Returned to our favorite Maui restaurant, Sansei in Kapalua Bay Shopping Center (not to be confused with their newer Kihei and not as highly rated location). It was a TERRIFIC dining experience as always, so we returned several times during the week.
Go at 5:30 pm opening for "special"-allows you to order anything on the menu between 5:30 and 6 pm and receive a 25% discount! Note:there is an automatic 17% service charge added to all bills, but waitstaff the best we encountered, professional, patiently explaining details of each menu item and guiding you towards a wonderful meal. At earlier hour, it isn't so crowded (it's a real zoo on Thursday/"local night" when it is open til 1 pm and features Karaoke and 50% off items after 10 pm!)as the other nights when it is open until 10 pm.
The menu is Asian fusion and huge with either an octupus/"Sansei symbol" or butterfly/"Kapulua mascot" to guide you to house specials or award winning dishes. We usually ordered a couple of appetizer sized items each and an entree each and the bill came to $60 with a doggie bag and us feeling totally satisfied. Although we had some sushi, recommend you skip--You can get that anywhere. The other items are totally unique prepared with twist on Asian cooking, some with French or Italian sensibilities. Based on menu descriptons and specials: we sampled fish, seafood and beef dishes. Our favorite was Shrimp Dynamite---which is a wild Asian/French fusion dish. Appetizer size plenty for two. Loaded with shrimp deep fried gently then basted with home made garlicy french style aioli over braised radicchio with a plum sauce. UMMMMMM! Totally unusual and delicious combinations. In addition to all the fish/seafood, we sampled specials: Seared beef over home made udon noodles actually was fantastic---with all the richness of almost Kobe-like beef crisp on outside and cooked perfectly atop a mound (huge!) of delicious udon noodles with a very rich portobello-like/beef sauce. WOW! Also, had shortrib special one night. THE BEST SHORTRIBS we have ever had on top of the richest tastiest(still don't know how they got so rich---more than cream, almost gratined style) mashed potatoes. Also, had calamari salad--Wonderful and their shrimp cake on mein noodles which was very good. Can't recall the other fish dishes, ahi sublime, but there is nothing on the non-sushi menu that isn't newsworthy. GO hungry----let the waiters help you decide and enjoy every bite! We ended up enjoying doggie bag snacks poolside, a treat! After trying many other places on Maui during our stay, NONE compared taste and value wise. ONLY other innovative Hawaiian restaurant in this league is Alan Wong's in Oahu, which is much more expensive and formal.
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