Being minutes away from the airport, Poi by the Pound was our first restaurant once we landed in Maui. As soon as we stepped into the place, we were greeted with the Hawaiian aloha! The servers were bubbly and polite. It felt like you were just having a meal at a friend’s house.
Their menu was filled with many traditional Hawaii dishes. I went for the local style saimin and bypassed the others because I have seen it on many menus but I have yet to try it.
The saimin came as ramen in a clear soup base garnished with green onions, pork bits, and fish cakes. It seemed underwhelming, but the flavour of the soup was amazing! The soup was light and umami. I could drink the soup on its own, bowl after bowl after bowl. The eggy noodle could have been chewier for me. I also got a small side of poke as you can see from the top right corner behind my bowl. The poke was tasty with enough kick and lots of scallions and onions.
B got the boneless kalbi plate. The tender short ribs were thoroughly marinated in their special sauce and charboiled to perfection. I love their kimchi, not too salty or sour.
The appearance of the taro sundae was less extravagant than I expected. It had haupia (coconut) ice cream with taro chunks and poi, and topped with chocolate-caramel drizzled whipped cream. I was surprised by how well the poi and the haupia ice cream were together. Although, I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either.
I think this restaurant was very down-to-earth. It didn’t have fancy presentation or expensive ingredients, but the taste and service were both top-notch. Definitely worthy of countless return trips.
Poi by the Pond
430 Kele St, Kahului, Hawaii
Local style siamin – $8.95 USD
Boneless kalbi – $18.25 USD
Taro sundae – $6.95 USD