Aloha! As you may have guessed, my summer vacation was a trip to Maui with my hubby, 7-month old son, and my parents (babysitters!). My husband and I hadn’t been back to Maui since our honeymoon four years ago, and one thing we remembered fondly was the food. We were looking forward to enjoying the wonderfully fresh seafood and tropical cocktails again. Here’s a few highlights!
Our first stop was the touristy Hula Grill in Whalers Village. Our condo wasn’t quite ready yet and we were absolutely starving after the five hour flight. It was barely lunch time so we got a table quickly before the lunch crowd took over the “barefoot bar.” It was my first Mai Tai of the trip and I ordered the Kapulu Joe with Mac Nut Slaw (barbecued pork, grilled onions, toasted ciabatta bun and mango barbecue sauce). Both were superb. What a way to kick off a great trip!
The nearest restaurant to our quaint little condo was an Italian grill called Basil Tomatoes. I was hesitant to try Italian in Maui, but I remembered how much I love the seafood in Italy so we went for it. I’m glad we did! The plantation-style architecture overlooking the Kaanapali golf course we were staying on was incredibly charming. The food was great too! I tried the special, a pan-fried monchong (I hadn’t heard of this native Hawaiian fish before) served with artichoke risotto and asparagus. It was decadent and delicious!
Josh and I celebrated our anniversary at the highly recommended Sansei in Kapalua. Maui’s #1 sushi restaurant doesn’t take reservations so we knew we had a wait ahead of us. While waiting for a table and sipping on Sauvignon Blanc at the bar, we struck up conversations with other guests and the bartender, Trudy. Trudy ordered us an amazing appetizer of mango and crab wrapped in a mamenori served with a Thai chili sauce. She offered to order the rest of our dinner and we took her up on it. We had no idea what was coming next but Trudy’s choices were magnificent and it sure made for a fun dining experience!
The one reservation we did make was at our favorite Maui restaurant, Mama’s Fish House. We wanted to take my parents there so they could experience the spectacular sunset and fabulous food. We weren’t disappointed! I enjoyed my favorite meal of the trip, the Bouillabaisse. Lobster, prawns, scallops, mahi mahi, and mussels swam in an herb and butter broth that was deliciously drinkable. The garlic butter toast that accompanied the dish melted in your mouth after a quick dunk in the broth. It was heaven in a bowl.
My final highlight was breakfast at the Castaway Café. My mom and I walked along the coast every morning and passed this delightful restaurant daily. On our final morning in Kaanapali, we dragged the boys over to the hidden gem. My mom splurged and ordered the combo pancake platter, a combination of macadamia nut, pineapple and banana pancakes served with Lanai sauce, a coconut-like syrup. To-die-for!
All in all, Maui food no ka oi!