Urban Bistro offers big city ambiance at reasonable prices with no-tip policy

Urban Bistro offers big city ambiance at reasonable prices with no-tip policy
Published: Feb. 22, 2016 at 2:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Urban Bistro, Hawaii's chic new restaurant offers a unique decor and concept that is new to restaurant dining in Hawaii.  Urban Bistro, which opened in September 2015, is the first restaurant in Hawaii to implement a no-tip policy. While some restaurants on the mainland have also incorporated this policy, the tip may be hidden in the cost of the meal. This is not the case with Urban Bistro.

According to restaurant owner Margaret Lin, "we do not add the tip in the cost of the meal. We implemented the no-tip policy to make dining a little more affordable for families. It puts more money in the customers pocket, so they can perhaps buy an appetizer or dessert," Lin said.  "Serving our customers is our pleasure," she added. The no-tip policy also encourages all the staff to work together as a team. "If the restaurant does well, everyone does well," she said.

Urban Bistro's chic modern setting offers the feel of a cafe in New York or Boston. In fact, the large mural on the wall of the restaurant is a street scene in Boston that is so realistic you feel like you are actually enjoying a meal in a cafe in the city.  Another unique feature of Urban Bistro is its completely open kitchen. Most of the food is cooked on a teppanyaki grill and very little oil is used.

"We make comfort food unique and familiar food fun," Lin said. "We cook our food with passion and we want our customers to feel like they are eating a home cooked meal," she said.

Urban Bistro offers an eclectic menu with healthy meals for vegetarians and nonvegetarians. All the sauces and dressings are made in-house with fresh ingredients.  Among some of the specialties include: the coffee rubbed steak; beer battered fresh fish with hand cut potato wedges; Baja fish tacos; 3 green ceasar salad; and their special grilled pizzas. The flat bread pizzas are grilled on the teppanyaki grill. Toppings are also grilled then added to the flat bread and covered and steamed to a hearty and flavorful finish.

Urban Bistro also offers delicious homemade desserts including sweet potato bread pudding with apple bourbon sauce; garlic creme brulee; and s'mores pie with toasted marshmallows.  Everything on the menu is served ala carte, in portion sizes for one or to share. Customers can come in and order an appetizer, a salad, a burger, dessert or any combination of items. Prices range from $5 to $26.  The menu also includes a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. House specialty drinks include a non-alcoholic Ginger Beer made with ginger syrup and club soda. Another non-alcoholic drink favorite is the Lavender Cooler, made with fresh lemon, vanilla, lavender syrup and club soda.  Alcoholic drink specialties include a Cucumber Mint Cooler; Moscow Mule; and Dark and Stormy.

Located in the newly built 808 Center, a modern commercial structure with a mix  of restaurants, shops, and The Voice (KTV) a state of the art Karaoke center with themed rooms, i.e. Africa room, Asia room, etc. The 808 Center also includes a first of its kind in Hawaii, state of the art parking elevator. The stackable, automated parking structure can house 72 cars. A parking valet will take your car and enter it in the parking elevator. Free parking and valet parking is available while patronizing the 808 Center.

Urban Bistro is open Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. For reservations call (808) 369-7000 or visit their website at www.ubhawaii.com. 

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