With a long history of running dining establishments such as the Old Lahaina Luau and Aloha Mixed Plate, the Hoaloha Na Eha company opened Star Noodle, a new concept restaurant, about a year and a half ago.
Since opening, Star Noodle has won many awards (Best New Restaurant, Best Hawaiian Restaurant), and Chef Sheldon Simeon has received a lot of recognition for his interesting take on familiar Asian comfort food. Having traveled to New York for research prior to opening, the young chef has brought a little bit of the big apple to Maui. Similar to Momofuku, Star Noodle serves Ramen (and other variations of cooked noodles) and a variety of Asian plates to share.
Excited that a place in Maui actually had Aperol, we asked barman Victor to mix up some Aperol Archangels:
The Tempura Prawns were truly colossal. The non-greasy crustaceans were served with faux-nagi sauce and a garlic aoli. The server also dropped off mini bottles filled with shoyu, sriracha, red chile sauce and hot mustard to use for additional seasoning:
Chicken Karaage 3.0 was a reinvention of the fried chicken dish. It was topped with pickled gari (ginger), onion, jalapeño slices, shiso leaves and a ponzu dipping sauce:
The Filipino “Bacon & Eggs” arrived in a sizzling cast iron pan. Containing crisp pork belly, onion, cherry tomato halves and a fried egg; it was greasy good:
The Vietnames Crepe (Banh Xeo) was super stuffed with ground pork, shrimp and mung bean sprouts and served with ngoc cham sauce. This was the best version of the half moon crepe we have ever had:
We ordered a small carafe of well-balanced Yuru Masa Mune Honjuzo Daiginjo Sake:
Lahaina Fried Soup contained no liquids at all. It was fried house-made rice noodles (Fat Chow Funn) and came with bits of ground pork and mung beansprouts:
The Big Island Ribeye was served on a sizzling cast iron pan with trumpet mushrooms and negi (green onion). It was accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces: teriyaki glaze, sweet korean gochujang and shiso ranch:
The sous-vide process allowed the steak to be very tender even when ordered rare:
The Roasted Mushrooms contained a variety of mushrooms pan roasted with garlic and oil:
The Garlic Noodles contained both roasted and fried garlic:
Set in Maui, the restaurant is the least Hawaiian of all Hawaiian restaurants: it’s in an industrial mall (but the decor is beautifully done), it’s not open air, it doesn’t face the ocean, and prices are very reasonable. Star Noodle can easily exist in San Francisco or anywhere else, but Maui is lucky to have them here.
Note: The BarFlys are vacationing in Hawaii. SF posts will return soon; in the meantime, hope you enjoy these travel-related posts.
July, 2013 Update: Sheldon Simeon left Star Noodle last April and hasn’t settled on his next venture yet. Catch him at Hawaii Food & Wine 2013 Festival (click to read more).