For 18 years, Ichiban Restaurant near Ah Fook's in Kahului has been a Central Maui staple. It's open weekdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and for lunch and dinner on Saturdays.
Now, owners Henry and Patsy Chan have done a stunning renovation to enhance their popular eatery, and it's better than ever. Of course, all of the antique elements remain.
"Our renovation includes a new ceiling, paint on the walls, new carpet and new tables and chairs," says Patsy. "We even installed a new fountain at the front with dry ice for special effects."
Server Carol Jaramillo (left) and owner Patsy Chan showcase sushi specialties such as the new Hot Night Roll and Dragon Tail.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
But it's the food that makes regulars out of diners, and a big part of it is the sushi bar that's open for lunch and dinner.
Patsy formerly cooked at the Hyatt in her younger years, and her Patsy Roll gets rave reviews. It's ahi, salmon, avocado and cucumber slightly deep fried with spicy sauce. The Dragon Tail appetizer is spicy ahi wrapped in shiso leaf.
The Chans just hired Sushi Chef Ricky Daguio as the main man behind the raw bar as Patsy likes to cook the hot foods. His previous experience includes working at the former Kincha. The sushi menu is new, packed full of colorful pictures for people who don't know what to order.
Hot entrees include oxtail soup with peanuts and grated ginger. Since Patsy is originally from Hong Kong, she likes to put secret Chinese spices inside the dish. Nabeyaki udon is cooked inside an iron pot and brims with thick noodles and other comfort food ingredients.
Ichiban Restaurant's top seller is miso butterfish. Other popular entrees are fried akule, fresh ahi and mahimahi, pork tonkatsu, hot and crunchy tempura and special combo platters.
For more details, call 871-6977.