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new restaurant concept - Vintage Cave @ Ala Moana Center Shirokiya

I don't think anyone posted anything about this yet. Private club/restaurant occupying the basement of Shirokiya. Tasting menu for $295, wine pairing an additional $100. Membership includes private wine storage and priority dining. Interesting concept especially with the membership part. I wonder if we have enough big money people to support this restaurant for the long term. I also wonder how long Chris Kajioka will stay committed to this project. Supposedly they have sold quite a few memberships already even at $50,000 and $500,000 a membership. I guess there are enough multi-millionaires vacationing in Hawaii to make it possible. More info at the weblinks below. Anyone have more info or have been yet?
http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honol...
http://vintagecave.com/
http://takeabite.staradvertiserblogs....
http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/eating...

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  1. looks impressive, you beat me to the punch on posting killer... ;-) and they used real brick for the walls instead of fake glue-on stuff (yeah, architects notice things like that.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Today's Star-Advertiser section had a review by Nadine Kam about this place. Not sure it's a "gift to all of Hawaii" as she states. Sure it's got to be fabulous but how much of "all of Hawaii" can afford $1,000 + for dinner? Amazing detail K-Man on the brick installation and origin of said bricks.

      1. re: manomin

        You are right on that. I'm guessing that most nights the place will be empty after the initial interest subsides. There are only so many big money people on Oahu, definitely not enough to fill the place night after night. How interesting will it be for a chef who has no customers some nights? Time will tell.

    2. We read several articles on it (from slightly different directions), and it sounded like a great place. Unfortunately, we were booked 100%, so did not get the opportunity to sample things there. I do not think that the upper-end "membership" of US $500,000 is in the making, but would love to dine there, and see what they have to offer.

      Maybe on our 2013 O`ahu trip?

      Hunt

      1. The Honolulu Magazine article added a posted 12/10 saying that they will no longer be membership only, although memberships will be offered for wine storage. It's still going to be expensive, but there might be enough high rollers and VERY special occasions to support it. It sure looks nice!

        1. The $300 price tag is too expensive. Maybe if it won 3 michelin stars or some other accolades. But as of now, its simply does not have the credibility for that price. Quite frankly, its an unproven noob. Some of the finest restaurants in the world, like Iggy's in Singapore, seem similar and charge less. Also, it will be heavily dependent on rich visitors and business dinners, of which few will be consistent regulars. There simply isn't enough local traffic to support the high costs. Perhaps if they made a grand degustation menu at their current cost, but a much cheaper $100-200 price range tasting menu, they'd grow quicker.

          3 Replies
          1. re: andrew_eats

            Yes, price-points can be interesting things. Some folk just set their prices at the ceiling, and many assume that they MUST be worth the price. Others work up, as the stars come in.

            Time will tell.

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Hopefully, some day Hunt will tell.

              1. re: Joebob

                Maybe next trip? I could see the culinary investment, just to test.

                Aloha,

                Hunt

          2. anyone try it yet?

            my dad said his friend's meal cost over 1k, him and his wife.

            13 Replies
            1. re: indelibledotink

              Would you please ask if they thought it was worth 1K?

              1. re: Joebob

                I can't even imagine a dinner worth that much!

                i'lll update when I ask my pops.

                1. re: indelibledotink

                  Thanks! I'd like to know from paying customers. Most of the folks I know have been 'invited' and probably just tipped. Well I can't say that for sure but I'm guessing they would not have 'forked' (sorry!) over that amount. I myself will probably never darken their door, I like so many other things that I could spend that amount on. I don't doubt it's amazing but I am just not that extravagant.

                  1. re: manomin

                    all 16 reviews on yelp are for 5 stars (out of 5), except one person who hadn't eaten there who gave it a 1. take that as you may.

                    1. re: manomin

                      No problem is you on Expense Account, heh ?

                    2. re: indelibledotink

                      We have done many 3-starred restaurants, all around Europe and the UK, and if one factors OUT the wines, have never done that, but a very few times. When we did, the meals were worth the $, but without reviews of Vintage Cave, who knows?

                      Recently did Joël Robuchon's, in Las Vegas, and the costs were close, but the food was excellent. Then, a month later, we did Guy Savoy, at about the same price-point, and it fell well below.

                      At that price-point, things had danged well be stellar! Now, I am not saying that Vintage Cave is NOT stellar, but with so few reviews, it would be had to tell.

                      Hunt

                    3. re: Joebob

                      dad said his friends enjoyed themselves but would not return, and they think that the cave will not be sustainable at current prices.

                      out of the $1000, 400 was for wine. jeez.

                      1. re: indelibledotink

                        OK, how many dined for the price? Was the wine included in the total bill?

                        I have had dinner for the two of us, where the wines were 4x the price of the meals, but they WERE special wines.

                        Heck, at many restaurants, outside of Hawai`i, where we dine, one could easily spend US $40K, just on the wines, not counting any food. Not that I could (afford it, that is), but many CH's could, and would never blink an eye.

                        Here, we need some details, to pass judgement.

                        Hunt

                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          one couple. bill was $1000 including the wine.

                          to spend $40000 on wine alone... after a bottle, how can you tell if it's any good? it better be from the batch jesus made.

                          1. re: indelibledotink

                            Oh, I can do that, in a heartbeat.

                            For me, while not an "everyday meal," US $ 1,000, including wines (depends ON the wines), is not that big a deal - if everything is very, very good.

                            Again, it will depend ON the wines.

                            Just did dinner for one, at the Campton Place, in San Francisco. More than half-way through the meal, my wife joined me, when her dinner-meeting ended. At about that point, it was looking like about US $400 for me, with several wines. When she arrived, the sommelier made me a real deal. He had several bottles of DRC (La Tache), that he had to get rid of. He offered me a bottle, that was US $ 2500 on his list, for US $ 650. Not easy to pass up, and as my wife had joined me, and loves Burgundies, I sprang for it. So, that meal cost ME, more than one would anticipate, but then, there WAS the wine!

                            Were I to go to Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, I could have a wonderful meal, included with my cottage. However, if I were to do a vertical of DRC Burgs, I could then spend US $ 300K, just for the wines.

                            Such is why the actual wines, matter. They could be "entry-level wines," though if they pair fine, no issues there. OTOH, they could be something really, really special, and that would weigh the total cost.

                            Just curious,

                            Hunt

                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                            Really??? There are chowhounds (or anyone) who would spend $40,000 on wine at a dinner for two? One could (theoretically) spend $300,000 for wine with a meal at Blackberry Farm???

                        1. re: ssioff

                          the food and the restaurant look beautiful!