I took a day trip to Maui a couple days ago, catching up with my cousins and relatives on my dad's side of the family. I hadn't set foot in Maui since 2009, and I was surprised how many things remained the same there. About 30-35 of us went to Tante's for lunch.
Basically, the menu has several American, Hawaiian/local, and Filipino dishes. There's even a separate sushi menu and a full bar with its own Happy Hour menu, so a lot of items to choose from. Tante's uses a lot of local ingredients, another plus.
I haven't been out to eat very much recently with this pandemic, so to say the least, I was overwhelmed with all the menu options. Plus, my parents and I had to catch a return flight home almost right after lunch. I took pictures just of the lunch menu I received.
For a starter, our table shared some Crispy Fried Calamari with Thai chili sauce ($12). Calamari perfectly cooked, served fresh out of the fryer. No complaints, other than we probably should have ordered more to offset the number of hungry people at the table. As you'll see, I got a picture in after a few calamari were eaten.
|After a few calamari were already eaten.|
The panda approves this dish.
I went with the Braised Kalbi Short Rib Loco Moco ($16), two pieces of braised kalbi short rib on a bed of rice and one egg on top. I requested an overeasy egg.
|Good tenderness but I think the kalbi could have been braised longer|
It was a good upscale take on a loco moco. While there was no gravy like in a traditional loco moco, the sweet-savory sauce from the braised kalbi kept everything together. Runny egg, just how I liked it. It's admittedly a small portion for the price, and the kalbi itself could have probably been braised longer for more tenderness. Otherwise, great job on the flavors.
Two of my cousins went with the steak and lobster on the dinner menu. It's a 8 oz sirloin and a 6-7 oz lobster tail. My dad ordered the other item I was eyeing, the BBQ Kalua Pork Sandwich ($14), mainly because it includes a homemade lilikoi BBQ sauce.
It was a packed place, so it took a while to get our order. But on the bright side, I used this time to catch up a bit more with my cousins. No shortage of conversation when it's been over 12 years.
From the Yelp reviews, this might be a hit-or-miss spot, but for me, it was mostly a good experience. If you want that waterfront view with some locally sourced food, I'd recommend giving Tante's a try. 7.5/10