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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

We read online that Mama’s Fish House was one of the best restaurants on the island of Maui. We’ve visited Maui a number of times now, but had yet to check this place out, mostly due to the cost. On our latest trip we were heading home along the Hana Highway and trying to decide on where to go for dinner. We didn’t have a reservation, but since it wasn’t quite 5pm we figured it might not be too busy yet. So we figured we would check it out while we were in the area. Since we didn’t have a reservation they didn’t have a spot in the main dining area (with the amazing ocean-view), but they did have a spot in the bar area which was fine with us.

The service was amazing! The valet staff entered our name into a computer, and by the time we got to the waitress station they were expecting us and had our table ready. Our waitress was fantastic, attentive, and friendly. Never let our water glass get empty.

There is an amazing beach right out front of the restaurant… what a view:
Beach at Mama's Fish House

We went over the drink menu, but after the long drive decided to stick with some pop. Shauna went with the iced tea, and Dan asked for a Root Beer. (Maui travel tip for pop drinkers… always order the root beer as many restaurants stock a brand of local Maui made root beer that is fantastic).The menu looked amazing! We had looked at the menu online so already knew what we wanted for an entree, but we decided to try the Papa’s Sashimi Trio Appetizer first – which consisted of Ono with calamansi citrus and Molokai pink sea salt, Ahi with ponzu, red sisho, and kukui nut salt, and Onaga with charred pineapple, pomegranate, and Hawaii Island black sea salt.

Papa's Sashimi Trio Appetizer

The entree we both decided on ahead of time was the Mahimahi caught along the north shore by Eric Nakamura, stuffed with lobster and crab, baked in a macadamia nut crust. It was also topped with asparagus and a small lobster tail. It was one of the most delicious entree’s we have eaten – fantastic!

Stuffed Mahimahi - Mama's Fish House

As we were finishing up our dinner the most fantastic looking dessert was delivered to the table across from us. The entire section stopped eating to have a look. The guy at the table next to theirs even asked to take a photo of it. So of course we had to order one for ourselves – it’s big enough to share. It was the Polynesian Black Pearl – a lilikoi chocolate mouse in a pastry seashell. It was amazing, just like everything else.

The Black Pearl - Mama's Fish House

Everything was so good that we actually considered making a reservation for a return visit a few days later, but weren’t sure what we would be doing just yet so decided to hold off. We ended up not being able to make it back up, but will definitely be back on our next trip.

View of the oceanfront dining portion of the restaurant:
Mama's Fish House

Beach at Mama's Fish House

Well worth the money at least once in your trip! Just remember to make reservations in advance!

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We found the Coconut’s Fish Cafe on TripAdvisor while looking for restaurants in Kihei.

It is a relatively new restaurant, that wasn’t here during our previous trip. They did an amazing job decorating the place:

Coconut's Fish Cafe, Maui

We stopped here for lunch one day,  and were very impressed. I had the Ono burger, Shauna had the Mahi Burger, and they were both awesome. The fries were very good as well.

Fish Burger at Coconut's Fish Cafe

We also at here for dinner after our long day trip around the Hana Highway and the Pipiwai Trail. It was after 8pm by the time we got back to Kihei that day, so we wanted something that would be fairly fast, but also very tasty. Since we had been here a few days before, we knew it would hit the spot after a long day of traveling – and it certainly did. My mom and brother really enjoyed it here as well.

We ended up wishing we had tried this place earlier on in our trip, as we likely would have eaten there a few more times as well, to sample some of the other great dishes on their menu. It is definitely a place we look forward to visiting again on our next trip to Maui.

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We heard about Cafe O’Lei on TripAdvisor prior to our trip. It was one of the top rated restaurants in Kihei, so we really wanted to try it out. We ended up eating there our first night since it was relatively close to our condo at the Maui Banyan. Although it was closed when we first got there, as it was only 4:15pm local time. We were pretty hungry after the long flight and had hoped to find an early meal. We went to the coffee/smoothie bar next door and had a nice cold smoothie to help cool us down – we were struggling to adapt to the +28’C heat since it was still below zero when we left home that morning. It was actually a pretty good find, and we went back here four more times during our trip.

