by Tania Harmon
One of my favorite new spots to eat and drink in South Maui is Shearwater Tavern. Located in the Azeka Shopping Center Mauka Side, Shearwater occupies the back corner spot where the right half of Stella Blues used to sit.
For years, Stella Blues was my favorite spot for a Pau Hana and pupus. They had a great casual atmosphere, but you could go in there after an event dressed to the nines (the nines on Maui that is) and not feel out of place. They had a huge selection of pupus – emphasis on selection – and the best bar staff around. I was sad to see Stella’s close and have been anxiously waiting for 3 long years for a place to fill the void. Not any place would do.
Enter Shearwater Tavern. When I heard that Chef and Restaurateur DK Kodama (of Sansei fame) was opening a new gastro pub in the old Stella’s location I jumped on their Instagram feed and stalked their posts daily as they prepared to open. In fact I think I may have been their first follower. The concept promised to be a ‘fun, casual neighborhood gathering place to share great food and drinks’, sourced form local Maui farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Local first, organic and sustainable when possible, this place would be right up my alley.
Since they opened in December last year, it has become my new favorite place to grab a cocktail and pupu (or four). I’m a big pupu girl. I could make a meal of pupus and often do. I prefer to order a large selection for the table and graze family style. They offer daily Happy Hour specials from 5 to 6 pm and late night Fridays and Saturdays from 10 pm to midnight with $2 off draft beers and signature craft cocktails, plus 50% off appetizers and veggies. Veggies you ask skeptically? Yes, veggies! These are not the veggies you grew up eating. Their veggie dishes are my favorite dishes on the menu.
My Favorite Eats
CRISPY BRUSSEL SPROUTS – Pickled Jalapenos, Konbu Aioli, Parmesan Cheese, Diced Granny Smith Apples – This is the dish that we always have order multiples of because it is everyone’s favorite.
ROASTED MOROCCAN SPICED BABY CARROTS & BEETS – Cumin Infused Aioli, Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese, Pickled Radishes – Another crowd favorite, but it was gone before I could take a picture.
GRILLED ASPARAGUS MILANESE – Sunny-Side Up Egg, Parmesan Cheese, White Truffle Oil, Toasted Breadcrumbs
And from their ‘Starters’ menu:
CALAMARI – with a Pepperoncini Balsalmic Aioli
ROASTED PORK BELLY BUN – Slow Roasted, Kimchee Pickles, Pork Belly, Hoisin
KING’S NATURAL NEW YORK STRIP STEAK – with Organic Tatsoi Leaves, Roasted Tomatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, Demi Sauce.
I am a rare steak kinda gal. And most restaurants cook rare a little too much for my liking, but this one was perfectly rare. So ono!
And the drinks. . .
THE MELTING POT – Cazadores Reposado Tequila, Gran Classico, Passion Fruit Puree, House Made Sweet and Sour, Clementine, Cilantro and a Hawaiian Chili Pepper Sea Salt Rim
The Hawaiian Chili Pepper Sea Salt was the best part. I wanted a side of it to keep dipping my finger in, but I resisted asking.
And no pub experience would be complete without a flight of beer. They offer a great selection of local and mainland craft beers with a 4-beer flight for just $10.
Shearwater Tavern is located at 1279 South Kīhei Rd (Azeka Mauka Shopping Center), Kīhei. To learn more, call 808-793-2324 or visit the Shearwater’s website.