10 Wailea Gateway Place, Unit B-201
Kihei, HI 96753
Why did we dine here? – Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman is a popular Pan Asian, American restaurant in the posh Wailea area of Southern Maui. It was recommended fellow Chowhounders and the reviews on Yelp are four star. The restaurant is located on the second floor of a small shopping mall complex. Peter Merriman is connected to several successful restaurants on Maui including Merriman’s. They focus on local and sustainable products. Monkeypod also has a location on Oahu. The location is Kihei, but it is so far south that it is right next to Wailea.
We returned in March 2016, but found the food and service quality had slipped.
Check out our Maui Restaurant Guide
Insider Tip – This restaurant is busy, so you need to make reservations. Happy hour 3-5:30 and 9-11pm. Great deals then.
Cuisine – Pan Asian, America
Location – Wailea, Maui
Opened – 2012
Service – Monkeypod Kitchen started out with some decent service from a waiter who helped us navigate the menu and get started. He disappeared for a long time and we ran into glitches at the end.
Verdict – Monkeypod Kitchen serves up very good food in a fun atmosphere. Prices are reasonable for this type of restaurant on Maui. Give it a try if you’re in the area. Restaurants like this are a refreshing change from many of the tourist traps in Kihei and Lahaina.
Also worthy nearby is Ko
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Maybe. 1 Hour? No.
Monkeypod Kitchen Signature Dishes – Poke Tacos, Mahi Mahi, Bulgogi Tacos, cocktails.
Monkeypod Kitchen’s Menu includes a dozen starters and salads, several pizzas, burgers, and some entrees.
Monkeypod Kitchen Food Picks:
Monkeypod Mai Tai – ($12.50) old lahaina light rum, maui dark rum, lime, mac-nut orgeat, orange curacao, honey-lilkoi foam was dark and stormy. Strong potent cocktail which was a great spin on the Island Classic.
Pod Thai – ($12.50) old lahaina light rum, crème of coconut, lime, lemongrass-cardamom syrup, thai basil is their version of a Pina Colada. Slightly hidden alcohol along with nice coconutty flavors.
Poke Tacos – ($19.95) Raw Ahi, Ginger, Shoyu, Cabbage, Avocado Cream Sauce, Crisp Wonton Shells blew us away. These were actually the best Poke we had on the trip. We were extremely surprised how good this was. A must order.
Vegan Portuguese Soup – ($6.95) Pete’s twist on a Hawaiian classic. The soup was filled with lots of tender beans and vegetables. Compared to the version we had at nearby Ko, this was very similar in quality.
Coco Corn Chowder ($8.95) Local coconut milk, yukon gold potato, celery, fresh island herbs farm organic kale, zuhar farms tomato, local lemongrass was another good soup. Thick and full of ingredients.
Garlic Truffle Oil Fries – ($7.95) Parmesan Cheese, Whole Grain Mustard Aioli, House-Made Ketchup were done well. Lots of luxurious truffle flavors along with a touch of saffron.
Maui Nui Farm Organic Kale – ($11.95) Maui onions, golden raisins, oranges, miso sesame vinaigrette looked like a well integrated salad with large pieces of kale in a light, not too sweet dressing. The fruity accents were a nice touch.
Bulgogi Pork Tacos – ($15.95) Pickled carrots, handcrafted kim chee, jalapeno, Asian pear aioli included 3 large tacos that were far too spicy. The meat was marinaded well and this entree could be shared by two people.
Pulled Pork ($15.95)
Fresh Fish & Chips – ($21.95) Tempura Style Catch of the Day, Malt Vinegar Aioli included 3 large pieces of quality fish. Good fries, but this dish was not as good as the version we had at Da Kitchen in Kihei.
Organic Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi – ($34.95) Panko and macadamia nut crusted Mahi Mahi, Maui pineapple relish, organic brown rice, lemon beurre blanc. Somehow we expected more from this dish. It was good but not super. In the following days we had a far better version at The Plantation House.
Monkey Business Saimin – Iwamoto family saimin noodle, broccoli, chicken broth ($8.95) was far better than Da Kitchen in Kihei. The best we had so far with Al Dente thin noodles.
Grilled Cornbread ($5.95) was fairly burnt but ok.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Kula Broccoli ($6.95) was just fair. Good quantity but burnt.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Rain Tree Elixer ($13) Veev Acai Spirit, coconut water, lime, simple syrup, kaffir lime leaves has on the bland side.
Proletariat Wood Fired Pizza ($18.95) was soggy and had pepperoni that just was not very good.
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?