One of our best big island highlights was our evening at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. In Hawaii, golden hours are magically just that little bit longer and the breeze calm the heart a tad bit more... So where else would we celebrate sunset at...
Driving through fields of freshly cut grass and bougenvillea, we arrived to the grand entrance of Westin Hapuna. Embraced by the palms, we crossed the lobby to what that looked like an entrance to a Hawaiian heaven.
The inspiration for Meridia Restaurant is being inspired by the Mediterranean, yet dedicated to the islands. And Chef Junior Ulep does a fantastic job marrying the elements together.
As the sky was changing from orange to a hundred shades of pink, we walked to where magic really happens. Meridia's own garden of herbs and vegetable where all the ingredients are sources.
For the starter we had the Stuffed Piquillos($15), Grilled Octopus($18) and Cataplana clams ($20). Beautifully seasoned, grilled to perfection and matured in dry white wine, these made for a great healthy start to what more was about to come. The portion sizes were just right, and definitely well priced. We were told many of the guests come back and order the Stuffed Piquillos over and over again as their main dish and now we know why!
To the main, our amazing hostess suggested us trying the Pesce Ala Meridia, catch of the day! So we had to and, oh I shall say it did not disappoint. A dish of tiger prawns with clams, calamari and a saffron broth($59) was absolutely scrumptious. Each of the seafood elements of the dish had been wonderfully cooked, and we finally got to try Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Co-op - aka Bread Fruit - A true Hawaiian novelty and unique ingredient, grown right in Meridia's garden.
An eventful night deserves to be topped up with a volcano inspired chocolate torta ($18) and Spanish coffee ($10). This was like a warm hug shielding us from the ocean breeze coming our way and the best way to kiss the starry night of Waimea goodnight.
Food rating: 4.5/5