Mauna Kea Beach Dining Review: Manta Restaurant, Copper Bar

Mauna Kea Beach Dining Review: Manta Restaurant, Copper Bar

This Mauna Kea Beach Dining Review, Including Manta Restaurant and the Copper Bar, is from our recent Hawaii site inspection stay, which also included the Mauna Lani Auberge Resort, Fairmont Orchid, and Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island. Not sure which Hawaii luxury resort is the perfect fit for your next stay? Become a TravelSort client and enjoy preferred partner or Virtuoso perks as well as our extensive expertise.

Manta Restaurant

Manta is the Mauna Kea Beach Resort's signature restaurant. Breakfast is served daily from 6:30-10:30am (we'll cover that with our upcoming Mauna Kea Beach hotel review) and dinner is served nightly from 5:30-9pm, with last seating at 8:30pm (particularly on the neighbor islands, Hawaii is an early-rise, early to bed kind of place).

We dined at 6:30pm, just before sunset, and enjoyed the expansive view while perusing the menu.

Manta Dinner Menu, Mauna Kea Beach Resort
Manta Dinner Menu, Mauna Kea Beach Resort

The bread basket included both French bread and lavosh:

Bread Basket, Manta Restaurant Review, Hawaii

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Our son's Manta Sashimi plate was beautifully arranged and one of our favorite dishes, along with the Hamakua Mushroom side dish he also ordered. While most of the resort restaurants aim to source a number of their ingredients locally, the earthy and satisfying Hamakua Mushrooms were among our favorites when it came to homegrown produce.

Manta Sashimi, Mauna Kea Beach Review
Hamakua Mushrooms, Manta Restaurant Review, Hawaii

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My Crispy Kona Kampachi was well executed, but I'd expected more for the price.

Crispy Kona Kampachi, Manta Restaurant, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Review

Similarly, while my husband enjoyed the (very small) edible part of his Lobster Tempura, the fact that the lobster was still in the shell merely served to make the portion seem larger than it really was.

Lobster Tempura, Manta Restaurant Review, Hawaii

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His Za'atar Ahi with Kona Shrimp and Beluga Lentils was again beautifully composed, although again he was left wanting in the serving size. This was a “ladies who lunch” portioned meal that left him unsatisfied.

Za'atar Ahi, Manta Restaurant Review

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Copper Bar

The Copper Bar may seem entirely informal, but at least during peak periods, be sure to reserve in advance for dinner to be sure of a spot. Dinner is served 5-10pm nightly, and live music and hula is featured Mondays-Saturdays 5:30-8:30pm.

Copper Bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Review

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The menu offers a variety of sashimi and sushi rolls, small plates, flatbreads, and larger main dishes.

Copper Bar Dinner Menu, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Copper Bar Dinner Menu, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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We immediately took to the Copper Bar, thanks to the enjoyable ambience created by the superb vocalist and hula dancer, as well as our excellent server.

Live Music and Hula at the Copper Bar, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Our son enjoyed his California roll:

California Roll, Copper Bar Dinner Review

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The Grilled Octopus was a slight disappointment only because it wasn't quite as tender as others we've had, and the sweet potato was extremely dry; the romesco sauce it came with was delicious, however.

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The stars of the night were my husband's Seared Scallops with Bacon Risotto (superb) and the Hamakua Mushroom Flatbread, the best flatbread we've had all year.

Seared Scallops, Copper Bar Review, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Hamakua Mushroom Flatbread, Copper Bar Review

The only slight misstep came towards the end of our meal, when we decided to order a fresh fruit plate to go in lieu of dessert. That took an inordinately long time to come, which our server apologized for.

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The Verdict

Our favorite meal at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was our dinner at the Copper Bar, particularly the Hamakua Mushroom Flatbread and Seared Scallops. The quality was every bit as good as Manta, prices were lower, and we enjoyed both the live music and hula dancing. Manta Restaurant, while good, was overpriced for the portions. We'd love to see the resort add a grab and go option similar to Mauna Lani's Market or Hualalai's Trading Company, because it was incredibly frustrating trying to get lunch one day when the restaurant outlets (including the taco truck) all had significant waits.

If you've dined recently at the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, what was your experience?

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Paul K
Paul K
2 months ago

Had dinner at Manta on June 10. The service was professional though slower than I expected. The bread basket came out fairly quickly but service slowed down considerably after that. The bread basket was enjoyable but nothing really remarkable. The seafood bisque was quite tasty, but it was only mildly warm in temperature. My wife enjoyed her Big Island salad. I ordered the filet mignon and my wife ordered the risotto. The filet was undercooked, I ordered medium and it was served more rare to medium rare. My wife enjoyed her farro risotto though it was served at a cooler… Read more »