Lahaina is home to some of Maui’s best dining establishments, making it difficult for anyone who craves culinary adventure to choose just one restaurant. On occasion, however, the choice is easy — opt for the most conveniently situated restaurant with the best view. This strategy will, in all likelihood, lead to dinner at Japengo — idyllically situated within the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.
Describing the menu at Japengo can be tough, because, as with many local restaurants, it brings a distinctive blend of culinary traditions to the table. Contemporary Asian flavors are heavily represented, as are local ingredients from the Hawaiian islands. Seafood is clearly emphasized on the menu, but pork, chicken breast, and short rib can also be found on the expansive menu — as can a few select vegetarian dishes.
The views at this location are just as appealing as the delectable cuisine, so bring your camera and prepare for a feast that targets all the senses. The patio is most appealing, particularly if you’re able to enjoy live music. Otherwise, you will still encounter breathtaking scenery from your vantage point inside the restaurant. Either way, you’ll always feel pampered, as the service here is wonderfully attentive.
A few of our favorite menu items include the following:
Kung Pao Duck Meatballs
The perfect starter, these meatballs may also prove filling enough for a light meal — especially if you and your date order multiple appetizers and then mix and match. Slightly spicy, these meatballs are loaded with flavor thanks to the generous addition of garlic and ginger. Their kick is made possible by the perfect amount of sambal.
Korean Seafood Pancake
As one of the most popular selections at Japengo, this unique option isn’t quite like any pancakes you’ve previously enjoyed. Crab and shrimp are featured prominently, with gochujang aioli, kimchi, and sesame soy sauce added to deliver an explosion of flavor.
Tengu Seafood Curry Bowl
If you are obsessed with curry, you won’t want to pass up this bowl meal. Featuring a delightful blend of seafood, it’s loaded with shrimp, scallops, mahi-mahi, and salmon. Enjoy all this with red coconut curry.
Sushi lovers appreciate the vast selection at Japengo — but the options are so numerous, making the right choice may seem difficult. When in doubt, opt for the chef’s choice, which is determined based on the fresh catch of the day. No matter what you receive, it will be prepped with care.
Servings at Japengo are often generous, so saving room for dessert won’t be easy — but the effort will prove more than worthwhile if you’re able to order this memorable pie. Featuring a brownie crust and plenty of banana, it’s served with delicious macadamia nut ice cream, plus whipped cream and both chocolate and caramel sauces.
If you feel that the best dining establishments provide a comprehensive experience complete with exquisite views, scents, and flavors, you’ll be pleased by all Japengo offers its discerning guests. Stop in to discover an elevated take on hotel dining.
-Advance reservations are essential — and day-of definitely won’t cut it. Given the high demand of this restaurant, you’ll have far better luck making your reservations at least a week in advance. Reservations can easily be made online via OpenTable.
-Accessing the restaurant is a cinch for anybody staying at the hotel, but it can be a bit trickier for those venturing from offsite locations. Thankfully, free valet parking is available. If you prefer to park on your own, be prepared to navigate the lot a few times and walk for a while before you reach the restaurant.
-The experience isn’t quite the same if you order takeout, but it’s an option worth exploring if you’re staying at the hotel and want maximum convenience. Some hotel guests actually prefer to eat Japengo dishes from the privacy of their balconies.