Japengo was part of the Hyatt Regency in Maui where we stayed, and everyone was telling us that it was a very good restaurant to go to. It’s a Japanese restaurant elevated by the poolside and ocean, and it holds a comfortable lounge setting lit by torches and candles. There is live music almost every night, which varies in quality, and the service is always friendly. It can be a challenge to make a reservation, but there’s almost always some eating in the loung area, which is essentially the same experience.
They have happy hour from 5-6, which is typically when my family eats dinner, and therefore they offer a kind of dim-sum style of menu that they recommend. We decided to try all of the dim sum plates they had on the menu (about 6-8 small plates) and share them.
None of the dishes disappointed at all, and it was probably my favorite place to eat aside from Roy’s. There were a variety of dishes — “dusty” calamari, short ribs, fried rice, edamame, dim sum sampler, clams, and a couple others. My personal favorites were the calamari and the ribs, which were phenomenal.
The restaurant has a very bar and lounge feel, which can be great, but it also has that feel that this is probably where a lot of sad and lonely people visit at night drink away at cocktails and listen to live music. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting restaurant, with a lot of great food and comfortable service. I wa as big fan of the relaxed, easygoing atmosphere and dim lighting outdoors. They had watermelon soju, which I always approve of. When in Hawaii, especially on the line of hotels right by the ocean in Maui, it’s worth to grab a spot at Japengo.