Umi Maui

Umi Sushi – A Neighborhood Secret for Some of Maui’s Best Japanese Food
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Enjoy comfortable dining at a neighborhood favorite for Japanese food when you visit Umi Sushi in Wailuku. Despite the casual atmosphere, the chef-owner takes his food seriously, and you’ll feast on well-crafted, high-quality sushi and more.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

You may not think that the food at Umi Sushi is spectacular if you just look at the neighborhood restaurant from the street parking. However, once inside, you’ll find knowledgeable servers, a comfortable casual atmosphere, and some of the best Japanese food on Maui.

The owner of Umi Sushi also works as the head chef. In this capacity, he produces creative sushi options that you won’t find anywhere else. If you have had traditional sushi and want to try something different, you must sample some of the options on the Umi Sushi menu.

Sushi may be part of the restaurant’s name, but other dishes shine, too. In fact, it has the best ramen in Hawaii. The bao and truffle fries are equally delicious. So, even if you don’t like sushi, you should still make a stop at Umi Sushi to try its other Japanese foods.

This small restaurant has limited seating and abbreviated operating hours. However, these factors only seem to increase its popularity. Many nights, locals and tourists line up patiently waiting for their tables and their favorites from the menu.

The lengthy menu at Umi Sushi has something for every taste. Try some of the following favorites from other visitors to this local hot spot:

Crab Bao Bun
If you think that you don’t like bao because you tried it at a place that served a doughy, dense bread, you won’t be disappointed by the Crab Bao Bun from Umi Sushi. This restaurant does an excellent job of making their bao buns as light and fluffy as possible. The crab inside is a whole soft-shell crab deep-fried and drizzled with creamy, garlicky aioli and sweet unagi sauces.

Truffle Fries
Many visitors mention the Truffle Fries in the same breath that they do the Crab Bao Bun. These two pair well together for a light meal packed with flavor. The Truffle Fries have a light and crispy texture drizzled with truffle oil, Parmesan cheese, and aioli. The toppings pack an umami punch and make these french fries an addictive side that you won’t want to stop eating.

Ramen
The Ramen is one of the restaurant’s most acclaimed items. It includes pork belly, nori, ramen, seaweed, green onion, and a boiled egg in a rich pork broth. Some people prefer the succulent flavor of the broth while others raved about the perfect texture of the noodles or meat. However, most visitors agree with the assessment that this is the best ramen they’ve had and likely the best in the state.

Garlic Tiger Roll
If you enjoy the flavors of the sauces on the Crab Bao Bun but want sushi instead, try the Garlic Tiger Roll. Like the Crab Bao Bun, this roll has toppings of both unagi sauce and aioli. Inside, the roll includes shrimp tempura surrounded by rice and held with nori. Atop the eight pieces of this roll are slices of salmon and hamachi with a sprinkling of garlic chips and sauces. The flavors combine well to produce a favorite roll for many customers.

Shiso Dragon Roll
The Shiso Dragon Roll is one of the creative sushi options you’ll find here. This roll includes unusual ingredients for sushi, such as truffle oil and potato chips. Bold flavors in this roll make it an unforgettable part of the meal. A spicy tuna roll made with shiso forms the base of the Shiso Dragon Roll. The chef tops the roll with more tuna, rich avocado, and crunchy potato chips. Lastly, drizzles of truffle oil, unagi sauce, and spicy aioli add the final flavor punches to the dish.

Arrive early to avoid a long wait at Umi Sushi, Maui’s secret treasure for creative sushi, flavorful ramen, and tasty hot dishes.

Insider Tips:
-Arrive as early as possible because the restaurant only has street parking available.
-The restaurant does not take reservations, though it can become very busy in the evenings. Arrive early to avoid a wait.
-BYOB if you want to have alcohol with your meal.
-Some popular menu items, such as the Crab Bao Buns, can sell out, so order early if you want one of the more in-demand dishes.