For an authentic Hawaiian cuisine experience, you must add Ko Restaurant on Maui to your list of dining destinations. Since its opening in 2012, it has annually earned the award for “Best Hawaii Regional Cuisine.”
The restaurant’s menu inspiration derives from Hawaii’s rich culinary history. Dining in the islands became more global when workers from around the world came to find jobs at the Hawaiian sugarcane plantations. These international workers brought their recipes with them from home and substituted local ingredients where they needed to. The resulting food produced the staples of modern Hawaiian cuisine.
This era in culinary history for Hawaii is so important that the restaurant’s name, Ko, comes from the Hawaiian word for sugar. And the interior of the restaurant derives inspiration from the sugarcane plantation era of Hawaii.
Look for Ko Restaurant inside the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel. This location allows diners the option of eating poolside or inside. Whether you choose indoor or outdoor dining, you’ll enjoy a romantic atmosphere that brings many couples to this restaurant for special occasions and date nights.
The menu features dishes with inspiration from Indian and East Asian countries combined with local ingredients. For instance, you’ll find curry, sushi, and tempura on the dinner menu with local twists added.
On Sundays, the restaurant serves a brunch that features live cooking stations where chefs cook foods from the cultures that inspired modern Hawaiian food. You also have options for mimosa flights and drink specials to add to the prix fixe brunch. For dinner or brunch, the food is always flavorful and authentic.
Sample the best Ko Restaurant has to offer by trying any of the following:
Often, tempura is a second thought to a meal. At Ko Restaurant, the lobster tempura is one of the entrees you can choose to make it a seafood course or the star of the meal.
This dish consists of lightly battered and fried lobster served with asparagus. The three dipping sauces round out the entree and give you the chance to experience different flavors with every bite.. Sauces include fruity and salty grapefruit soy, a spicy and garlicky aioli, and sweet and peppery pineapple chili garlic. Try all three to find your favorite.
Brown Butter Banana Bar
During your dinner, make sure to leave room for dessert. The Brown Butter Banana Bar is so good that diners have reported returning to the restaurant just for this dessert. Inside the cakey bar are caramelized bananas mixed with rich brown butter. The cake comes with a side of vanilla ice cream.
Barbecue Pork Chop
The familiar flavor of a juicy pork chop pairs with banana ketchup and tasty garlic fried rice. The banana ketchup glaze provides an unexpected, fruity contrast to the succulent pork. Flavorful and simple, the pork chop is among the meat-based dishes that rank among guests’ favorites.
Lavender Honey Macadamia Nut Shrimp
Thrill your tastebuds at the start of the meal with floral, nutty, savory, and sweet flavors in the Lavender Honey Macadamia Nut Shrimp. Staff regularly recommend this appetizer and guests frequently rave about it. The lavender honey sauce has just a hint of floral fragrance to enhance the overall flavor of the lightly battered and fried shrimp topped with candied macadamia nuts.
Don’t miss a trip to Ko Restaurant for an authentic taste of Hawaiian cuisine that brings Maui’s history to your plate. You’ll agree that this restaurant has earned numerous awards.
-If you are staying in the Fairmont Hotel, you may have your kids under five eat free and kids up to 12 get their meals half off. Note that this discount only applies to the inside dining area and not the poolside seating.
-Don’t miss the Sunday brunch to experience cooking stations with different cultural cuisines, drink flights and specials, and live music.
-Take advantage of the free valet parking from the hotel for Ko Restaurant diners.