We went back up the stairs to Cafe O’Lei at 5pm, and were one of the first groups to be seated. The waitress actually just took our drink order and had to leave for a bit, to take part in their pre-dinner meeting to learn the specials for the night. The special was the swordfish, which sounded good to me. Shauna ordered the Asian Short Ribs and my mom ordered the jumbo prawns.

Asian Short Ribs:
Asian Shortribs at Cafe o'Lei, Maui Hawaii

Our drinks came out quickly, and we happily enjoyed the fresh baked bread that was still warm. Since we were one of the first groups there, our food came out pretty quickly. It was amazing and we were certainly very happy to be back in Hawaii once again.

Swordfish:
Swordfish at Cafe o'Lei, Maui Hawaii

This was the first place we ate during our trip, and ended up being the last place we ate as well – not that we planned it that way.
My brother and I both tried the Ahi tuna on our last night – it was amazing. I wasnt sure about all the spicy sauces that came with it, so I got them on the side, while he ordered the way it was supposed to be. I ended up adding almost all of my sauce on to my plate anyhow, so I might as well have gotten it like he did. But I liked that the waitress offered to bring it the way she did, just in case.

We will definitely be back to the Cafe O’Lei during our next trip to Maui, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good meal in Kihei.

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A small group from our wedding trip went to Fat Daddy’s BBQ Smokehouse during our wedding trip in 2008 and said it was very good. So we decided to try it during our latest trip in April 2011. We were very happy that we did. Their restaurant is nothing fancy, and not very big inside. But they more than make up for it with the food.

View from inside, looking towards the bar area:
Fat Daddy's BBQ- Maui Restaurant

We ordered the pulled pork and the full order of ribs – they tasted amazing, possibly the best ribs we have eaten. The flavor was very strong, and the meat was nice and tender. You get to choose from a couple different side orders, we chose the baked beans. These were also very tasty, and made right in the restaurant.

Fat Daddy's Smokehouse BBQ, Maui- Ribs

If you are not a fan of strong flavors, this may not be the place for you. My mom doesnt like bbq sauce very much, so this was not her favorite place on our trip. There are a few options that did not seem to be as strong. But the rest of us really enjoyed it here. The service was good and the food was awesome. We will definitely be stopping here again on our next trip.

Fat Daddy's Smokehouse BBQ, Maui

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We went for dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant in Ma’alaea one night during our wedding trip of 2008 . It was well recommended by the Maui Revealed guidebook, so we thought we would check it out as a romantic dinner for two a few days before our wedding.

We did not have difficulty finding it, but the parking lot seemed rather small. We did not have a reservation, although if you want an outside table, reservations are recommended.

Waterfront Restaurant, MauiWe got lucky though, and were able to sit out on the balcony. The outdoor tables are a bit close together, but it was still a great location for dinner right on Ma’alaea Harbor, with a view of South Maui and Molokini in the distance.
Waterfront Restaurant, Maui
We thought it was going to be one of the more expensive dinners during our trip, but once we saw that the menu’s did not have prices for any of the seafood we knew it would be for sure.

The server lets you know which types of fish are available that night. They only serve fresh fish, so their menu depends on what the fishermen were able to supply them with that day. While we were there some spear-fishermen actually came out of the water beside the restaurant with a net full of fish. Not sure if they took it right into the restaurant or not, but it was pretty neat to see.

I decided to try the Hapu’u – Hawaiian Sea Bass – baked with crab-meat stuffing. It was one of the best meals I ate during the entire trip.

Shauna tried the Mahi Mahi broiled with their Hawaiian Salsa. It was alright, but quite expensive for fish with fruit salsa on it. Not nearly as good as the Hapu’u.

During our 2009 trip, I tried to talk her into going back and getting the crab-meat stuffing option, but we decided against spending around $100 for one meal again. And we do not drink, so you can imagine what the bill would look like with some alcohol on it as well. But it remains one of the great memories from our wedding trip, and I am definitely happy we ate there. Maybe next time we will go back again…

Shauna has some additional photos at the Waterfront Restaurant posted on her Flickr account here.

