Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Two years ago today, we arrived at one of our favorite places in the world - Maui - for the second time and the last planning trip before our paradise wedding. The weather wasn't ideal. It was nothing like what you think of when you think of Hawaii. It was cloudy, there was rain, I needed to wear a cardigan. But all that wasn't going to stop us from our plans, our appointments, trying to soak up some sun and enjoying Maui's delicious food - both old favorites and new places.

For our dinner that first night, we were tired from traveling and decided to stay in at our hotel - the awesome Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali - and went to Cascades, the hotel's sushi bar and a new place for us. From some internet research, it appears Cascades no longer exists and has been replaced by a place called Japengo (which sounds pretty good). Even though it's no longer around, I really do love doing these flashback posts and will share our experience there anyway. Since it's two years later, some of the food memories are no longer as vivid, but luckily I took notes in web album captions on this meal.

The first thing to arrive was a basket of soft rolls with butter. I usually will eat bread without butter (healthier) - unless the butter is flavored or something special. In this case, it was caramelized Maui onion butter. How can I say no to caramelized Maui onion butter? First, it's onions and I love onions. Second, it's caramelized onions and I love caramelized onions even more. Third, it's Maui caramelized onions and (a) we're in Maui and (b) Maui onions are good. I probably don't have to tell you that the butter was good.

I don't think I got any drinks but A tried one from the Maui Brewing Company:

We don't remember much about it right now though since it's been so long, and much beer has been had since then.

For appetizer, we got the pupu platter:

The pupu platter consisted of coconut crusted black tiger prawns (usually served with orange-horseradish marmalade), crab cake with taro chips (usually served with banana-chili sauce), sweet Maui onion rings (usually served with grilled tomato aioli), lobster-mango summer roll with thai basil (usually served with Thai peanut sauce) and bbq baby back ribs with guava glaze and asian slaw. I don't remember which sauces they gave us with the pupu platter, but it definitely wasn't all of them.

The pupu platter was OK. If we were to go back (and we can't since it's closed), we wouldn't choose this again because it was very filling and a little heavy (and we ordered sushi in addition to the pupu platter). I think it's made to be shared by more than 2 people. It was also predominantly fried food, unlike the nice, clean flavors we love about Maui. I think it says something when the thing we remember most about it two years later was its heaviness.

We got 3 sushi rolls (which, after the pupu platter, was way too much). The rolls were (Asian style, from right to left in the photo) the SWAT roll, the blackened ahi roll and the bambucha roll.

The S.W.A.T. roll had spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber inside, and was topped with fresh salmon, sesame seed and green onions. The blackened ahi roll had crab, avocado and cucumber inside, and on the outside, was topped with blackened ahi, sweet Maui onion and wasabi flavored tobiko, finished with garlic ponzu and a spicy dynamite sauce. The third roll, the bambucha roll, had shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese inside, and was topped with eel, avocado, macadamia nuts and unagi sauce.

Generally the rolls were good. But my least favorite was the bambucha roll. It was on the heavy side between the cream cheese and mac nuts and we were so full. I suppose this would be good if you like cream cheese rolls and/or love mac nuts, but I could have done without it.

We liked our meal at Cascades, but I'm sure some of that was due to being on vacation and finally being able to let go and destress. Some of the sushi was good, parts of the pupu platter were good, the bread and butter were great, but other parts of the meal were just really heavy and not what we're looking for when going to Maui. We also have our favorite sushi place - Sansei - which we have gone to twice on each Maui trip, so it would take a lot to displace that in our rotation. But it was a nice first meal of the trip and a nice welcome back to Maui.

No comments:

Post a Comment