A sushi and fish market restaurant, The Dolphin is riverfront in Hanalei and perpetually packed with tourists. An afternoon downpour brings The Monster in to sample a little bite and try to stay dry.
It’s a lively place on the edge of town, more a place to come for a great time than a great meal. One look at the menu and you see a place catering to the masses.
That being said, The Monster orders seafood chowder and a soft shell crab sushi roll and bides his time as the North Shore gets soaked.
The chowder is an all around surprise. First, it is essentially a New England style soup and second it is pretty damn good. Touch of Tabasco, some oyster crackers and it is hearty and filling.
The sushi is less surprising. In that it is adequate. A huge portion for sure but the wasabi lacks any kick at all and the taste of the soft shell crab gets completely lost. It might be made to order but it is closer to grocery store bought than not.
Dare The Monster admit he might have put a wee bit of Tabasco in the soy for some kick? It happened and he is not proud but you do what you have to.
The service today is efficient enough but at peak hours it can become less so to virtually non-existent.
So for all the tourists and travelers, The Dolphin works for what it is, a place to have island drinks and revel in the atmosphere while noshing on food that you’ll mostly forget tomorrow.
Why go? Downpours.
Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters
5-5016 Kuhio Highway
Hanalei, HI 96722