You may recognize Chef Joey Macadangdang from Roy’s Ka’anapali, but now he’s opened his own new Maui restaurant in Whaler’s Village in the former Ruby’s Dinette spot (which years ago was a McDonald’s). Macadangdang wanted to focus on taking Filipino cuisine to the next level, but in a fast casual setting.
“We knew from the beginning we wanted to highlight some Filipino foods,” says Macadangdang. “Before we had Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, nobody understood what Hawaii-inspired Filipino-Asian cuisine is. So Filipino cuisine is becoming recognized along with Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. As I build this restaurant, I am definitely going to go into that Filipino fusion. We already serve the pancit, embutido [and] we have lumpia. We will add Kare Kare for sure. We also specialize in fresh island fish.”
Macadangdang says some of his other dishes you should try are the bulgogi beef hoagie roll, with slaw, Swiss cheese, kimchee and Datu Puti Miso; the Huli Huli Chicken plate; and the JK’s Ramen with poached egg and spiced pork belly. All of his pinoy dishes are inspired by local cuisine and authentic. Eventually he will pull the local farms in to complete his local farm to table approach.
I’ve already fallen in love with the flavors in his Embutito loco moco Filipino meatloaf. It’s seasoned and tender with a sunny-side egg and hollandaise on top. It appears on the breakfast menu for $9.95 with steamed or fried rice, but Macadangdang says you can get it anytime. I also must have the Sinigang again. The braised short ribs with sayote tips, baby corn, bok choy, mushrooms, local pepper and ginger in a tamarind broth was so good I will order extra to bring home.
Joey’s Kitchen also has several fish preparations, from the wasabi pea ahi sandwich with arugula and pickled Maui onion, and cajun mahi sando with garlic aioli. His fish plates with rice and salad are served in the Chef’s Daily Preparation, with mahi, ono or ahi. The fish and chips plate of tempura mahi is also fresh fish, made to order.
Other menu items to try are his Benedicts of the Day, Omelet Your Way, Caesar salad and fried Brussels sprout salads. Prices start around $4 for sides and sandwiches while plates range from $7.95 to $14.95. Joey’s Kitchen opens at 7:30am and goes until 9pm.