Joey’s Filipino and Hawaiian Fusion

If you want to eat local food created by local Chefs for, well, local people, look no further than Joey's. This casual institution began back in 2015 when Joey Macadangdang quit his position as the head Chef at Roy’s — a high-end chain serving Hawaiian cuisine. Joey wanted to create something that was for the people, and what better way to serve them than at a mall?

Today, you can head down to the food court at the Whalers Village shopping center on Kaanapali or Joey’s second location in the Napili Plaza shopping center and enjoy the most decadent Kalbi beef short ribs, zesty garlic chicken (served with a sweet soy sauce glaze), and delectable pork belly you can get for under $20. Generous portions of perfectly-cooked rice and noodles cradle locally-sourced produce, from the earthy lemongrass-crusted salmon to the pork adobo — a fan favorite — which is served swimming in a delectable mixture of soy sauce and vinegar.

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The exciting fusion fare continues with breakfast options, like spam musubi and a kalua pork omelet as well as Filipino classics, from crunchy freshly-made lumpia to halo-halo ice cream and fruitcake. Their pancit alone is worth making the trip to Joey’s. A traditional Filipino noodle dish, Joey’s iteration is a mixture of juicy shrimp, carrots, cabbage, and mushroom.

“It’s all about being affordable, but it has to be executed well and be a good product,” Macadangdang told the Maui Times. “That is my focus.”

Having spent 20 years studying under Roy Yamaguchi, who first brought Hawaiian Fusion cuisine to prominence, Joey’s passion for fusion is more than an experiment, it’s a way of life.

This is epitomized by his standout dish, which is only available at the Napili location — the crispy pata. Deep fried pork knuckle is served with spicy vinegar, green papaya atchara, and white rice and was brought to mainstream attention by Guy Fieri and his show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” It’s all too clear why it stole the show.

Vegetarians can find something to enjoy as well, whether that’s the lemongrass tofu or tofu curry with rice noodles. And most of the dishes on the menu can be made gluten-free and nut free. Familiar favorites like crispy fried Brussels sprouts, freshly-caught fish and chips, and shiitake mushroom risotto round out the menu.

The food may be exceptional, but the service doesn’t quite measure up. As with most walk-up counter services, you’ll interact with cashiers who are often smiling, friendly, and ready to answer questions about the menu. But with Joey’s quickly becoming much more than a local gem thanks to its TV feature, this hot spot can have long waits.

Once the food arrives though, it’s piping hot and ready to be enjoyed in simple digs amongst other excited food court connoisseurs at the Kaanapali location in the Whalers Village food court. And at the Napili location, you can take your plate outside to enjoy your meal al fresco. Though, if you prefer to eat your food Hawaiian style, grab your order to go and head down to one of the many nearby beaches, because what's better than a Filipino beach picnic?