Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar

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We had actually been to Sansei the last time we were in Maui. I remember it well, because I had spent the entire day in the ocean after big storm and started feeling sick (and getting sicker) while we ate at Sansei. You know what the bitch of the whole thing was? Even though I felt sick to my stomach, I was trying to eat because the food was so damn good. Needless to say, when we got back to the room I went straight to bed; pissed that I didn’t get to finish a good dinner.

On this particular visit I was feeling much better; with the greenness gone I was ready to eat. Located in a shopping center, Sansei occupies a pretty large amount of floor space. When we first walked in, it was packed to the gills. To me it’s incredible that the kitchen can churn out such high quality food to so many people at one time. With the locals and tourists split 50/50 every single table was taken up. Even though it was busy it only took five minutes for us to get seated.

Sansei's Shrimp Dynamite

To start things off we went with the Sansei’s Shrimp Dynamite (crispy tempura shrimp tossed with creamy garlic masago aioli with an unagi glaze drizzle), and the … As with most of the things here at Sansei, the flavors are bold.

Roasted Japanese Jerk-spiced Chicken

Since the last visit I had here didn’t work out too well for me I decided order that delicious Roasted Japanese Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Local Vegetables and fresh Herb Beurre Jus. I don’t know if it’s the marinade or what, but the chicken on this thing is very moist on the inside with a delicious char on the outside. If you’re a chicken lover you’ve got to give this thing a try. The last time we were here we bought Dave "DK" Kodama's cookbook DK's Sushi Chronicles, which has this recipe. In the next few days I’ll be doing a post on how to cook this very dish.

Grilled Veggie Roll

Yaki-maki Sushi Roll

Regina decided on a sushi roll dinner by ordering the Yaki-maki Sushi Roll
California roll wrapped with smoked salmon and baked with Sansei’s Special Dynamite Sauce. The sauce is freaking awesome, but she felt the smoked salmon was competing with the rest of the dish. As her vegetable alternative she went with the Grilled Veggie Roll with grilled shiitake mushrooms, squash, roasted red peppers, creamy avocado, cucumber and kaiware sprouts. There wasn’t a huge amount of flavor in this roll, but what do you expect? They’re grilled vegetables.

The "Granny Smith" Apple Tart

For dessert, which I can’t believe we even order because we were so full, we had the Sansei’s “Granny Smith” Apple Tart (their signature dessert) consisting of buttery puff pastry topped with fresh Granny Smith apple slices, baked to order and served with vanilla ice cream over homemade warm caramel sauce. It’s actually a very plain looking dessert, but I have to say that, like everything else, it was very good. I think without the caramel sauce it might have fallen flat, but this thing was gone in a matter of minutes.

As we picked over the few remaining remnants of our wonderful (and very filling) dinner, we looked around and noticed that we were one of the last customers left. This massive restaurant had emptied just as quickly as it had filled up. If you have a crew of hungry people there is no shortage of flavorful and filling food at Sansei. Although it is described as Japanese Contemporary, the portions are much larger, sweeter, and spicier than you’re going to find at a Japanese restaurant. This is the perfect place to go if you, or the people you’re traveling with, are not very adventuresome eaters. I think it’s a great introduction to Asian fusion cuisine.

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Kihei)
1881 S Kihei Rd
Kihei, HI 96753
(808) 879-0004

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Kihei) on Urbanspoon

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