Rating: *how we rate restaurants
In a nutshell: Maui style menu with generous portions and great quality
Minuses: No direct view (but the ocean is right across the street)
Sound-bite: “I know where I’m bringing my friends for dinner next week.”
‘ami ‘ami is a welcome addition to the Kihei dining scene, especially for those familiar with the Cafe O’ Lei tradition of quality. ‘ami ‘ami is located in the Maui Coast Hotel on South Kihei Road and is the next level of dining for the beloved Maui company. The location is convenient and the dining areas are inviting and spacious, allowing diners to enjoy the varied decor and some breathing room. Sleek yet comfortable and with a splash of sexiness, the bar, lounge and dining areas inspire you to relax and sip a cocktail while you peruse the extensive menu.
The talent in the kitchen and devotion of the staff is apparent at every turn. Ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible and the wide ranging menu manages to maintain a distinctive Maui flavor. And true to Cafe O’ Lei style, the portions are generous from starters to dessert- for which you must save room, the desserts are divine.
You will find an abundant selection of starters, salads and pupus on the menu. Diners are encouraged to order a variety of plates to share, making this a perfect solution when dining with a group or when you just can’t decide. Spicy Tuna Summer Rolls are a fresh start with an extra touch of heat from sriracha and the Whole Squid Teriyaki is a unique option- grilled and served with sweet tangy pineapple this is a must try for the unfamiliar. Stuffed Chicken Wings are an adult version of a classic comfort food favorite, classed up with Brie, balsamic vinegar and truffle oil. And for pork lovers, the Braised Pork Belly is a melt in your mouth must, made in house and served with Maui raw sugar, macadamia nuts and a balsamic reduction.
Fresh salads, like the Aloha Aina Organic Farms Greens with candied macnuts, papaya and lilikoi vinaigrette or the Dungeness Crab and Avocado Trifle are fabulous on their own or a perfect balance to more savory pupus or entrees. The entree options are just as abundant as the starters: steaks, chops, seafood, poultry and vegetable main courses can be found. Try the Pork Loin Chop with wild boar bacon and malt vinegar caramel for a sweet and savory delight, or one of the several cuts and preparations of steak, like the Kobe Top Sirloin with fried onions or the Hawaii Ranchers New York steak with grain mustard butter.
From the sea, Hawaiian Snapper poached in coconut water and served with Molokai sweet potatoes and kafir lime or Seared Diver Sea Scallops with lilikoi butter, mashed taro and yuzu marmalade might do the trick. Or perhaps a 9oz Australian Lobster Tail or Flame Grilled Ahi Steak. The coconut crusted breast of Jidori chicken is a delight: coconut butter sauce and roasted macnuts paired with perfectly prepared poultry and decadent Molokai sweet potatoes. And the deep fried tofu or the organic kale wrap hit the spot as a vegetarian option. Whether you opt for a selection of starters or an entree, we recommend a side of mashed ulu (breadfruit). Rarely found on menus, the chefs at Ami Ami make this unusual side dish sing.
The kitchen also serves up a menu for the Kamaole Poolside Cafe. Enjoy a signature cocktail by the for Happy Hour from 3-6pm and stay for the live music from 6-9pm. ‘ami ‘ami is an outstanding choice for anyone who appreciates true Maui style dining: great food and friendly faces.
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy
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