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Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas Presents Gourmet After-5 Menu

December 26, 2018, 10:12 AM HST (Updated December 26, 2018, 10:12 AM)
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The average Saturday night dinner and a movie takes on a new dimension at the new Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. From classic tasty treats like hamburgers, hot dogs and popcorn, to upscale culinary cuisine, this theater is taking date night to a whole new level. So, for movie-goers looking for luxe and swank, the Big Island now offers champagne and filet mignon with your blockbuster.

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    Executive Chef Jonas Ombao created a unique and delicious “after 5” dinner menu featuring his unique style of Vietnamese food, inspired by the nationally-acclaimed Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco.

    “When I began cooking here, the menu was limited to things like sandwiches, hamburgers, and pizzas,” said Chef Ombao. “I spoke with the owners and suggested they create an ‘after 5’ menu, and they agreed it was a good idea. There’s a lot of competition at Queen’s Marketplace with side to side restaurants, so the owner, Tony and I came up with a unique menu of Vietnamese cuisine. It’s similar to food from the Philippines so it was easy for me to create it.”

    Chef Ombao was born and raised in the Philippines. He got his culinary start in 2009 working on a cruise ship that sailed from the Philippines around Asia. After two years of cooking on the cruise ship, he attended and graduated from culinary school in the Philippines. There he worked as a chef at the Manila Marriott Hotel. In 2015, he moved to Hawai‘i Island where he was hired as a chef for ULU Restaurant at Four Seasons, Hualalai, before coming to the Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas.

    An evening at the bistro and cinema feels less like a movie date and more like a special event. Even if one chooses to snack on typical movie fare rather than a full meal, the extensive wine list is sure to have the perfect pinot noir to pair with popcorn. The beer and cocktail menu is also impressive. However, for those wanting a special evening with true gourmet stylings, the spacious and airy lānai is the perfect place to enjoy some of these tasty, fresh dishes.

    The Grilled Pork Spring Rolls are a delightful appetizer filled with Asian greens, carrots and vermicelli, served with a special spicy dipping sauce. Fish lovers will enjoy the locally raised, Crispy Kampachi made with shiitaki and oyster mushrooms, fresh ginger, garlic, sesame and shoyu. A stand out entrée is the Shaking Beef made with tender cubed prime filet mignon, local watercress, red onion and a surprisingly perfect pairing of lime sauce.

    Some of the best eats off the regular menu are the California “Cult Classic” Double Burger. It’s made with grass fed beef, double cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and special sauce (and yes, it really does taste like “that cult classic California burger”).

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    The Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza is another favorite made with mascarpone and extra virgin olive oil. For poke lovers, the Tuna Poke Nachos are made with sashimi-grade ahi, fried wontons and sticky rice.

    “Most people think we are just a cinema with regular cinema food,” said Ombao. “I want people to know us for our restaurant and food as well.”

    This dining and movie experience is worth every mile of driving out to The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. It may just be one of the best date nights on the Big Island.

    For more information, go online.

    Crispy Kampachi at The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. PC: Karen Rose

    Grilled Pork Spring Rolls at The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. PC: Karen Rose

    Mai Tai and Aperol Spritz at The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. PC: Karen Rose

    Shaking Beef at The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. PC: Karen Rose

    The California Cult Classic Double Burger at The Bistro at Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas. PC: Karen Rose

    Karen Rose
    Karen Rose is a writer and journalist living on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel, arts and entertainment. She never met a food she didn't like—except black licorice.
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