Eating in Maui: Ko Restaurant Review.
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It’s funny how your desires evolve as you get older. As a kid, I was gung-ho on roller coasters and amusement parks. Then, in my 20s, I was all about surfing and adventure. And now, as I reach my mid-30s, I’ve become addicted to eating food made from innovative chefs.
Stir fried peppered shrimp appetizer plate.
Let’s be clear, I’ve never bought into the idea that paying more at a restaurant equals better tasting food. Whether its a fusion Mexican joint in Toronto or the Asian infused cuisine coming out of the kitchen of a place like KO Restaurant in Maui, Hawaii, I love having the opportunity to taste the chef’s passion and genius, which for me, at least, a good meal is like seeing a concert. Sometimes, it’s just an hour set at a small club by your favorite indie band, other times it’s like seeing the Rolling Stones at the storied Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Dinning at The Fairmont Kea Lani’s Ko Restaurant is akin to the latter; in other words, it’s something unforgettable.
Sushi, Sapphire Kawili (Bombay Sapphire, Sage, Blueberries, Honey & Lemon) & Beth’s Vegetarian Dish.
So, I guess what I’m getting at is that KO’s Executive Chef Tylun Pang has moves like Jagger (I can’t believe I just quoted a Maroon 5 song). Pang and his team bring to life cuisine (in look and taste) from Maui’s sugarcane plantation era, highlighting family recipes inspired from locally sourced Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese dishes. In addition to featuring a macrobiotic bento box, Ko’s menu also has entire categories for vegan, gluten free, raw, and heart-healthy recipes.
Better yet, the resort and restaurant, which is open air, is absolutely amazing. Imagine the best of The Great Gatsby–you know one of those lavish white-washed mansions in Newport, Rhode Island–combined with the glow and natural beauty of Wailea. And while I can’t officially confirm it (though, I’m about 99 percent sure), I believe I saw one of the incredible farmers from O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, dining a few tables away from us, which says a lot about what Ko and award winning Chef Tylun Pang are doing.
There’s so much to dig about Pang’s work – the style, aesthetics and taste – it makes Ko a must visit cuisine destination in Maui.
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