Lahaina, HI 96761
I got a recent sneak preview tour of the premises which is lovely, I am happy to report. As you drive up through Kupohi Street in the recently built Lahaina Business Park area, you almost think “whoa, how on earth are these guys going to pull off a noodle restaurant buried in this industrial space?” Then you come out at the very top of the road and suddenly you realize, “oh yeah this is nice up here.” They have an ocean view, stunning sunsets and a very interesting space that provides a new and unique dining experience away from the hustle and bustle of Front Street with plenty of its own attitude and flair, from the design of the space through to the noodles dishes on the menu.
Yes many of us are eagerly awaiting the soft opening this week for Star Noodle. If you don’t believe me just check out the chatter on their facebook by their fans! This new Lahaina space has a very asian asthetic within, with stone details, bamboo wood, and many shades of grey and charcoal and mushroom cool browns. Their serving dishes are square and white, a clean and modern look prevails. I am liking the casual yet zen feeling inside, down to their beautifully appointed bathrooms, but of course the real draw here is the food.
I got to sample the Singapore Noodle ($12) which is a bean noodle served dry with chicken and shrimp and studded with vegetables like red peppers and cilantro on a big platter. It comes with these tiny limes that you squeeze over it. The flavors are citrusy, juicy and savory all at the same time. I also tried the Nori Chicken ($7) a mochiko chicken with a nori wrapped around it. The look of the dish is reminiscent of a nigiri yet its all chicken meat. The Ko Chu Jang Mayo is perfect sauce to round it out, creamy and spicy.
Cocktail hour is going to be fun here, they have a nice selection of cocktails that are a refreshing change to the usual at the bar. Asian Pear ($12) muddled in Pear Vodka with sake and lime sour, Yum! Also a good variety of Sake ($12-13), and a list of Star Bar Cocktails ($10), I like the sound of that. One of those signature Star Bar Cocktails includes their signature Sparkling Jasmine with Citron Vodka and Jasmine Liqueur. For those of you not in the mood to imbibe I still recommend trying the sparkling jasmine tea, its bubbly and sweet but with a hint of jasmine tea in there. An exotic treat for sure.
Owner and mastermind Michael Moore explained that the Star Noodle crew Executive Chef Craig Masuda, Chef Sheldon Simeon, and manager Nicky Boskoff scouted noodle shops in New York for inspiration. What I loved is that they are all really excited to get it right and launch this great concept restaurant of their own. They are all on the same page with trying new things and tweaking what works in the upcoming weeks of their soft open.
The menu features a list of share plates ($4-$25), then a list of noodle dishes ($7-13), and lastly sweets ($5). Its simple but plenty of selection for a noodle shop. I cant wait to try the Seafood Pancake, it comes Korean Style with shrimp, scallops and kim chee paste ($10). I did taste the Ahi Avo ($12), raw fresh ahi bathed in a slightly spicy citrus usukuchi shoyu with cubes of avocado. sublime.
They have an old family style Lahaina recipe for Lahaina Fried Soup and their interpretation includes fat chow funn, ground pork, and bean sprouts ($8). Their broth is made in house from pork bones and is the richest broth you will ever taste. Its almost a gravy. It is opaque, almost a miso color, but so much flavor in there, this is sure to be the hangover cure in Lahaina.
The build out on this beautiful kitchen and warehouse and new restaurant was all done by Viking Construction and it looks great. I look forward to coming in again and bringing the whole family because we all love our noodles. I will probably never want to eat my own saimin again.