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Side Orders • Feb. 3, 2011

February 3, 2011
The Maui News
HOP TO IT. . . Last week, Scene pulled all manner of Year of the Rabbit events out of its hat. Since the official Chinese New Year is today and it’s such a huge part of Maui, here are even more suggestions. Ah Fook’s supermarket in Kahului is an easy, convenient pit stop for last-minute Chinese candies, gau, rabbit charms, T-shirts and calendars. The Vietnamese community is also a big part of the lunar new year action. At 5:15 p.m. today at A Saigon Cafe in Wailuku, lion dancers will bite the hands that feed them as firecrackers explode. “I will do my regular special dish of roast pork with fried eggs in aromatic coconut juice,” says owner Jennifer Nguyen, who just held a successful benefit at her estate for A Keiki’s Dream foundation. A Saigon Cafe will also make roast duck, shrimp and won tons at its food booth Saturday at the annual Chinese New Year celebration at Maui Mall in Kahului. But please call the restaurant ahead to reserve a duck. Other food booths will be manned by Asian Star, Royal Island Drive Inn, and Siu’s Chinese Kitchen. In addition, Vietnamese Cuisine in Kihei will offer a free bitter melon with pork and egg to those who order lunch or dinner entrees today through Feb. 15. Star Noodle in Lahaina will present lion dancers at 7 p.m. Friday. Savor egg rolls, beef broccoli made with braised short ribs, and deconstructed honey-and-walnut shrimp. . . And, sip the new Chinese firecracker latte in Paia at Green Banana Cafe’s festivities Saturday. o o o o BITS AND PIECES. . . “We at Roy’s Kahana are excited about our first wine dinner of 2011,” says Manager Tim Caskey. “Wine Spectator just released its top 100 wines of 2010 and we’ll feature a dinner with some of these fantastic wines at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 10. It will be family-style seating. Cost is $80 per person, and tax and gratuity are extra. Call 669-6999.” Krispy Kreme in Kahului is baking up a storm of new donuts with dark-chocolate cream fillings, milk-chocolate icings and chocolate sprinkles for a limited time through Feb. 14. “We also brew premium hot chocolate and top it with whipped cream and a rich, chocolate drizzle,” says Store Manager John Kerns. We hear Jojo Vasquez has returned to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua as the chef de cuisine of the AAA Four Diamond Banyan Tree Restaurant. He most recently worked with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, opening two restaurants with him in Napa Valley and Waikiki. “During his prior tenure, Chef Vasquez was responsible for numerous awards at The Banyan Tree,” says the Ritz’s Executive Chef John Zaner. “We look forward to some new and exciting enhancements that will continue to improve the dining experience.” Now retired from the Maui Culinary Academy, Bobby Santos is having a grand old time traveling to far-flung northern Thailand and China. “The food at Thai street stalls is just phenomenal,” he says. “I Love Wailuku” is the theme for the next First Friday Block Party in old Wailuku town to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Market Street. You’ll find fresh Hawaiian foods from 5 p.m. until pau at Native Intelligence. Wine lovers may sign up for a tasting and food pairing party at Cafe O’Lei; and those who prefer sudsy brews may head to the outdoor Beer Garden. For dessert, the new Vineyard Food Co. on, where else, Vineyard Street, will stay open to serve fresh beignets and creamy hot chocolate. Or course, there will be live music at First Friday and you may peruse arts, crafts and much more. In addition, the grand opening of Four Sisters Kitchen in Wailuku will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday with free lechon, or Filipino roast pork, for all diners. The owners also plan to give away prizes. * You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.

Article Photos

A Saigon Cafe’s owner Jennifer Nguyen (right), in Steeler attire at her recent benefit bash for A Keiki’s Dream, with Sandy and Thad Henry and the couple’s son, Cameron Henry.



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