Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill

Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill – Serving Kailua-Kona Fresh, Tasty Food and Aloha for All
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you want a fine dining experience in a mellow island setting, just set your sights on Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill. Set in Kailua-Kona, this popular restaurant gives Chef Nakoa Pabre the license to impress with amazing ingredient transformations and aloha for all. A full bar beautifully completes the dining experience, although the live music outside is a nice touch as well.

- The Local Expert Team

Are you looking for ultra-fresh seafood elevated by innovative small-batch preparations? Just jet on over to Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill. At this mellow Kailua-Kona eatery, Chef Nakoa Pabre goes all out in transforming local ingredients from island farmers, fishermen, and ranchers. His exquisite culinary techniques and artistic plating skills are second-to-none, creating memorable dishes for all ages. You’re also welcome to pick up the fresh fish slabs you need to try your hand at serving as the top chef.

To see just what you can do with all the best fresh, local ingredients, aim to land here at least once for the full dining experience. You’ll likely need to make reservations unless you’re down to wait a while for a table. Choose a table outside if you’d like an open-air dining experience and the chance to hear live music.

Once you get seated, take your time pouring over the menu. Every last item deserves your full attention, so don’t hesitate to ooh and ahh over the ingredient pairings and preparations. To buy more time, you’re best off beginning with the appetizer of your choice, like their ever-popular Umekes Nachos.

You can then pair your app with a drink from their full bar if you wish. They have a delightful array of alcoholic beverages, including local draft brews, wine by the glass or the bottle, and specialty cocktails, of course. As you sip and munch away, you can discuss all your entrée options with your tablemates or simply gaze at all the options in awe.

Upon making your selections, get ready for a beautiful entrée to land on your table sooner than you might think. Although the chef always makes everything to order, the items tend to come out of the kitchen fast and built to impress. In fact, many are almost too pretty to eat, but you’ll definitely want to get your fork in it to savor all the flavors.

After finishing up your meal, check out the market fare to see if you’d like to take anything back to the hotel for later. Their Poke by the Pound is pure decadence, while their to-go plates and snacks make for great picnic treats. You can even come back later for fresh fish if you’d like to grill some up at the beach.

You’ll want to try the:

Get in My Belly
For a great balance of fatty acidic flavors, start your meal with the Get in My Belly appetizer. To create this dish, the chef puts pork belly in the frying pan until perfectly crispy. Then, the pork lands on a mix of purple onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro covered in their Signature Bug Juice. Although just a wonderful housemade soy vinaigrette, the Bug Juice serves as a fantastic finishing touch. 

Poke by the Pound
When you want to revel in fresh ocean flavors, you cannot go wrong with the Poke by the Pound. They have many excellent flavor combos to consider, which are all made in small batches. Their most popular is the Hottie that combines the fresh fish with a simple mix of Hawaiian salt, onions, and their signature spicy aioli.

Next Level Lau Lau
No matter how many times you’ve had lau lau, you’ve never truly had it until you’ve tried the Next Level Lau Lau. This superb entrée goes beyond the norm by giving the lau lau a panko crust. The breaded deliciousness then lands on a bed of fried rice and gets brown gravy over top. A tempura poached egg goes over it all to further elevate the flavors.  

Want to wow all your guests at your next big event? Ask about their catering services. They’ll help you dream up your perfect menu, and then roll out each dish with flair. You can pick up your orders for set up at your party yourself or have them delivered. If you prefer to leave all the details to the professionals, go all out with their full-service catering instead.

Insider Tips:
-For awesome discounts on their most popular apps and drinks, come by daily between 3 pm and 5 pm for happy hour.
-To share your love for their restaurant wherever you go, purchase some of their branded swag to wear on your travels.