This is the Hawaiian type of restaurant you hope to find, but rarely do.
As mentioned on our review of Ponds in Hilo, it’s always amazing that good restaurants are hard to find in Hawaii. While seafood is fresh and Asian ingredients are in abundance at grocery stores, many restaurants have substandard seafood and options. This might be due to the preponderance of tourists dining on feeling not taste. But sometimes you get a restaurant that caters to both tourists and quality. Splashers is one such restaurant and it is by far one of the best restaurant in Kona, if not all of Kona-side, and it is one of the best on the entire Big Island.
In addition to great food, Splashers is at a prime spot. Right in the heart of Kailua Kona, right by the pier, Splashers is found on the second floor of a building and the open air seating looks right at the water. The location is so good, you will have to drive around for a parking spot. If you are visiting Kona from a cruise ship, then Splashers is one of the first buildings you’ll walk by.
The location is impressive. And that means the food might be disappointing since this is primo tourist land. However, Splashers cares about quality in the food as well as the view. Their menu is not that large, but is perfect in variety and it has something for everyone.
Being at a prime tourist spot in a tourist town and island, Splashers also has an expansive and great bar. Good brews are on tap, but you’re in the islands and you should drink a Mai Tai or something similarly local. Splashers has great options and even monthly special drinks.
The drinks are artistic, balance in taste and strength, and leave you wanting more. They go well with the view.
In food, everything we tried was good. I kept with the theme of wraps and had the Ocean Wrap on one visit. It is filled with juice Ono, Hawaii for “good to eat”, which is locally caught wahoo. The waffle fries are fried perfectly and seasoned well.
Szechuan ribs might not be authentic Chinese, but my non-English speaking Chinese father-in-law ordered them every time we stopped in. They were not Szechuan in spiciness, but had flavors that were similar to home cooked Chinese ribs. They were juicy and plentiful. The appetizer was enough as a meal. The small touches were there as well and this came with some much needed wet naps.
The avocado chicken melt and catch-22 sandwiches come with lightly toasted bread finished in a golden brown. The sauces are a perfect match, as are the waffle fries. While very good, we still preferred the wraps and appetizers.
The crab cakes, which seem to be off the menu now, we’re very good. Second best to the ones we’ve had in Key West. they came as a pair and had flavors of island and crab. The small accompanying salad was a nice pairing.
Splashers is by far one of the best restaurants in Kona and if you are visiting it is worth going straight here before the rush. There can be a wait, but we have always been able to get a table after a reasonable (15 minutes) amount of time. Try to beat the rush whenever a cruise ship is in the harbor. If you are coming from a cruise ship, beat your compatriots on the rush to get here… this is worth the wait and better than the tourist traps.
75-5663 Palani Rd
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Yelp | Webpage
First Visit: 2018
Most Recent Visit: 10 January 2018
# OF VISITS: 4
Cuisine Rating: 16
Decoration Rating: 16
COST: $$ (on the higher side of $$)
BEST BET (meats): Ono, Pulled Pork
BEST BET (meals): Ocean Wrap, Coconut Prawns, Fish Tacos