Blue Water Shrimp and Fish Market is hidden quite nicely in the International Market Place in Waikiki. In fact, you actually have to walk through all the hoards of vendors selling candles, trinkets, and all types of tourist items before you reach the food court area. Luckily, after scanning all the foods, we dropped by this corner eatery to pick up some seafood and tempura.
The restaurant is actually two restaurants in one. One sells plate lunches whereas the other is more geared to the Japanese tourists and serve hoards of shrimp tempura. With the kitchen divided serving two types of food, the tempura section was definitely smaller with only two workers, who also double up as cooks and cashier. We decided to try both sides to get a taste of this highly rated eatery.
I got their garlic shrimp for $12.95, which included 9 shrimps with rice, corn, salad, and topped with a slice of pineapple for dessert. As expected, the shrimp was absolutely delicious. Large, plump, and succulent, the shrimps were perfectly cooked with the garlic sauce. The tempura was also very delicious, but because we waited so long for the food, it was pretty anti-climatic. It took about 15 minutes to receive the garlic shrimp and then ANOTHER 30 minutes to receive the tempura, even though both dishes were ordered at the same time.
We had actually visited this place a second time hoping that we wouldn’t have to wait so long anymore since we got there much later at around 8pm. We were absolutely wrong. In fact, it took about 10 minutes to even GET TO THE CASHIER to place the order. After that, it took about 40-45 minutes to receive our entrees.
I ordered the macadamia nut crusted opakapaka (snapper) for $12.95 and got my girlfriend the shrimp linguine, also for $12.95. Yes, both were delicious, I will admit that. But to wait almost an hour for our food? I don’t think it was worth that wait. Though their food is actually really tasty, it is very unfortunate that their system to cook and serve the food is severly flawed. Multiple glances into the kitchen showed a lot of people just standing around while the cooks were furiously at work. It was very inefficient, and definitely showed as I could hear others scowling at the wait.
For the food alone, I would recommend this place. But because of the service and extremely slow wait, I would not recommend this place to others unless you could get your meal in under 15 minutes. Such a pity, since their food is fantastic!