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A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about the Mauka Market restaurant opening at the Honolulu Airport in Terminal 1. Not something I normally do as new restaurants rarely open in the airport here but the 5-star reviews caught my eye.
Could it be that arriving early to the Honolulu Airpot doesn’t just have to be about TSA anxiety anymore?
In order for me to review this hotel I had to be escorted by the restaurant operators, HMS Host, but I did pay for the meal with no discounts. I try to keep it real, but I did enjoy the VIP access 🙂
What I Ordered At Mauka Market Restaurant
It was a little after 11 am when I arrived but when you are in an airport you can pick your time zone, the east coast was 4 pm so I ordered the Sparkling Guava Margarita, Wow!
Excellent, one of the best I have had on Oahu. That’s right, one of the best. If you have read my other reviews you know I have had margaritas all over the State of Hawai’i, including luxury resorts like the Kahala Hotels & Resort which still holds the top spot. Loved the sparkling kick and of course, the Don Julio which is my favorite brand of tequila. The Don Julio is how the margarita comes standard, unusual in my experience as you usually have to ask for premium tequila.
You can also tell it’s made with real guava juice, not guava-flavored water.
The strawberry lemonade was not that over-sweetened sugary type, refreshing and what you expect from a lemonade.
First up was the Street Fries, an impressive mountain of deep-fried goodness. Is this the ultimate pre-flight snack, my teenage son who was with me thought so.
A little bit of heat and the roasted garlic aioli was on point. The mountain of bonito flakes adds that seafood flavor which really sets this snack apart. If you like fries or salty snacks this is a must-try. This with a few beers a the bar…
My son ordered the Ahi Poke Bowl and we both found it surprisingly so fresh considering it’s in the airport, yup, expectations were low going in. The vegetables were crunchy and tasty, with some heat but not overly spicy. A full bowl so consider it a meal.
I went for the Black Garlic Tonkotsu – excellent through and through! Noodles were fresh and reminded me of the bowl I had at Montage Kapalua. The pork belly was mostly meat with a nice trim of fat. The entire dish was seasoned well and the vegetables were all crunchy and fresh. The garlic broth was just what you would expect from a quality bowl of ramen anywhere in Hawaii, and frankly a shocker in the Honolulu Airport.
I ordered the Tempura Shrimp on the side which had a light flavor crunch and a delicate tempura flavor. You know when tempura is done right and these definitely were.
Grab And Go 24/7
If you don’t have time or the main restaurant is closed they have a grab-and-go section with drinks and pre-packaged food. I didn’t get a chance to try any of the items but I did see some unique selections available. Keep it in mind when searching for something before that late night flight.
My server was Mildred and I think if you are looking to start (or end) your trip on a good energy note you should ask for her, I know I will. A bright smile, fast-paced, and quick to offer a recommendation.
I spent most of my time watching the tables around me as the staff knew I was there to review the restaurant. The food was coming out of the kitchen in a timely manner and most seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their meals.
A typical open-air layout within the airport, great for people watching or just hanging out before your flight. Clean and fast-paced.
I chuckled a bit writing this section as you will need to be on the other side of the security checkpoints to eat here. With that said. if you are heading out on a flight for the day you can easily park at the Honolulu Airport.
If you are arriving and have time for a bite, just have the pilot park the plane at the gate for you before heading down 🙂
Location & Contact Information
I am really happy that there is a good place to eat at the Honolulu Airport now. I always get to the airport early in anticipation of delays and when things go smoothly I usually have an hour or so to kill. This will be my new go-to spot when not at the airline lounges from now on. Give it a try and let me know in the comments what you think.