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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, August 30, 2002

Kincaid's desserts always excellent, other dishes OK

By Matthew Gray
Advertiser Restaurant Critic

Our waiter approached and said, "Hi, can I get you something to drink to get you started? How 'bout a watermelon cosmo?"

Blackened 'ahi Caesar salad is among the tantalizing dishes on the menu at Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

• • •

Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House

Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.

Daily: lunch, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; dinner, 5-10 p.m.



Today, restaurants and bars like Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House, a perennial favorite for drinks, business lunches and night-time special occasions, are offering wildly named concoctions to help boost sales. If you aren't familiar with cocktails such as the Punch Me in the Throat or the always refreshing Inflated Ego, you might as well just have "fuddy-duddy" written on your forehead. I do.

We passed on the libations and went straight to dinner. Kincaid's is an attractive place, with nice wood touches and tiered dining-room levels offering a view of Kewalo Basin across Ala Moana.

The hot Dungeness crab appetizer ($10.95) is considered by many a must-try dish. To me, though, it's too rich and mayonnaise-laden, overwhelming the crab, artichoke hearts, onions and parmesan cheese. Served with bread, this dish could stop you in your tracks.

Thai crab cakes ($9.95) is a better way to begin, fried but not greasy at all, reminding me of the best crab cakes in Maryland. These were hot and crisp, with a dense interior, with a side of lemon beurre blanc and Thai sweet-and-sour sauce.

The New England clam chowder ($4.50) had also been touted but seemed ordinary to me. The salad of romaine and Maytag blue cheese ($4.95) is excellent if you're a blue-cheese lover, sprinkled with toasted almonds and hard-boiled egg. The classic pea salad, a signature dish at Restaurants Unlimited outlets, including Kincaid's ($4.50) combines sweet peas, water chestnut slices, sugar snap peas and bacon, tossed in a creamy white pepper dressing.

Coconut tiger prawns ($19.50) is another of Kincaid's signature dishes, encrusted with shredded coconut, fried golden and served with spicy Cajun marmalade. This plate was rounded out with a cabbage-based stir-fry and a starch (usually white rice), but you can have fries instead, as I did.

The filet mignon ($27.95) basted with fresh-rosemary butter, sun-dried tomato and goat cheese, was just OK. At its best, this cut of meat should be fork-tender, requiring only a hint of a chew. Perhaps a better choice would be the grilled New York steak ($28.95). Be sure to order the sauteed Burgundy mushrooms ($5.50) from the appetizer menu if you're ordering a steak for your entree. They're quite nice, in a slightly thickened red wine-butter sauce, and match well with beef.

The weekly special menu featured grilled opakapaka with basil garlic butter ($26.95), shallots, lemon and butter. The taste was wonderful, even though the fish portion was small. Fish Wellington ($19.95) was attempted, a "variety of fish fillet" (salmon and an unidentified white fish) stuffed with scallops, shiitake and parmesan cheese before being encased in puff pastry. The pastry was wet, not puffy and crisp as it should be, and the lobster cream sauce was weak.

Desserts always are yummy here. The original burnt cream ($4.50) is vanilla custard in all its glory, velvety thick, smooth and sweet. The Key lime pie ($4.95) was superb, with dense whipped cream resting over the tart-sweet lime layer. The presentation on this dessert was lovely, on an irregular shaped black plate, drizzled with a bright green ribbon of lime cream. And finally, the chocolate souffle ($5.95) with a warm, soft center was laid atop espresso creme Anglaise with fresh strawberries.

The food at Kincaid's is dinnerhouse level — not too creative or cutting edge. The atmosphere is pleasant, though I found the canned Muzak-style background sound irritating and unnecessary. In summary, I wish Kincaid's paid as much attention to its food as it does to its friendly, efficient service, fabulous drinks and bar scene, and of course, the desserts.

Reach Matthew Gray at mgray


 •  Kincaid's Fish, Chop

& Steak House

Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.

Daily: lunch, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; dinner, 5-10 p.m.