vessel restaurant at kona kai resort

I’m on the verge of wrapping up all of my birthday goodies for my free birthday posts – so stay tuned for those very soon! But first… let’s take a peek at a recent Media Dinner I was invited to attend earlier this month at the Vessel Restaurant at the Kona Kai Resort. I visited the Vessel Restaurant last year for another media dinner and this time around Stacey tagged along for the fun.

The restaurant has been renovated since last year. They moved the bar area to the middle of the main restaurant and converted the back area into a private dining area, which was where our dinner was held. It was much cozier this time around.

Vessel Restaurant Media Dinner Menu

This was our menu for the evening. Quite a few delicious things in store for us!

Beef Carpaccio

We started out with some Beef Carpaccio. It came with popcorn shoots (the yellow longer piece of green) with crispy capers. Typically I don’t like capers since they are usually pickled, but these crispy ones were much more enjoyable to me (aka woooo no pickling). The beef itself was so thin and tender. You could take your fork and just scrap it right up and plop it into your mouth. I wished it had a little touch of salt to it to bring out the flavor a bit more, but otherwise it was a tasty start to the meal.

Heirloom Apple Salad

For the second course we were presented with these Heirloom Apple Salads. If you know me at all, you’ll know that the thing I was most excited about on this dish is the Humboldt Fog cheese, which is a goat cheese with a line of ash running through it. It’s so creamy and light and I could pretty much eat it with anything, but it lends a terrific flavor to this salad. You get a that bit of crispiness and sweetness from the apples, and a little tangy softness from the cheese. It’s dressed with lemon olive oil which rounds out the whole dish, plus a little crunch of granola. Granola on a salad? What? Weird, but it works.

Porcini Dusted Sea Bass

For our main entree, most people (the seafood eatin’ folk) received this Porcini Dusted Sea Bass. The fish was incredibly tender and soft. It felt slightly undercooked to me, but I might have been dreaming. It was very flaky and my fork went through it quite easily. There were little tiny potatoes with it and and avocado mousse. I wasn’t into the avocado mousse for some reason, I didn’t really like it touching my potatoes. Ah, my quirks come through sometimes when I don’t want stuff touching my other food (though I try to ignore it for the most part).

Pork Chop

I was jealous of Stacey’s non-seafood dish, this crazy big Pork Chop which came on a bed of crazy good spaetzle. I’m pretty sure this pork chop was bigger than my head and it was an extra thick cut. Stacey gave me a few pieces of pork to munch on and the pork was incredibly juicy and moist. I stole pieces of spaetzle off Stacey’s plate all through dinner because I liked it so much.

Chocolate Ganache with toast

For our final course, we got this plate of Chocolate Ganache with grilled toast. The chef explained this was a bit of a play on nutella and toast. The chocolate ganache is made with a darker chocolate and is dusted with fleur de sel and the plate has a drizzle of olive oil. This might seem like a weird combination for dessert, but let me assure you it was completely and magically delicious. The chocolate melted the instant it touched your tongue creating this rich, smooth, velvety texture in your mouth. The olive oil gave it a little bit of tang and paired with the delicious warm grilled bread, this made for my favorite course of the night.


Everyone also left with little gift bags. I got the “Rum” bag which came with this cute bottle of rum, ginger beer soda, a lime, a bottle opened. Not shown is my little box of chocolate which the ants attacked overnight and destroyed and I had to throw away. I wasn’t that sad about it though since it was marshmallow and I probably wasn’t going to eat it anyway. But geez, ants. Go away already.


Stacey got the Vodka bag which came with the above. You can see the chocolate here! Ants didn’t destroy hers.

All in all we had a great time visiting Vessel Restaurant and enjoyed their treats! I’ve love to go back and just eat a whole plate of spaetzle and more chocolate ganache…

Disclaimer: I was invited to this media dinner on behalf of Vessel Restaurant. I was not paid for this review and all opinions stated here are my own.

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

4 Replies to “vessel restaurant at kona kai resort

  1. I love goodie bags after dinners! I don’t know why but I am completely sold. After we did this huge fancy dinner at Eleven Madison Park they gave us free granola to take home and I was as happy about that jar of ‘free’ granola as I was about the 11-course $300 dollar dinner. Haha.

    Also yummm any dinner that has carpaccio and Humboldt Fog is a winner in my book.

    1. Hi J.S. – I think gift bags make you feel extra special and remind you of the place after you’ve left. Reminds you of the other deliciousness that you had! Gift bags, woo! Humboldt Fog and I might run away together.

  2. I was at the kona kai over the summer for a conference. is this restaurant the one in the middle of the hotel with a really pretty bar? i didn’t have the opportunity to eat there, but it sure had pretty views.

    1. Hi CC – Yes! It’s the one with the pretty bar in the middle of the restaurant. I didn’t really get to see the view very well because it was dark, but it seemed like it would be quite pretty!

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