Take a Bite

A trip to Amasia

May 10th, 2012

wong settingNadine Kam photos
Outside Amasia, Alan Wong's new restaurant in the Grand Wailea Resort

Timing was great for being on Maui for the recent Maui Onion Festival May 4 and 5. While there, I was staying at the Marriott Ocean Club Kaanapali Beach, near festival headquarters at Whalers Village, but made the evening drive to the Grand Wailea to visit Alan Wong's newly open Amasia restaurant.

The site is gorgeous, in the former Kincha restaurant, that makes it feel as if you've been transported to Japan. It's a teahouse built over a koi pond. Inside, shoji doors have been removed to make it appear more global in keeping with Wong's globe-trotting theme.

These days, with restaurants shrinking and becoming cramped, I really appreciated the spaciousness of it. I felt like I had room to relax, breathe and talk, which really added to the enjoyment of the experience. Our server said the environment makes it nice to come to work each day.

It's soft opening was April 24, and a grand opening celebration will take place May 25.

wong bridge

wong insideInside, walkways over the pond connect different areas of the restaurant, and tatami rooms offer semi-privacy for larger parties.

Here are some photos of dishes covered in my review of May 9:

wongspong"Spong" (Spam + Wong), prepared Vietnamese-style in a dish of "Spong Mi," with tortilla in place of baguette. ($9 as of 5.5.12)

wongfish2In the foreground is Kona kampachi tiradito with Hanaoka Farms lilikoi sauce, dotted with fresh corn kernels and roasted corn, and cubes of Okinawan sweet potato, with hot pepper and cilantro atop the fish. This dish was on the raw menu, at $15. wongshortribeDelicious soy-braised shortribs with eye-opening kochujang sauce ($15.)

wongoysterCrispy oysters had to be eaten fast because they lost their crisp quickly ($16), served with a thin sambal emulsion.

wongikaIka maki roll was one of the most novel items on the sushi menu, rolled in Sudachi lime rice, with the flavors of palusami from a coconut milk luau sauce, luau cube and powdered coconut at front left.

wongmeatballA trio of chicken meatballs served in a coconut-ginger-lemongrass broth, $11.

wong tomatoRichard Ha's whole tomato salad, $11, with li hing mui dressing. This was one large, perfect tomato!

wongwaialuaWaialua Estate Chocolate pudding, topped with sesame tuille.

Here are a couple of pro photos, courtesy of Amasia:

wongcrabGarlic-pepper Dungeness crab.

wongribeyeMaui Cattle Co. ribeye with Hamakua mushrooms and Hawaiian chili pepper butter.

One Response to “A trip to Amasia”

  1. Smitanjali:

    You can't beat Mama's Fish House in Pai'a (like the answerer above said). DEFINITELY have the Beef Poke as an aptzpieer. Restaurant sits facing a little beach, gorgeous views/ atmosphere to match the 4 star dining. I like sitting by the window

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