Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa Announces Opening of Japengo
Maui’s hottest new dining destination brings sophisticated Pacific Rim cuisine to Lahaina
LAHAINA, Hawaii (Dec. 21, 2010) – Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is pleased to announce the opening of Japengo, a Pacific Rim Restaurant and Sushi Lounge on Dec. 23, 2010. Part of the resort’s extensive $15 million transformation that included the complete renovation of all guestrooms, the $5 million Japengo is a sophisticated dining destination with spectacular panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding islands. Drawing on Hawaii’s freshest, locally-grown products, coupled with exotic ingredients from neighboring Pacific Rim countries, Japengo creates a culinary adventure showcasing modern Asian-inspired flavors with a Hawaiian flair.
“As the first destination resort in the world, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has been a trendsetter in luxury since opening in 1980,” remarked Michael Jokovich, General Manager with Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. “Our legacy continues with the opening of Japengo, which offers island visitors and local residents a chic new dining destination with the high level of service and authentic Hawaiian hospitality that Hyatt Regency Maui is known for.”
Design – Conceptualized with Island Design Center as an updated interpretation of a Japanese fishing village, Japengo provides a variety of distinctive settings, each offering a unique dining experience. Arriving guests follow the Village Alley Walk, covered with mossy green rustic porcelain tiles, to the vibrant Sushi Lounge. Updated Asian elements and a minimalistic design create a Zen-like backdrop that puts cuisine – and the dynamic sushi chefs – front and center. Glowing elongated amber pendant lamps and banquettes of wasabi-green and deep olive create a clubby ambiance. Outside, the mood is edgy and intimate with flickering tiki torches, pin spot lighting, and high-backed settees in fiery-hued fabrics. Here, guests enjoy warm trade winds and exceptional panoramic views of the resort’s 40-acre grounds, swimming pools and waterfall, and neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai.
Creating a moonscape at the Moon Bar, an open air garden lounge, silk pendants orbit above the circular bar, designed using lunar-toned materials of sliced stone and black pebbles. Guests can sip creative specialty cocktails including the Rappongi Fling, with Momokawa Ruby sake, fresh lime, cucumber and ginger ale, and the Asian Pear-suasion, with Absolut Pears vodka, Momokawa Pearl sake, Midori, fresh lime and Thai basil. The Moon Bar’s colors and materials are evocative of the celestial elements of the sun, moon and earth, and vary from grounded and earthen, warm and fiery, and lunar and ethereal.
Cuisine – To create Japengo’s modern Pacific Rim cuisine, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa’s Executive Chef Matt Smith sources exceptional local produce and products from Maui and the surrounding islands, such as Olowalu tomatoes, Kula lettuces, Alii Kula lavender, Hawaiian red and black sea salt, and freshly caught seafood, and thoughtfully prepares them using authentic Asian cooking methods. Guests’ culinary adventure begins with Chef Smith’s unique starters, including Seared “Snake River Farms” Kobe Carpaccio with Wasabi Infused Organic Lemon Olive Oil, Watercress, Quail Egg and Shiso Aioli ($21) and Compressed Watermelon & Hamachi Mosaic with Emperor’s Ponzu, Rainbow Micro Greens and Tobiko ($18). House specials include Grilled Local Mahi Mahi with Okinawa Tatsoi, Sesame, Pancetta, Lemongrass Beurre Blanc, and Forbidden Rice ($39) and Singaporean Chili Crab with Alaskan King Crab and Spicy Chili Sauce ($46).
At the Sushi Lounge, which seats 49, guests can enjoy refined izakaya (Japanese pub) favorites including Poached Hawaiian Young Abalone with Soy Broth, Daikon Radish, Spicy Chili and Micro Greens ($12) or Spicy Salmon Buns with Maui Onion, Shiso, Kaiware, Bao Buns, Hoisin and Ume ($18). Named after Japengo’s benevolent mascot, a Japanese mythological deity and symbol for fertility, Sushi Chef Jay Ledee’s signature roll is the Japengo Tengu – an inspired combination featuring whitefish, crab, tuna, avocado, tatsoi, tobiko, and spicy eel aioli, deep-fried in tempura panko batter ($20).
$10 Million Guestroom Renovation – The completion of Japengo is part of an overall $15 million resort renovation that includes a $10 million update to all guestrooms. Also completed in December, Hyatt Regency Maui’s guestrooms now feature a new sleek, contemporary Hawaiian design that is both comfortable and sophisticated. The fresh, tailored and uncluttered style includes new fabrics on the signature plantation-style platform bed, carpeting and drapery, a vibrant color scheme, custom artwork, flatpanel televisions, and stylish new furnishings including sofas, chairs and lamps. The result is an elegant and welcoming guestroom that feels uniquely local.
“With this exciting transformation, we are reinventing the resort that invented it all. The ambiance and design of our new guestrooms and Japengo are inspired by the vibrancy and natural beauty of Hawaii, and with them we have infused sophisticated Hawaiian elegance into the entire guest experience,” remarked Jokovich.
Located within Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa at 200 Nohea Kai Drive on Kaanapali Beach, Japengo is open for dinner Monday through Sunday, from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; lounge hours are 4:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. For more information or reservations, contact Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa by phone at (808) 661-1234 or visit the resort website: www.maui.hyatt.com.