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ONO KINEGRINDS

BY JOE GATTO

Bamboo Chi Visiting a wondrous land without having to leave Maui As we entered Bamboo Chi, I felt as if I were entering a mellow, cosmopolitan lounge in a large Asian city. A giant golden Buddha greeted us with a smile in the foyer, a koi pond at his feet. The large open dining room divides into a stage area and dance floor, with tables to the left. Ultra modern couches, glass tables, candles, hanging veils and romantic lighting adorn the lounge to the right.

Bamboo Chi 100 Wailea Ike Dr., Wailea, 879-4777. Open Sun.-Thurs., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m; Fri., Sat 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; Live entertainment Fri. and Sat. $$$

PHOTO: KIRSTEN GUENTHER

We chose the lounge for its chic comfort and exotic charm. My companion said that she felt “transported by the exotic quality to some special place” and the décor is certainly meant to do this. It was a slow Wednesday evening so we got a whole corner to ourselves, allowing us to kick back and enjoy this trip to an imaginary Asian/Mediterranean/Hawaiian island. Of course, on a previous visit my date and I shared a corner with another couple and the close proximity of strangers actually made the experience more interesting as the openness of the lounge encourages conversation between patrons. Long, cushy and stylish couches are set up in the spilt level lounge area and each alcove shares two of them and a large round glass table. Each individual area boasts its own charm. Long purple veils, like an elegant mosquito net, hung from above us and low reddish lights illuminated the space. Palms graced our corner, giving my companion a wild and beautiful look through the fronds and their shadows. The food is every bit as exquisite and

multicultural as the decor. The menu consists of sophisticated tapas, or pupus, with selections including Mediterranean, Pacific Rim and Latin delights. Several fancy martinis go with the international lounge atmosphere— the minty Mojito Martini and the salty Margarita Martini very nicely represent Latin America, for example, but I opted for a Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale. Ceviche is my favorite dish and I like to try it wherever I see it. Bamboo Chi offers a Tahitian version with coconut milk. But on this recent visit it didn’t have the coconut milk, but was still called Tahitian Ceviche on the menu. It was no matter, since the traditional version is what we got and what I love. It had tender, fresh fish marinated in lime juice, scallions and peppers. It wasn’t too spicy, but it had the same little kick I’ve found in Peru. The nightly specials were remarkable on both my visits. The first time I was there I tasted their light, succulent Pacific snapper; on my more recent visit we shared the Opakapaka with creamy mashed potatoes, shitakes and ponzu. They perfectly grilled the substantive filet with light spices that complemented the fantastic flavor of the Opakapaka. We also ordered the Wailea curry with vegetables and jasmine rice. This fine yellow curry exploded with flavor while not overpowering with spiciness. I loved the Asian Chicken Skewers as well. Next time, I’m dying to try the Cordero Barcelona—grilled lamb with scalloped potatoes and a Moroccan honey/mint vinaigrette. Several salads sound delicious, too, like the Chevre Goat Cheese or the special Ahi salad. The experience is worth the high price tag, around $80 for two. The service was impeccable—our waiter Jake was attentive, present and relaxed without being over-bearing. The distinct ambience and unique cuisine make Bamboo Chi ideal for a first date or a night out with a group. It’s an outstanding dining experience, transporting the diner to a wondrous land without even leaving Maui. MTW

Happy Hour Daily From 2-5 PM

$2.50 Well Drinks $3.50 Margaritas $1.50 Bud Lights

Homemade Italian Cuisine

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Made from Scratch Ravioli Lasagna Meatballs Osso Buco Tiramisu

Watch Your Favorite Sports On Our New Bar T.V.s

Fridays

2. Mai Tais 16. Prime Rib Nite $

50

Wednesdays

$

LETTERS

95

NEWS

COVER STORY

SURF

Variety Is Our Specialty

Open Tuesdays thru Sundays 5pm - 9pm

2511 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei • 879-1954

DINING

DAY&NIGHT

A&E

FILM

1215 S. Kihei Rd. (Long’s Ctr.) • 875-8800

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CLASSIFIEDS

MAUI TIME WEEKLY

APRIL 14, 2005

9

08.42 Fashion Issue, April 14, 2005, Volume 8, Issue 42, MauiTime  
08.42 Fashion Issue, April 14, 2005, Volume 8, Issue 42, MauiTime  

MauiTime showcases the latest fashions created by local designers in the annual Fashion Issue. Bamboo Chi is reviewed in the Maui Restaurant...

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