Update June 2018: We have heard that Wayne moved to Las Vegas. While we deeply regret that Wayne’s Sushi creations are not available on Maui for the time being, we hope that this article may inspire some entrepreneur to learn from Wayne’s success and to open a similar place. End of update.
On a small island like Maui, it can be hard to find the lesser-known culinary treasures hidden within. After all, a lot of restaurants and local businesses outside of the popular tourist areas are not as well-advertised and therefore usually only heard of through word of mouth or the local community. If finding good sushi in Maui sounds appealing to you, one such gem is Wayne’s Sushi: Fresh Off the Boat, located at 1975 S. Kihei Road, across from Kalama Park. And while visiting Wayne’s Sushi, patrons can enjoy the sunny Kihei coast, which is an easy walk or short drive for tourists staying in Kihei vacation rentals. Fresh Off the Boat is also close to Kalama Village a unique shopping experience that is easily accessible from both South Kihei Road and Pi’ilani Highway. Needless to say, it’s definitely worth driving to Kihei!
Throughout the years, husband and wife owners Wayne and Heidi Miyahira, have been passionately preparing and serving their sushi with aloha in multiple locations throughout Maui; including Haiku, Waikapu, Kahului, and now Kihei.
As an added touch of charm, the food truck they use is an actual boat that’s been converted. Equipped with a sophisticated water system, lots of refrigeration, and an extremely clean kitchen, this mini remodel took Wayne about two years to complete.
The first time I visited Wayne’s Sushi was in 2016 when the boat was parked in Waikapu near the intersection of Waiko Road and Honoapiilani Highway. My curiosity piqued as I passed this “boat truck” many times on my way to work. After months of constantly missing the truck during their open hours, the stars finally aligned and I had my chance to try Wayne’s Sushi.
I was immediately greeted by the humble and gracious co-owner Heidi—there’s something special about any type of family-owned food establishment, that extra touch of love and care put into the food and service is very apparent.
Perusing the menu, I found that there is more than just sushi; fresh salads, fish, shrimp, and even steak can be enjoyed. The ingredients Wayne uses are always extremely fresh and flavorful. And of course the fish is clean, high quality, and handled with care. Additionally, all of the sauces are made in-house, and Wayne’s flavor combinations are unique and original—quite different from what you might find at other sushi restaurants on the island.
Some of the highlights on the menu are a few of Wayne’s Sushi Special Rolls, including: “The Crispy Critter Roll,” which has shrimp tempura, avocado, crab, and served with his very own “Sum Young Gai” and eel sauces. The “Itsy Bitsy Spider” roll is also another favorite. It includes soft shell crab, crab mix, gobo, sprouts, cucumber, and masago. Wayne’s “Unagi Roll” is an example of a very simple dish executed perfectly. It may be a roll you can find in any sushi restaurant and on every menu, but Wayne does it best! He has yet to reveal his secret for this perfectly crunchy, expertly seasoned, and overall perfect bite, but I’m happy to keep eating it. One more favorite is escolar sashimi, fusion style—with slices of fatty white tuna, ponzu sauce, jalapeño slices, and yuzu.
Needless to say, if you’re looking for a great place to eat truly delicious sushi served by some great folks, Wayne’s Sushi is the place to go. Included in every experience is extremely fresh fish, thoughtful flavor combinations, genuine service, and maybe even a few jokes from Wayne and Heidi themselves (just taking a look at some of the names on the menu will give you a hint to their contagious sense of humor: “Sum Young Gai,” “Da Buggah Ono,” “Say Whaaaaat???,” and “What Brah, Beef”).
Next time you are thinking about sushi in Maui, make Wayne’s Sushi a must on your to-do list. And while you’re there, don’t forget to contribute a little to the tip jar, also known as the “Sushi Chef’s Retirement Fund.”
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Rose started culinary school and cooking in professional kitchens at age 23. Upon finishing school and an inspiring trip to San Francisco, she decided to pack her things and move to the city that would ultimately be the start of an incredible cooking and lifelong journey.
For the next 5 years, she trained in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the Bay Area including:
– Benu (stagiaire) by Corey Lee, San Francisco
– Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller, Yountville, CA
– Boulevard by Nancy Oakes, San Francisco
– Mourad by Mourad Lahlou, San Francisco
In May of 2016 she became the Executive Sous Chef for The Mill House located at Maui Tropical Plantation on Maui, Hawaii. In these kitchens she developed a background in savory, pastry, baking and bread production.
An advocate of the slow food movement with a love for strong, bold flavors, fresh produce and rustic cuisine, she believes that food should be comforting and memorable, shared and soulful.
Currently, Rose works as a private chef in the Bay Area with a focus on plant based cooking.