I thought if it is good enough for a well-known “old media” restaurant reviewer to write up a place on a remote hilltop in Italy it should be fine for me to write about a place some Perth people may actually get to – in this case in Hawaii…of course I have not been but the newly affianced son of FWO is relaxing on various beaches and islands of the Aloha State or as Cook called them, the Sandwich Islands, and reported in on Japengo.
Located off the lobby in the Hyatt Regency in Maui with ocean views and an outdoor patio area overlooking waterfalls and down to Ka’anapali Beach, it is a striking and attractive dining option.
The menu, as you would expect is heavily geared towards seafood, cooked in Asian style with what they term a Hawaiian influence.
The happy couple kicked off with Kung Pao duck meatballs – mixed with macadamia nuts, garlic, chilli and ginger, these were wonderfully succulent and with a delicate spice mix, and fragrant aromas.
Curry dusted calamari was next, the spicing subtle, the calamari juicy and tender, while the thin, almost transparent Harusame noodles were cooked with a little firmness and perfect for mopping up the sauce.
Stir fried vegetables – Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, snow peas – with tofu and slippery thick noodles mixed through with sesame oil and tamari added another dimension of flavour and texture and set them up for the final savoury dish, a particular highlight of the night.
China Town Chow Fun – scallops, prawns, crab and char siu pork cooked with oyster sauce and mushroom soy was a fitting conclusion – the seafood well cooked, firm but juicy, the pork meaty, salty and luscious.
Then, a surprise complimentary dessert to celebrate the engagement – Malasadas – sort of a Portuguese doughnut – deep fried yeast balls rich with egg, butter and milk sprinkled with sugar, crisped on the outside, moist and doughy inside, came with coffee ganache, guava and chardonnay reduction and salted caramel dessert – sweets for the sweet, indeed!
Japengo proved itself to be a great dining experience – beautiful setup, welcoming and warm ambience, friendly and professional waiters, food of quality, and all the little touches that go towards making the visit memorable.