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“Friday evening birthday dinner - 3.5 out of 5 rating”
Review of Ushio-Tei Restaurant - CLOSED

Ushio-Tei Restaurant
Price range: US$30 - US$60
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Named for the subtle tides of Hawaii, Ushio-Tei is a quiet oasis in an authentic setting adjoining a peaceful Japanese garden. Ushio-Tei serves traditional Japanese fare including sushi and sashimi.
Reviewed 21 January 2015

This restaurant is located in the Ihilani - a JW Marriott Hawaii resort hotel and spa located in Kapolei. According to google maps it’s normally a 37 minute drive (28 miles) from our accommodations at the Waikiki Banyan at the corner of Ohua and Kuhio. It took our Hawaiian friend a little over an hour to get there due to rush hour traffic even though we left around 4:00 PM.

When we arrived for our 6:00 PM reservation, the restaurant was busy but not crowded.

Our group of 11 had a private tatami room where you are required to sit in a recessed floor. This is a private room that is is separated from the “regular” dining area.

For the birthday dinner, we had the Japanese buffet that had a selection of condiments, salads, starters, sashimi, sushi rolls, and hot foods.

Starters included a salad with a Japanese influence and agedashi tofu with cold noodles. Condiments at the buffet bar included marinated seaweed, pickled vegetables and ume (preserved plum with seed). The ume was very salty.

There was also a good selection of different sushi rolls that I don’t normally see at the regular sushi restaurants including the following:

• Hawaii Rainbow Roll - spicy tuna and avocado topped with tuna and salmon
• Surfing Unagi Roll - snow crab salad, avocado and topped with grilled fresh water eel
• Ushio Tei Crunch Roll - shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, crunchy flakes and unagi (eel) sauce

The sashimi selections came in small dishes with each dish containing 3 pieces.

There was also thin sliced marinated tako (octopus) that tasted okay.

Other proteins included miso marinated salmon, sliced steak, teriyaki chicken, and prawn tempura.

There was a selection of about 5 or 6 desserts including a lemon chiffon cake, pineapple upside cake and tiramisu.

Our tea cups were always filled and our dirty dishes were also removed promptly – 4 out of 5 rating for service.

The price of the buffet was $43 per person. “Was it worth it?”; yes and no depending on what you like to eat; but in my opinion, a little too rich for my blood. How much sushi and sashimi can you eat? The quality of the food was above average.

Overall rating is 3.5 out of 5 for food and service.

Notes & Tips

• Sitting in the tatami room requires you to remove your shoes, leave them at room entrance and wear the provided slippers. However, it is a “pain in the butt” getting in and out to get more food.
• There is a separate area where you can sit at regular tables.
• There is also an ala carte menu. In addition there is a separate counter area for sashimi and sushi preparation.
• See menu on-line.
• If you’re a tourist and not driving it’s probably a little difficult to get to unless you’re staying at the Ihilani resort or one of the other ones close by. I was in town for the marathon and if wasn’t for our friend’s birthday who was a Honolulu resident, we would probably not be here.
• There was also lots of traffic this evening heading into Waikiki.
• There is complimentary 3 hour parking with purchases of $50 or more at the restaurant; otherwise it is $10 per hour. However, I was told that the time limit was not enforced.
• There are several restaurants on site besides the Japanese restaurant.
• We arrived approximately 30+ minutes before our reservation and we took a tour of the Aulani – Disney Resort next to the Ihilani hotel complex. If you’re in the area you should take a walk through the Disney resort.
• The JW Marriott Hawaii resort hotel complex is apparently closing down and possibly changing to a resort with owner units.
• The hotel complex has a large outdoor swimming pool for fish. It was too dark for me to take clear pictures but I believe there were some tropical fish including reef sharks in the pool.

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    • Food
Thank Bottomshelfhockey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (72)
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1 - 5 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 7 January 2015

Decided to have New Years eve dinner at this restaurant since we always enjoy their japaness buffet.
Our waitress very attentive & very friendly.
My husband just loves the sushi bar & prime rib.
I enjoyed the varietys that the buffet has to offer.

This time jw marriot had a New Years eve party with live music.
Enjoyed the entertainment & food.

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Thank WadaBozu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2014

Ushio-tei was one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had in all of my travels. The first hint that it was going to be bad was when the web link to the location through the map shown on the OpenTable reservation directed us to a location in a gated residential community. Checking with a security guard in the Ko Olina resort area brought us no closer; he'd never heard of it. When we finally found it in the Marriot the next big warning should have been that the place was entirely empty. That shouldn't have been the case because the restaurant is located in a massive resort area with loads of Christmas vacationers around. Once we were seated, which was apparently a problem as shown by a long delay, every single step in the meal took forever. To start, when we told our waiter that we'd like to have the buffet (which is highly promoted online and in the menu) we were told that the buffet wasn't on that night, only Friday and Saturday nights. That was not indicated in any way in the menu or in any of its marketing. We turned to the a la carte items in the menu. Two dry sushi rolls, a small dish of fried but still soggy tofu, a small plate of greasy and spongy tempura shrimp and vegetables, and an order of fatty chicken teriyaki came to our table in a staggered procession. It was all ghastly. There were long waits to get our drink orders (which could only come from a bland selection). The two waiters were clearly junior and no manager could be found to make a complaint. When we gave up and wanted to leave it took ages for any staff member to heed our waving arms or calls. One member of our party was so frustrated he got up and left and walked home. By the time we got our highly over-priced tally for the wretched experience and left, he beat us home.
Hopefully this place closes soon. Stay away until it does.

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Thank Randall B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2014

Although a large group checked in before we did, the staff took our order quickly before the group ordered.

I always love finding fresh Uni and was not disappointed!

Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2014

The food was alright, the decor very dated. We chose to pass on the buffet that was offered and instead did a la carte sushi. The service was acceptable.

Thank Brandon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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