Maui > Restaurants > South > Monkeypod Kitchen
Monkeypod Kitchen Wailea
Wailea Gateway Place B-201
Kihei, HI 96753
Our first experience at the new Monkeypod Kitchen Wailea in Wailea’s new Gateway Center was opening night, and we had a good and bad experience, though we always expect a few hiccups when going on opening night. Since then, we’ve had some great meals.
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We chose the Calabash Slider Trio for our appetizer, which had the delicious crab cake, kalua pig, and Maui burger. Our entrees came around an hour later (something that would normally upset us, but we let it go since it was opening night and they were slammed.) I had the Chicken Adobo, which was incredible! We were told that the recipe was handed down from generation to generation in one of the families of a chef at Monkeypod. It was fantastic. We also had the Pumpkin Ravioli and Beet salad. Both were very good. The only downer came with the burger. It came later than the other meals after being overcooked. Despite this revelation in the kitchen, when the new one did finally come out, it was beyond well-done (originally requested as Medium.)
Everyone on the staff from the waitress to the manager handled the situation with true professionalism, and they invited us back for another chance at the burger. Though it was disappointing that it took a long time, and one of our entrees was inedible, we don’t want to mark them down too much. This was opening night, and we’ve heard that they went through some serious last-minute setbacks. Everything else was great. You can expect a follow-up review shortly.
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Located at the new Wailea Gateway Center, they have a view of the ocean on one end at the patio. The restaurant ambiance is bright and warm. It has an upscale surf theme with a great bar. The line is partly open, which we always like to see. They also had some live music, which was piped through the restaurant in a pleasing manner.
They have around 30 beers on tap, which is something you don’t see on Maui. The selection was pretty impressive with some excellent local and imported beers.
We were thoroughly impressed with all of the staff. Many of them (we later found out) had been working for over 10 hours to get ready for the opening. Despite the long hours, they came through spectacularly. Our server, Shelley, handled our burger situation as well as anyone could. She made us all feel comfortable and was really sweet. We also appreciated our runner’s assistance. His name is Matt, and he also went beyond his duties to make sure we were taken care of.
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The food was absolutely awesome. We had a party of 23 with kids as my wife and I renewed our vows. With a large group like this, the wait time on the meal as we had the 48 dollars per person deal (Well worth it) was a little on the slow side especially when it came to the drinks. The staff although friendly were disorganized and not well trained for larger groups. I was disappointed that I was forced to fork over an 18% tip on the service automatically as this was definitely not worth it. 10% at most as on check out it took forever and all they had to do was figure out drinks (Tip to them, figure out who’s with who at the beginning to separate the drink tabs since we paid for the dinner already not too difficult). Amber was the manager on duty and help us with our reservation (She’s awesome), I wish she had come up to talk to us to ask our opinion about the night but did not get to us, or else I would have given the same feedback. The atmosphere was perfect for the occasion and the musicians were descent. All in all 4 out of 5 stars, would have been a perfect 5. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for the food was to die for.
~Ken & Tracey
We tried the Monkeypod Kitchen today for the first time. We tried several appetizers (caesar salad, crab cakes), a noodle dish, and a sandwich. The meal was disappointing, prices were up there and the service was just OK.
We had a lot of fun at the Friends and Family Night. Looking forward to getting back over there this week for some beers and sports on those big screens!