about anywhere… including off a truck.

  2. I had the Cucumber Lychee Fizz when we were there and I still crave those.. So refreshing!

    As for Jeff’s reply, I think he’s missing the point. When you are spending a day playing or relaxing at the resort, you don’t want to drive off for lunch. It’s all about discovering various foods available conveniently close. Yes, $20 for lunch seems high, but honestly it’s not too bad when you add up Disney + Hawaii + Convenience.

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