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Update:

The Seawatch Restaurant has been sold and renamed ‘Gannon’s – A Pacific View Restaurant’. As I haven’t been there since it was re-opened I am not sure whether things have changed or not. But Susan Jencks is still listed as the wedding co-ordinator, so it should still be a good place for wedding receptions.

Original Post:

After a lot of research on the internet, especially theknot.com, we decided on the Seawatch Restaurant in Wailea as the location for our wedding reception. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were married on the beach during April 2008 at Secret Cove south of Wailea.

We had a morning wedding to increase our chances of having the beach to ourselves – a plan that worked very nicely. After the wedding we went to the beach for the day, and then on to the Seawatch for dinner.

We had booked the Seawatch well in advance for our reception dinner. They were very good to deal with, which I suppose can be expected since they do so many weddings. We talked with a few other restaurants during our planning in order to find the best place for our reception. But Susan at the Seawatch was far and away the best to deal with so we decided to book there.

As impressed as we were with their booking service, we were even more impressed once we arrived on our wedding day. The Seawatch is located on the Wailea Gold Golf Course, which is very well kept. It is uphill from the ocean, which leads to some amazing views – with the green of the golf course and palm trees leading to the blue of the ocean and sky. You can also see Molokini and Kaho’olawe in the distance.

20090412_987These photos show the great view, in addition to the Lower Lawn area.

20090412_969Our reception was held at the Lower Pond. We were happy to find it was the wedding area with the best roof coverage. Although if it was blowing in during a storm you might still get wet.

In the end it didn’t matter, since there was no rain on our wedding day. But it might be something to keep in mind just in case. The Upper Pond is partially covered, but the Lower Lawn area is not covered at all. However both of these areas – especially the Lower Lawn – are better suited to bigger parties. We had a party of thirteen, and there was plenty of room for us at the Lower Pond. They had the table setup with a round table at one end, with a long table at the other end.

They will decorate for you, but my wife chose to do it since she enjoys decorating, and wanted to save a bit of money. So when we got there, it was an empty table with only a white table cloth, plates, glasses, and silverware.

Shauna had ordered some orchids and monstera leaves from Paradise Flower Farms up in Kula. She also ordered some woven lahula boxes from Alaina Kai and had them sent ahead of time to our wedding planner. She used some of the flowers and some ribbon to decorate the boxes:

Brown Ribbon Lauhala Box Wedding Favor
We used chocolate covered macadamia nuts from Costco as the candy for the favor boxes. We also bought a number of pineapples from Costco for the centerpieces. She brought some floral wire from home to make a ring of flowers to place at the base of the pineapples. It ended up looking quite impressive.

Apr 16 2008 0339Since the Seawatch requires that you choose a menu when you book with them, she was also able to make custom menus and found napkins to suit the color scheme at home prior to our trip. We chose the Plumeria Wedding Menu.

The food was very good. The drinks were very good as well. We had the Kula Greens for a starter. And most of our group tried either the Filet Mignon of Beef Tenderloin, or the Macadamia Crusted Island Fish for dinner. I managed to try a bit of both, and had a hard time choosing which was better. Hard to go wrong with either of those choices.

Anyhow, here is a view of the lower pond area, with the Wailea Gold golf course in the background. I also enjoyed checking out the pro shop there. It was a very fancy course.

Apr 16 2008 0343We ordered our wedding cake through Maui Wedding Cakes. I believe they have some sort of deal with the Seawatch, where you have to order through them and the Seawatch picks up the cake and takes care of that end of things.

We ordered a square, two tiered chocolate macadamia nut ganache, with chocolate covered strawberries. It was the best wedding cake we have ever eaten. (The fresh macadamia nuts and strawberries had a lot to do with that.)
Wedding Cake by Maui Wedding Cakes
The cake was amazing, and the fresh strawberries were unlike any strawberry we had ever tasted. (all the fruit we had in Hawaii tasted so much better)
Wedding Cake by Maui Wedding Cakes On our return trip of 2009 we looked into getting another one of these cakes. But they did not come small enough for just the two of us, so we decided against it. But if we ever go in a group again we will be getting another one of these for sure. Again, other than the tiki torches, my wife did the decorating, so I am not sure how the Seawatch itself decorates.

