‘Then & Now’ — Sheraton Maui celebrates 55th anniversary

Old-fashioned dishes, drinks to be reimagined and updated

Creative and playful menu items (first photo) range from curried lobster in papaya shell paired with lobster salad; meatballs and grape jelly paired with filet of beef tenderloin; and bananas Royale paired with green-banana and chocolate pastele. • Sheraton Maui photo

It’s hard to believe that the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is turning 55 years young on Tuesday.

Yes, the Kaanapali resort is celebrating its anniversary with special “Then & Now” dinner offerings available at its signature restaurant, the Black Rock Kitchen, today through Wednesday.

Diners can sip classic cocktails from the old days and savor dishes from the resort’s original Discovery Room and Pool Terrace menus, paired with modern interpretations created by talented chefs.

“Our culinary team explored the original menus from when Sheraton Maui first opened in 1963 to come up with a playful menu that contrasts then with now,” explains Executive Chef Lyndon Honda.

“Old-fashioned dishes like curried lobster in a papaya shell, meatballs and grape jelly, and bananas Royale stood out as classics that we knew we would have fun reimagining,” he continues.

Cocktails (second photo) will include the Missionary’s Downfall, the Dandy and Planter’s Punch along with modern counterparts. • Sheraton Maui photo

Located next to Pu’u Keka’a, aka Black Rock, where cliff diving ceremonies are held at sunset daily, the Sheraton was the second hotel at Ka’anapali Resort.

“The menu represents a return to the good old days and honors Sheraton Maui’s history, while celebrating new cooking techniques and seasonal, local ingredients.”

For instance, the curried lobster in papaya shell is a blast from the past and you can pair it or share it with the trendy lobster salad packed with papaya, avocado, red onion and vanilla-bean-lime vinaigrette.

Taste the original Dover sole Meuniere sauteed in brown butter and capers served with Parisienne potatoes, vegetables and lemon twist; and compare it to the modern fresh island catch with brown butter solids, preserved lemon, fried capers, brown butter rice and asparagus.

“Each course will feature both the 1963 and 2018 interpretations of the dish plated side by side,” says Honda.

The fact that you get to taste two lobster appetizers for the low price of $18 is reason enough to go there.

“For one of the entree options, we chose a baked breast of chicken Koy with Oriental sauce and macadamia nuts from the resort’s opening Discovery Room menu; it’s paired with a modern preparation of a mango-chili chicken karaage with coconut-porter syrup, macadamia-nut ice cream, crushed Maebo’s won ton chips and baby bok choy,” Honda continues.

Menu selections are a la carte, and all courses on the menu include both the “then” and “now” so you can see the progression from past to present.

For dessert, go back in time with banana Royale with chocolate, bananas, banana pudding and Nilla Wafers paired with a green-banana chocolate pastele with Maui Rum, caramelized bananas and chopped Snickers bars.

Kamaaina are encouraged to join the fun at the resort in celebration. Dine and share memories and stories of past visits over the five-and-a-half decades there. In addition, kamaaina will receive 25 percent off food and beverage.

“We’re sharing Sheraton Maui’s history on a plate, and we think guests will enjoy seeing and tasting the evolution from past to present through creative dishes and cocktails,” Honda concludes.

* To view the entire menu, visit www. sheraton-maui.com/ upcomingevents. Reservations can be made on Yelp or by calling (808) 921-4600.