So, we were talking about places to eat on Maui, and one among us said, “Do you realize that since Dragon Dragon closed, there are no Chinese restaurants on Maui?”
At least, not outside West Maui and Kihei. China Boat has been around nearly 25 years, serving a fairly limited menu of Chinese Mandarin dishes, like Mongolian Beef and Mu Shu Pork. But it is remarkable that on a tourist island like Maui, one with a long local Chinese tradition to boot, that there are so few Chinese restaurants and such a limited cuisine among the few that remain.
In a similar sized tourist mecca on the Mainland, you’d likely have to choose among Hunan, Sichuan, Canton and maybe Fujian styles. Here, ever since Golden Jade closed, it’s been all downhill.
In Central Maui, there are a couple of “Chinese” restaurants, including a new one, Dragonfly on Lower Main, which has a few dishes, like Mu Shu Pork, and, unusually and from the opposite end of the scale, Egg Fu Young.
So, yes you can sort of get Chinese food on Maui. But what about the rest of the tourism business?
Stella Blues is gone. The Sugar Cane Train is going. Yet tourism headcounts are supposed to be high if not growing. This is not the economic atmosphere in which you expect old-established businesses like Stella’s or the LK&P to be shutting down.