Apr 16 2008 0506

Below is a view of the Upper Pond area. You can also see the Lower Pond area in the upper right of the photo. On our wedding night, the wedding group at the Upper Pond had a musician playing. However, with the Lower Pond being so close, we were able to enjoy the music as well. It worked out perfectly for us – we had plenty of room, a roof over our heads, and still got to enjoy some live music.

20090412_981All in all we could not have been more happy with our wedding reception at the Seawatch Restaurant. We would recommend it to any couple looking for an amazing reception dinner location to celebrate your wedding. Just be sure to book early.

http://www.seawatchrestaurant.com/

 

 

Non-wedding related review of the Seawatch:

During our 2009 trip we decided to go back to the Seawatch for breakfast. Once again we were impressed with the atmosphere and the incredible views. As a regular restaurant we found the food to be a bit overpriced though, as is the case with most of the restaurants in Wailea. We both ordered the crab benedict. It was good, but for almost $20 a plate we had hoped it would taste quite a bit better than $8 per plate smoked salmon benedict we had tried for breakfast at Maui Coffee Roasters in Kahului a few days earlier.

We will likely go back to the Seawatch again on our next trip, mainly to revisit the site of our wedding reception. But it seemed that weddings are definitely their specialty, and as I already mentioned, we would recommend the Seawatch to anyone for an amazing place to have a wedding reception.

Shauna has many more photos from our wedding reception at the Seawatch on her Flickr account here.

She also has more photos of the wedding favors and decorations here.

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During our first trip to Maui, we found one of the best restaurants we have ever been to Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Kihei. We stumbled on to in by accident during our wedding trip in 2008. We had wanted to go to the nearby rib restaurant, however it was full so we ended up at Sansei.

It ended up being one of the best meals we had eaten, possibly ever. Shauna had the Mango Crab Salad Handroll that night (and pretty much every other time we went back as well). I had the Grilled Fresh Hawaiian Ahi with their Shrimp Cake, shown in the photo below. Wow. It was amazingly good.

Sansei Seafood and Sushi Bar, Maui We went back a few nights later during our 2008 trip. We tried the Ahi Poke, California Roll, Rainbow Roll, and of course the Mango Crab Salad Handroll.

So of course on the first night of our 2009 trip we went back to Sansei.  Just for old times sake we had many of the same things we had tried during our previous trip… Ahi Poke, California Roll, Rainbow Roll, and Mango Crab Salad Handroll. It ended up being every bit as good as we had remembered.

Before we went into the restaurant, we were looking at the menu outside and noticed that they have a discount night from 5-6pm on Sunday and Monday nights. Most of the items are 50% off. So of course we went back again our second night to enjoy the discounted prices.

We ended up going to Sansei four times during our ten night stay of 2009. The rainbow roll and california roll showed below were two of our favorites. (We are not too adventurous with our sushi.)
Sansei Seafood and Sushi Bar, Maui
We did not find a bad item on the menu, and can highly recommend the Grilled Fresh Hawaiian Ahi with Shrimp Cake, Ahi Poke, California Roll, Rainbow Roll, and Mango Crab Salad Handroll, Sunomono salad, Seared Ahi Salad, and Maui Style Teriyaki Beef.

I tried the Maui Style Teriyaki Beef on our last night. It was one of the best things I ate the entire trip. I let my wife try a piece as well – but just one piece – and she agreed it was amazing. It will certainly be one of the first items I order on our next trip to Maui.

Overall, we went to Sansei six times during our eighteen nights spent on Maui. We also went to the Sansei Restaurant in the Marriott at Waikiki Beach on Oahu. They were just as good, although we liked the island of Maui much more than the island of Oahu, but that is another story for another post.

The restaurant in Kihei will always be one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. Any seafood I eat now just does not compare. There is nothing like well prepared fresh Hawaiian Ahi.

I absolutely recommend Sansei to anyone who is a fan of seafood or sushi. It is on South Kihei Road across from Kalama Beach Park. They are one of Tripadvisor’s top rated restaurants in Kihei.

Their website is: http://www.sanseihawaii.com/index.html

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