Ko at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui Hawaii

You could say I was saving the best for last – I don’t even know where to begin with this great restaurant.

Firstly, it’s nestled inside the Fairmont Kea Lani (which by the way deserves to be on a postcard, it is so unbelievably gorgeous inside).

I’m definitely going to have to stay here when I come to Maui next time, even if it’s just for one night! Please note that I was invited to review Ko and that my meal was paid for.

Anyway back to Ko, this restaurant is located downstairs and to the left. It’s open air and many parts of the seating area have this wonderful view of the beach, palm trees and the sunset. Our particular booth had a marvelous view.

Our server Luiz was very helpful and friendly. He came to check on us frequently and gave us a little background on Ko (which literally translates to sugar cane in English). Award-winning Executive Chef Tylun Pang has designed a menu that is very similar to the residents of Maui – a fusion. That is, a fusion of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. More over, Chef Pang sources from more than a dozen island farmers and is conscientious of utilizing Maui farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

We started off with a couple of cocktails that were recommended to us by Luiz. Brian had the Pomegranate Cucumber Mojito ($15) which involves hand pressed English cucumber, fresh organic mint, Bacardi Light Rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, pomegranate and club soda. I had a little taste and it was definitely not what I was expecting – the flavours complimented each other very well!

I had the 3 Nene ($14) which consisted of Grey Goose L’Orange, Le Citron, La Poire Vodka, Cranberry juice and a splash of sweet and sour. You really couldn’t tell that there’s alcohol in this drink as it’s refreshing and delicious tasting!

An interesting plate of bread arrived shortly afterwards. From what we caught, we had 9 grain bread, sesame cracker and Portuguese Sweet Rolls in front of us.

What also amazed me was the variety of spreads that came along side the bread: Edamame hummus, Honey Lavender Butter and Korean Spicy BBQ sauce. It was tough to pick a favourite between the three because they brought different depths and flavours to compliment the bread.

Our appetizer was the Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl ($20) which was seasoned sashimi Ahi atop sushi rice mixed with spicy aioli, orange tobiko and kaiware sprouts and nori. The spicy aioli really complimented the tuna poke making it sweet and a little spicy at the same time. It was easy to share between the both of us.

And our mains. Brian ordered the Butterfish (which was the catch of the day) served with island grown vegetables. There are five different ways the catch can be prepared, Brian decided to go with the Macadamia Nut Crust. The fish he had was very tender and buttery and it literally melts in your mouth. For the carbs portion, he had mashed Molokai sweet potatoes that were whipped and sweet. I think I finished off his potatoes!

I went with the Lobster Tempura ($44) which apparently can only be caught on one island! The sauces served alongside the tempura were spicy sesame, pineapple sweet chilli garlic and grapefruit soy sauce. The Lobster Tempura was to die for. It was so tender (unlike it’s bigger counterpart that tend to get a bit rubbery) and literally came off the shell with ease.

Between the sauces, my favourite were the spicy sesame and grapefruit soy sauce. You get several pieces and although it might look like a little, you’ll be full for sure after this meal.

To cleanse our palate for dessert, we were offered this incredible candied ginger. Luiz warned us to have a little bite and it’s a good thing he did, this was super powerful stuff. He was talking a little about the great remedies that ginger could serve, including nausea. I mentioned to him that we had just driven the road to Hana and I felt a little dizzy after the long trip. He was extremely nice enough to pack a couple pieces for me to take home, just in case I was feeling dizzy again.

Finally, our dessert. Brian and I couldn’t decide so we shared the Ohana Style Ko Signature Desserts ($15). We ordered the Chantilly Cake, Maui Vanilla Bean Brulee and Pao Doce Frito. This lovely dish was great for satisfying my sweet tooth! The Pao Doce Frito reminded me of a malasada – a sweet bread filled with coconut gelato in the middle, rolled in vanilla sugar and served with Kula Black Raspberry Jam. The Maui Vanilla Bean Brulee was delicious, creamy and had actual vanilla bean in it. And my favourite part was the Chantilly Cake which is a chocolate chiffon cake with sugar cream layers served with a chocolate cream puff on the side.

The view is incredible and this was by far the best dining experience I had in Maui while I was there. I’d definitely recommend this for a great date night since it’s so romantic or even for drinks with friends.

Thank you for hosting me and my husband at your beautiful resort!

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About Dee

Inspired by her father’s cooking savvy and impeccable taste and her love of trying out new places, Dee decided to pursue her love of food. Although she much prefers eating at a local restaurant, she has also taken up cooking as a novice who has lots to learn and many recipes to try. Join her quest to rise from cooking mediocrity and fine tune her palate at different restaurants!