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Apr 5, 2009 10:28 PM

Reception/Catering for Oahu Wedding

Aloha! My fiancee are I are getting married next May at Haiku Gardens in Oahu. Could anyone suggest a yummy catering or reception site for me? Our budget for food and booze is $5000, so say $2500 food and about 100 people. My main concern is finding truly delish food, even if that means only pupus or a lunch, rather than the bronze level salmon dinner that is super orange and tough or whatever. So, sashimi taste, burger budget:) Help please:)

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  1. here are a few past threads related to your query:

    Isn't Haleiwa Joe's at Haiku Gardens now? I'm not saying that the food is the absolute best, but the two times I went it was pretty good. I would think they would be the first to talk to.
    their website

    some yelp reviews

    13 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      It's funny - they list the location as the Haiku Gardens restaurant yet give all the information for the Haleiwa location.......I live right down the road from the Haiku Gardens location. Their black and blue ahi is really good (it is served cold), the calamari is really good and they make a mean
      prime rib but you got to go early to get one. One thing is certain there are plenty mosquitoes there and in the garden itself. Do you want to drive elsewhere on this side with all of your guests or stay there up at the restaurant? This must be a daytime wedding with an early reception? So maybe you'd like lunch suggestions?

      1. re: manomin

        the default page is for the haleiwa location, you have to click on the "locations", they even have a "location 3", Haiku Gardens - Weddings. Having looked again at the website, I'm guessing pikake has either decided against having the meal there, or at least wants to know what the reasonable options are.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I'll be watching this thread with interest. Now, wife and I have been married for 38 years, so it's not about a catering for our wedding, but out of interest for good food.

          Going back many years (decades?), the old Chart House there was the best of that chain that we ever experienced. Fast forward many years, and the Hale`iwa location of Joe's left us scratching our heads, even after a few dozen local recs. Even the concierge at the TBR strongly recommended it over another long-time fav. in the area. We've never dined at Hale`iwa Joe's at the Haiku Gardens location, so it might have been everything that the Hale`iwa location wasn't.

          Just a curious haole on the Mainland, wondering... Keep up the discourse, please.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            I must say that we carry out from there. Our house and ambiance is very similar
            to the gardens there and I'd rather eat at home. They do a great job of carry out.
            I don't think their service is all that great to be honest but they are way better than
            the Haleiwa location which wouldn't take much. They do a nice Sunday brunch too.

            I'm trying to think of where they could go but it depends on lunch or dinner for their reception on our side. Kaneohe isn't exactly a hot bed of cuisine and innovation or great restaurants, thank goodness we love to cook!

            1. re: manomin

              Nice to know that this location is better. Based on our "attempt," I agree that it would not be difficult to exceed the other.

              If our travel plans work out, we'll be doing a bit on the Windward side, plus the North Shore, Ko`olina and Waikiki come Autumn.

              Since we're basing that proposed trip around golf, I'm not sure what will sort out. Maybe, we could gather someplace on the Windward Side for diner?

              Thanks for the info,


              1. re: manomin

                I've also heard that the Haiku location is better, but like Hunt, have heard good things about the Haleiwa location too, but haven't been in too long. Maybe I need to find an excuse for a trip to the north shore. If it turns out to be a mistake there is always Kua Aina.... If manomin says Haiku is good, I believe it.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  If you do both, I will vote you to kahuna status!

                  It could well have been that we hit the Hale`iwa location on their one really bad night. That is the biggest problem with being a Mainlander and only getting to dine at a place every other year, if I'm lucky.

                  If plans hold true, we'll be back on the North Shore in October, but we'll probably go back to Jameson's instead. We need some "troops on the ground."


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    I will do my utmost to hit Haleiwa Joe's sometime between now and late September, and the way this year is flying by, that will be here before we know it.

                    And hard as it is to believe, I had a really bad meal once at Jamesons. It was an ahi/vegetable stir fry, i swear the fish was over the edge, the vegetables were past their prime, and there was so much olive oil and butter in the dish that the rice turned into a soggy mess. Fortunately it was only the one time, and they have redeemed themselves a few times since.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      I really like Jameson's calamari and certainly their portuguese bean soup. I've always had great service there and never had a bad table.

                      When we went to the Haleiwa location the server was nonexistent and had to be
                      tracked down for everything from drinks, to water to simply placing an order. I was watching other servers who seemed just to be as disinterested in seeing that guests were even having a mere hint of a dining experience. The food was
                      MOR and paled by comparison to the Haiku location.

                      I have been having very good luck with Buzz's lately (who knew, I was never a fan but now am a staunch supporter!) and always have a great meal at the Kailua Assaggio.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        That's really too bad. We've had some good, fun meals there, and have never been disappointed. Other than their calamari, nothing has been great, but nothing has slipped below good, or very good.

                        Thanks for the report, however sad it makes me.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          i think manomin was talking about HJ, not Jamesons

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            I see what you mean. Oh well, I still rate the calamari at Jameson's about #4.

                            There also might be a post that sneaks in here. It never posted, and the site hung. Had to end the Process for IE, so just ignore it, if it ever shows up.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              The same thing happened to me yesterday about your reference to "Azure".
                              I was talking about Jamesons's. I'm not saying they had the best calamari but
                              it was/is quite good. Buzz's has a really great wonderful calamari. It is ever so lightly coated with panko and has a beautiful velvet like texture that melts in your
                              mouth with a lovely lemon caper sauce that is light and bright.

                              The calamari at Haleiwa Joes/Kaneohe is quite good with a sweet and spicy
                              Thai dipping sauce.

                              Nico's does catering and you can rent out the place after he closes so maybe they could check into that, he does fabulous food as many of you know.

        2. aloha fellow hi CHders =) i'm somewhat back from what seemed like a long hiatus... heheheheh i never did my reviews of our eats back when DH and i got married in oahu and then our eats from our honeymoon in maui... but i will... EVENTUALLY! =)

          anyway, pikake, i'm pretty familiar with some places considering i was doing this search about 1 1/2 years ago... but i'm gonna need more info. are you planning on staying at haiku gardens?

          are you looking for a caterer? are you looking for a reception site? what areas are you looking for.

          there's tiki's in waikiki. you can rent out the lava tube or coconut room and it overloks the beach. the food is good.

          indigos caters, but that may not be burger budget.

          do a search on google for hawaiivendors (no space) and you'll see a list of caterers and spots to start your search... =)


          1. I know this reply is too late for the original poster, but if anyone is looking for a wedding caterer on a "burger budget", if your guests like Hawaiian-style (who doesn't, right?), I would suggest Papa Ole's Kitchen in Hau'ula. They have a lot of experience with weddings, can work within your budget, and the cakes are incredible! Oh, and they also have a chocolate fountain if you're feeling extra festive.

            Papa Ole's Kitchen
            54-316 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717