NEW IN KAANAPALI . . . Anticipation has been building for months. Now, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa will launch Japengo Pacific Rim restaurant and sushi lounge this evening.
Located in the resort's former Cascades, Japengo is part of the resort's extensive transformation. More than $5 million went into Japengo alone, and its face-lift would make even Joan Rivers jealous. It now looks like a super- sophisticated Japanese fishing village complete with the Moon Bar and spectacular ocean and island views.
Executive Chef Matt Smith and his culinary team will draw from Hawaii's freshest products and blend in exotic ingredients from neighboring Pacific Rim countries. Take for instance, the Singaporean chili crab with Alaskan king crab and spicy chili sauce, or the Hawaiian abalone in soy broth with micro greens. Izakaya, or Japanese pub food, will also be offered in a refined way.
Mike Capuano of Wow-Wee Maui Candy Co. just launched the Maui rum, raisin and dark chocolate bar, perfect for gift giving.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"As the first destination resort in the world, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa has been a trendsetter in luxury since opening in 1980," says General Manager Michael Jokovich. "Our legacy continues with the soft opening of Japengo, which offers island visitors and local residents a chic new dining destination with the high level of service and authentic Hawaiian hospitality, for which the Hyatt Regency Maui is known."
BITS AND PIECES . . . Just in time for the holidays, Wow-Wee Maui's Candy has released is new Maui rum, raisin and dark chocolate bar. It's available at Wow-Wee Maui's Kava Bar & Grill on Dairy Road in Kahului. Its sister flavors are available islandwide.
"I also make the Maui Krunch Bar for Da Kitchen in Kahului," says Wow-Wee's owner Mike Capuano. "It's dark chocolate and mochi crunch. And, I may be featured on an upcoming reality TV show."
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the modern food lover in your life? The 10th anniversary edition of "The Food Revolution" is hot off the press with an updated look and a new introduction by the author.
First published in 2001, John Robbins' groundbreaking book by Conari Press ($19.95) led the pack in discussing the negative effects of eating genetically modified foods and animal products of all kinds, exposing the dangers inherent in our factory-farming system, and in advocating a complete plant-based diet.
Leilani's on the Beach in Kaanapali recently named Harry Matsuura Jr. as its Police Officer of the Month and Randy Casco as its Educator of the Month. Both are dedicated to their jobs and are positive contributors to the Maui community.
"Leilani's is always happy to honor outstanding Maui citizens," said General Manager Jason Donez. "Not only do they work hard in creating a positive community environment, but they're also great role models for the younger generations."
Both received a $100 gift certificate to Leilani's as part of their recognition. Located at Whalers Village, Leilani's sizzles with prime steak, fresh island fish, sandwiches and burgers.
Making a splash through Christmas Day at Maui Prime Fine Foods in Lahaina is a shipment of fresh dungeness crab from California.
"It's never been frozen, and it arrives today," says owner Cary Button. "We're located in Emerald Plaza, and we also feature other gourmet products that are on every foodie's Santa list this year, such as fresh oysters, cheeses, fresh goose, wines and prime cuts of meats."
Learn all about the sweeter side of sparklers at a five-wine, five-cheese tasting at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Wailuku is happening with three new establishments in one week! Steel Horse Saloon just opened in the old Eha's, and you won't recognize the place. Open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., it's got flat-screen TVs, state-of-the-art juke box, pool table, air conditioning and more.
"We're going to do a free pupu bar rotating nachos, chili and casseroles," says Lisa Gerstenberger, a partner with Lei Kahakauwila. "AK's Cafe across the street is also working on a menu for us." More on the other two new places in next week's issue.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.