Our annual Spring Break visit to Seattle brought us to Southcenter this time around. With memories of our Hawaii vacation from last Summer fading fast, we thought that a visit to nearby Aloha Grill in Renton would do the trick. Yes, staying at the Marriott Towneplace Kent meant that we were steps away from Aloha Hawaiian Grill. However, Aloha Grill was rated higher and we ended up driving a couple of minutes down the road. Walking into the place, it was nice to see all of our favourites were on the menu.
For the kiddies, they absolutely love Spam Musubi and we ended up getting one each for them (with one with a fried egg for my son). Okay, we've had our fair share of musubis on our visits to Hawaii, but these were on steroids. There was just too much rice (which was a little dry) in my opinion for the amount of Spam. With that being said, the Spam was prepared appealingly with a sweet glaze while nicely charred. We also got a side of Ahi Poke to share, which my daughter gladly took her share. As much as the tuna was freshly firm, any natural sweetness was obliterated by the excessive use of soy and the large amount of onion. We've had plenty of poke in Hawaii and this one lacked balance.
For some bigger dishes, we had the Opihi Man combo plate that consisted of Kulua Pork and Chicken Katsu with rice and mac salad. We found the pork to be full-flavoured and concentrated, but the texture was a bit dry and stringy. On the other hand, the katsu was prepared nicely with a very crispy exterior. Inside, the meat wasn't exactly succulent, but it was still firmly tender while well-seasoned. We could customize the flavour with squeeze bottles of katsu sauce on the counter. Viv ordered the Garlic Shrimp and sadly, this version was pretty mediocre at best. Unlike the ones we've had in the past, this featured overcooked shrimp that were a bit small. The sauce was overly thick and sweet while not being garlicky enough. It was buttery though.
Lastly we had the Saimin with egg and fish cake. We liked how the noodles were al dente and stayed as such until the end. The soup was not bad where it wasn't overly salty and exhibited natural chicken flavours. Simple as it may have been, this was one of the better items of the meal. However, as a whole, the food was serviceable, but unremarkable. But I really shouldn't try to compare it to stuff in Hawaii because one can't merely hop on a plane and head there for a meal. So in the end, if you need a Hawaiian food fix, Aloha Grill does the trick.
- Friendly people
- Hit and miss