Merriman’s Market Cafe Restaurant Review
After a busy morning of filming, Leise and I decided to go to Merriman’s Market Cafe at The Kings’ Shops, in Waikoloa Beach, Island of Hawaii. Since the day was so beautiful we opted for the relaxing outdoor seating. Sitting under the shade of the trees we ordered the Hamakua Mushroom Pizza and the Vegetarian Antipasto Plate.
I chose the Hamakua mushroom Pizza, because a few weeks ago I ordered the Angus Beef Burger here and added the Hamakua mushrooms as a topping and they were unbelievably fantastic. The pizza is a 12in pizza. Perfect size for an appetizer for the 2 of us to share. The pizza dough was wonderful. It was light, medium thickness, baked to a melt in your mouth softness and great flavor without being overpowering. On top of the crust is a white sauce with mozzarella and topped with truffle oil. Finally, topped with mushrooms. Once again, the Hamakua oyster mushrooms were amazing. The Hamakua mushrooms are so good that I asked the manager specifically what type they use. I will start adding them to my cooking at home. The flavor leaves you wanting more, because it is so delicious and flavorful. At the same time the pizza is so satiating, you find yourself not needing more. A perfect balance.
The Vegetarian Antipasto Plate consisted of handcrafted cheeses, artichoke hearts, local beets, olives, mango chutney, and more. I started with the fresh asparagus lightly sautéed to perfection. It was a little crisp with a little tart flavor retaining the character of the asparagus. One of the handcrafted cheeses was a Drunken Goat cheese, which has been described as ”goat milk with wine.” This semi-firm pasteurized goat cheese from Spain’s Mediterranean coast is cured for 48-72 hours in Doble Pasta red wine. It makes for a mild, sweet, and fruity flavor with a smooth, creamy, semi-firm texture. The next cheese was a port salute with a mild, savory flavor and a smooth, semisoft texture. Black and green kalamata olives are always a favorite. Next, there was hummus, lightly flavored with garlic, that leaves a light refreshing zing in your mouth and not enough to offend other flavors. The artichokes were steamed and still moist, soft, and flavorful. The locally grown beets were tasty, with a wonderful flavor. The mango chutney was more mango than chutney. It was sweet and contrasted the beets, asparagus, and hummus nicely. Served with baguette slices the individual players in the dish acted their part in a first-rate performance. The bread was a thinly sliced, lightly toasted, soft, melt-in-your-mouth french baguette.
We were filled, but not stuffed, so for dessert Leise ordered the Pineapple and Papaya Cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. Crumbly crust which was amazing. I ordered the brownie with banana foster. I found the brownie to have good flavor but a little cakey. My retired gourmet chef wife, thought the brownie was perfect…
We have to give Merriman’s Market Cafe a 5 out of 5 surfboards for food quality and service and 4 out of 5 for relaxed outdoor ambience (no view of the ocean, so we can’t give them 5 surfboards). We highly recommend them and we will continue to come back.
Aloha, James Christopher