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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows

Restaurant Insider

November 20, 2022

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANNE LEE

(From left) Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows general manager Stephen Hinck and executive chef Jayson Asuncion, and Anne Lee

ANNE LEE speaks with Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows general manager STEPHEN HINCK

The Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows on Maui has been going through a terrific transformation, offering guests a subtle makeover from the logo to decor. It’s all overseen by general manager Stephen Hinck, who many know from the industry on Oahu. What’s not going to change is the culinary expertise led by executive chef Jayson Asuncion, as well as food and beverage director Jason Kayatani. I was able to visit with this team and try some of the breakfast offerings in one of the refreshed bungalows.

Hua Rancheros ($23)

AL: What is the best dish you’ve had here at Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows?

SH: Our executive chef, Jayson Asuncion, along with executive sous chef Michael Burman have been hard at work over the past six months to create some pretty amazing dishes. My go-to dish for breakfast has to be the ahi Benedict. For lunch, they do an amazing Reuben sandwich, and for dinner, I love the charcuterie plate for an appetizer, the Crispy Pork Bao and the Seafood Cioppino.

Paniolo Pancake Tacos ($22)

AL: What did chef Jayson prepare for us today?

SH: Corned Beef Hash Loco Moco ($27) featuring coconut porter-braised corned beef hash, local fried rice, two eggs and a demi-glace.

Hana French Toast Sticks ($21)

Upcountry Avocado Toast ($19) on multigrain toast with arugula, tomatoes, Maui mustard and crispy garlic.

Hana French Toast Sticks ($21), which has crispy Hawaiian sweet bread with vanilla sauce and mixed berries.

Corned Beef Hash Loco Moco ($27)

Our Hua Rancheros ($23) has chorizo, black beans, tostada, ranchero salsa, queso fresco and two eggs.

AL: What do you like on Maui versus Oahu?

SH: I love working on Maui, and especially here at the Royal Lahaina Resort. The beaches here on the Westside are simply the best. I love being able to come out of my office each morning and look out upon both Lanai and Molokai, especially during whale season. It is simply breathtaking to see nature at its best.

AL: Anything else you want to share?

SH: I love working in the hospitality industry here in Hawaii. It was a dream come true when I first started in this industry to get a job here after graduating from college in the hotel and restaurant program. I am truly blessed to work here and to work for such an amazing company, Highgate Hotels, which has grown to over 10 hotels here in the past 10 years and is still growing. We have some amazing leaders and owners who make working in this environment so much fun.

We are celebrating 60 years here in Kaanapali, and I look forward to the amazing renovation project in the next 10 months to transform this one-of-a-kind hotel into a truly amazing property.

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