China Boat’s quiet location and creative dishes that place emphasis on fresh ingredients and traditional offerings combine to make this quaint Szechwanese eatery one of the Westside’s more buzz-worthy culinary destinations.
It’s a well known fact that when you want great food “Look for the locals!” Indeed, the crowd that frequents China Boat in Kahana is an eclectic mix of surfers, artists, professionals and other local residents. You can place a delivery order, reserve a table or take-away by calling on Grace, the friendly hostess and manager.
What draws them in, of course, is the convenient location and consistently delicious food, which includes favorites like Crispy Fried Tofu with a scallion & garlic soy drizzle; the spicy Orange Peel Shrimp; or the Pineapple Fried Rice, a true family favorite. China Boat offer lunch specials Monday – Saturday noon to 2pm and dinner 7 nights a week. Don’t miss this Maui gem.
What’s Cooking Maui
What is it with Americans and Chinese food? There are over 41,000 Chinese-American restaurants in the U.S., three times the number of McDonald’s, all “wok king” their way into our hearts and generating revenue even greater than the fast-food chain’s impressive tally. Americans may love hamburgers and fries but it’s obvious we love stir-fry even more.
Given these statistics, it’s not surprising China Boat in Kahana, Maui, is the single most frequented restaurant for our household, something I realized the other day sorting through dining receipts. Makes sense since it is fast, relatively healthy, offers something for everyone, and within fifteen minutes from realizing you are starving with nothing in the house to eat, you order, pop in without having to primp, and enjoy a meal in no time flat. Small wonder I suffered withdrawal pangs last year when the neighborhood mainstay was closed temporarily for remodeling.
Since re-opening, the original owners have taken over the reins and daily operations, resulting in a fresher look, with better art on the walls, and expanded outdoor seating, but also larger portions, fresher ingredients and even more enthusiastic service. It’s a pleasant feeling to know a restaurant is out to win your business even though they had you all along.
Every family has its personal favorites when it comes to Chinese food – ours leaning toward the spicy specialties, General Chicken, a version of Orange Chicken, Shrimp Szechwan, and Hot & Sour Soup usually topping our order. String Bean with Minced Pork is another fav as are the various Mu Shu preparations with thin pancakes. We only wish China Boat would include more pancakes with each order since they are so generous with the filling!
This past week we dined in, rather than carry-out, so as to try a few items off the expanded menu which now includes Japanese specialties; teriyaki, tempura and Udon. Starting out with an appetizer/pupu platter made up of battered shrimp sticks, barbeque ribs, cheese wontons and egg roll, our appetites were definitely beyond having been whetted for the main event. The sauces served alongside the platter were oh-so tasty with the mustard sauce packing an adrenaline surging punch. Also on the plate were minced chicken lettuce wraps, consistently good, presented with a variety of sauces you can mix and match to your liking. The Udon soup is a great new addition to the menu and we noticed just about everyone in the restaurant had ordered a version of the satisfying noodle dish.
Fried calamari in salt & pepper is a stand-out at China Boat as are the Pineapple Coconut Shrimp, plump, crispy, tender and sweet. Other recommendations are the Pan Fried Noodle with Seafood (or Pork, Beef and Chicken), House Fried Rice, Hot Bean Curd with Beef and Eggplant with Peking Sauce. If you like things really sugary try the Walnut Shrimp, which will satisfy your sweet tooth for sure.
Overall, China Boat consistently whips up Asian fare to satisfy any craving and serves with enthusiasm, appreciation and graciousness. We are happy they are in the neighborhood!
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