It's hard to believe that Alan Wong's Amasia is already celebrating its first anniversary in the spectacular location that was Kincha in Grand Wailea.
Wong is a famous James Beard Award-winning chef, who with his expert culinary team, has created a fabulous three-course feast in celebration.
The special costs $49 plus tax and gratuity and is running through the month of June. It features some fun choices and comes highly recommended - my husband and I checked it out and devoured it during the Maui Film Festival last week - although there are many other outstanding dishes to be had at the restaurant.
Executive Chef Chris Damskey shows off the first courses of sushi and Asian pear salad.
CARLA TRACY photo
The tempting entree quartet is situated on one plate at left.
CARLA TRACY photo
These days, everyone begins with amuse bouche or small taste to amuse your palate. This complimentary appetizer gives an inkling of great things to come.
The amuse is Hamakua Springs tomato consomme with Big Island cucumbers, pickled chili, olive oil and grated and aromatic Meyer lemon peel on a small spoon that you mix into the soup yourself.
For the first course, you may choose between Sous Chef Deeann Tsurumaki's Asian pear salad with orange pieces, candied garlic pecans and gorgonzola cheese on Waipoli leaf lettuce with chardonnay reduction (Tsurumaki's been perfecting the salad for decades and it shows); or opt for the spicy tuna roll.
Executive Chef Chris Damskey says the spicy tuna roll "Is our take on a local favorite. Our version contains no mayo and packs a bit more punch. We use locally caught yellowfin tuna from the Big Island and mix it with our house blend vinaigrette and Maui sweet onions."
The inside-out roll is then coated in crushed housemade Maui-onion flavored potato chips that add a little Alan Wong pizzazz.
The entree course is actually a quartet of favorite dishes off of the menu. It features soy-braised short rib with ko choo jang sauce, seafood wonton, ahi meatball with "angry sauce" and shoyu duck bao buns.
"The short rib is an Alan Wong signature dish," Damskey says. "The ribs are braised to tenderness in soy and mirin, then lightly char grilled and glazed again. We serve with a tangy sauce of ko choo jang and rice vinegar."
The seafood wonton is a nod to dim sum and is as savory and appetizing as it gets.
"We make a steamed seafood dumpling consisting of a shrimp and scallop mousse with Kona Cold lobster and fresh herbs," continues Damskey. "The dumplings are served with an aromatic sauce containing fermented Chinese black beans, sherry, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and a little Sriracha."
The ahi meatball with "angry sauce" has a meaty quality that mimics beef or veal.
"The 'angry sauce' is also our take on the classic Italian Arrabiata, which is a spicy red tomato sauce. The local chilies and tomatoes pack a punch."
As for shoyu duck bao buns, "Our guests love these little guys. The buns are filled with duck legs that have been braised with hoisin, citrus, and soy sauce. The meat and skin are minced and folded into the braising liquid with scallions and water chestnuts."
The buns are baked in house fresh every morning, too.
The third course of this feast is a choice of hot lilikoi malasadas served in a Chinese take-out box, or Waialua chocolate pudding with Hawaiian vanilla sabayon and sesame tuille. For reservations, call 891-3954 or visit the website, www.wailearesortdining.com.