Maui Sunset Dining: The Plantation House Restaurant
The island of Maui is well-stocked with restaurants that offer sunset dining experiences, but relatively few can offer the elevated, long-range sunset views available at The Plantation House Restaurant.
Located high above the Kapalua coastline, on the northern shores of Maui, The Plantation House Restaurant has long been acknowledged as one of Maui’s premiere fine dining locations.
Further adding to the allure of the restaurant is the recent announcement that Chef Jojo Vasquez was taking the helm as executive chef.
“2012 Hawaii Rising Star Chef Jojo Vasquez is no stranger to the limelight. A former Morimoto sous chef (and later chef de cuisine), he was one of the chef’s assistants for two seasons of “Iron Chef America.”
In 2005, he earned the title of chef de cuisine at Banyan Tree at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, though he left a few years later to join Morimoto’s team as executive chef at Morimoto Waikiki. Vasquez returned to Banyan Tree in 2010, bringing with him his refined approach to cooking, which included notes of molecular gastronomy from his tours of Spain and France, a love of pan-Asian flavors, and his desire to further refine Hawaiian cuisine. In late 2012 he joined The Plantation House as executive chef.”
We began our gastro-journey with Kona Kampachi Sashimi (big island kona kampachi, calamansi ponzu, wakame seaweed, hearts of palm, local jalapeno).
The disparate flavors of the ponzu (a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine) and jalapeno made our taste buds come alive, and combined to make a fabulous statement about what might be lying ahead in our sunset dining experience. WOW!
Carol and I also shared Crispy Fried Oysters (togarashi mignonette, pear gelee, up-country fennel puree, local fennel).
Once again, we were dazzled with the uncommon flavors that accompanied our piping-hot fried oysters. Bravo to the chef!
Carol is the predominant red-meat lover in our family, and when she saw Braised Beef Short Rib (root vegetables, red wine gastrique) on the menu, there was no question in my mind about what she might select for her entrée.
It was traditionally slow-cooked, full of flavors for her to savor, and brought a smile with wide-eyes and raised eyebrows with every single bite.
If you’re a fan of our website, then you know that Mr. Roaming Boomer is certain to opt for a fresh fish when visiting the Hawaiian Islands.
Therefore, I enjoyed fresh Monchong (orzo, coconut curry, baby carrots, cauliflower). I was sold when I heard coconut curry as it sounded like a wonderful blend of international flavors. I was definitely not disappointed.
Living in Arizona, we can’t get fresh fish that was likely swimming in the ocean that morning. It’s just one of the reasons we love, love, love Hawaii!
Well, the sun was set, our bellies were full, and it was now time to take a peek at the dessert menu for something to share.
When we saw that they featured a piping-hot Bread Pudding á la Mode the decision was easy. Yum! Yum! Yum! Bread pudding and a double expresso was a perfect ending to our delightful dining experience.
Peeking at The Plantation House Restaurant’s website, we noticed a note that Chef Jojo is currently in the process of making an overhaul to the restaurant’s menu. We sure wish we could get Scotty to “beam us up” when he’s finished. We’d love to sample what he has in store, and again taste his amazing flavor blends.
We highly recommend a visit to The Plantation House Restaurant so that you too can sample the cuisine of one of Hawaii’s rising star chefs. We promise, you’ll be glad you did.
Disclosure: our wonderful dining experience was provided by the kind folks at The Plantation House Restaurant, and our Maui press trip was provided by the Maui Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thanks!