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Rua Catering takes sushi to new heights

The weekend is quickly approaching, you want to go to dinner, but you don’t know where to go. Craving something different, something unique and innovative? Not the norm and not just for the traditionalist when it comes to sushi, Rua Catering has been popping up in Wailuku at a charming event catering venue (complete with aloha print tablecloths) for a few months now to rave reviews.

Located at 1951 E. Vineyard St. this pop-up dinner is a little off the beaten path away from the hustle and bustle.
Located at 1951 E. Vineyard St. this pop-up dinner is a little off the beaten path.

Friday and Saturday nights only and located at Vineyard Food Company on Vineyard Boulevard, the parking is limited to the street, empty lots from nearby businesses and wherever you can find a space to fit your car. Small groups of diners gather in the open dining room and along the sushi bar eagerly awaiting a chance to order their favorite dishes and perhaps some new ones. This pop-up dinner has a dedicated fan-base that means by 6pm it’s a full house, B.Y.O.B. and prepare to be wowed.

Known for their culinary skills with a passion for sushi they aim to push culinary boundaries.
Known for their culinary skills with a passion for sushi chefs aim to push culinary boundaries.

 

Crafted by Chefs Jayse Sato and Grant Oura the revolving menu includes staple dishes like sushi, nigiri, sashimi, hot items like braised short ribs and miso baked salmon, along with sliders and oyster shooters. They also feature a special menu for the evening that is posted on the makai end of the dining room. However, where these two shine is when they take something that’s traditional, put a contemporary spin on it and really think outside of the box.

Happening now: @ruacatering Friday & Saturday at 1951 E. Vineyard St. #MAUIWatch #rua #popup #dinner video: @chris_kalani

A video posted by MAUIWatch [OFFICIAL] (@mauiwatch808) on Apr 15, 2016 at 9:14pm PDT

Here’s a look at some of the items we shared:

Compliments of the chef: this starter was a kabocha ravioli served hot and comforting, a nice starter for the evening.
Compliments of the chef: this starter (off the menu) was a kabocha ravioli served hot and comforting, the ravioli was delicate and perfectly composed with a good mix of textures — chewy and creamy.
The Lechon Roll is a fan favorite and often noted as such because of its pork belly topped with marinated tomato and onions.
The Lechon Roll is a fan favorite and often noted as such because of its pork belly topped with marinated tomato and onions. If you are a lechon lover you will love this sushi roll for it’s mix of salty, vinegar and onion bite.
One of my favorites was this spicy tuna "cupcake" within the cup cake wrapping was the sushi rice topped with spicy ahi and a crunchy chip. I loved the presentation and the flavors it was perfect in size and balance.
One of my favorites was this spicy tuna “cupcake” (off the menu) — within the cup cake wrapping was the sushi rice topped with spicy ahi and won ton chips. I loved the presentation and the flavors, it was perfect creamy, salty, crunchy and spicy.
Hamachi carpaccio for the traditionalist was served with cucumber, shiso and a spizy ponzu. Although the ponzu wasn't spicy at all this was a simple dish like most found at other sushi spots.
Hamachi carpaccio for the traditionalist was served with cucumber, shiso and a spizy ponzu. Although the ponzu wasn’t spicy at all, this was a simple dish like most found at other sushi spots, nice presentation and generous serving.

 

Hurricane calamari is perfectly cooked calamari topped with kabayaki and spicy mayo then topped with kurikake and mochi crunch. I love the addition of the mochi crunch and the use of the furikake to add flavor and texture. This is another great example of thinking out of the box.
Hurricane calamari is perfectly cooked calamari topped with kabayaki and spicy mayo then topped with furikake and mochi crunch. I love the addition of the mochi crunch and the use of the furikake to add flavor and texture. This is another great example of thinking out of the box mixing hurricane popcorn components with calamari.
The hamachi kama was on special that night and was served plain with no bells or added whistles.
The hamachi kama was an added special that night and was served plain with no bells or added whistles.Nonetheless it was cooked well and came out moist.
Yup, that's pepperoni on the sushi! They call this the Pizza Roll a cali roll baked with scallops, topped with pepperoni and parmesan cheese. Crazy innovative and super tasty.
Yup, that’s pepperoni on the sushi! They call this the Pizza Roll a cali roll baked with scallops, topped with pepperoni and parmesan cheese. Crazy innovative and super tasty.
Another item that we loved with this Shrimp Tempura Roll served with curry and topped with boiled egg crumbles. It sounds super crazy but put together this was the second most favorite item for me of the night. The crunch from the shrimp, creaminess of the egg and the curry flavor with the rice was amazing.
Another item that we loved with this Shrimp Tempura Roll served with curry and topped with boiled egg crumbles. It sounds super crazy but put together this was the second most favorite item for me of the night. The crunch from the shrimp, creaminess of the egg and the curry flavor with the rice was amazing.
For dessert they only offer one item and its their house made malasadas. It's pretty impressive when you order a large order because they light the sugar on fire, but if you just order a regular order you get light, fluffy, sweet malasadas covered in sugar.
For dessert they only offer one item and its their house made malasadas. It’s pretty impressive when you order a large order because they light the sugar on fire, but if you just order a regular order you get light, fluffy, sweet malasadas covered in sugar.

Overall, this was a fun, engaging, mind-blowing dinner with all the not-so-ordinary flavor combinations. Plates range from $7-$17 and we left with full tummies. I would definitely go back, and would recommend getting there early before the first seating or perhaps on the backend of the first turn for the second seating.

Rua Catering pop-up dinner Friday & Saturday 5-9:30 p.m.

For more information http://www.ruacatering.com

Promotional Considerations:
Inter-Island Travel for Olena is brought to you by Island Air.
Travel Accommodations provided by Maui Coast Hotel.

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About Olena Heu

Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University. An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.

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