"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mama's Fish House in Maui: The Best Meal of My Life

Every detail about this meal was absolutely EXCEPTIONAL! This was the first time going to Mama's Fish House and it was a special occasion for my Mom, sister - Billie, and I. Mama's Fish House is known on Maui for being the best seafood restaurant and we were excited to try a much raved about place however none of us had any idea on how truly incredible the experience would be! The restaurant is expensive and reservations are required although even with a reservation, we waited about 45 minutes to be seated. No problem though because the restaurant is located on its own private beach with an old fishing boat resting beneath the waving palm trees. You can hear the waves lapping up on the shore from your table and I've been told that during the day you can watch windsurfers gliding around in the ocean.
The outside decor of Mama's Fish House is well thought out and every little detail is bright, colorful, and 100% Hawaiian. Nothing has been left untouched. Here is a picture of my mom, sister and I waiting for our table. We had already decided what we were going to order because we spent about 30 minutes reading the menu in detail.
What I LOVED about the menu and the restaurant, is its appreciation for local ingredients and freshness. The menus are printed daily with the day's fresh catches and even the fisherman who caught the fish! Here is a picture of a section of the menu, you will see that it says the name of the person who gathered the fish:
Here is a photograph of the table set up, Classy Hawaiian, and my sister reading the menu...again:
To start the meal we received a small cup of warm lobster bisque, compliments of the Chef:
The was followed the warm fresh loafs of Hawaiian bread that they bring to every table:
For appetizers we ordered one plate of  "Wild Shrimp Wantons with Macadamia Nut Dipping Sauce." The shrimp were large and fleshy and sitting on a bed of crispy Asian cabbage salad. They had a nice crunchy battered crust that was neither too thick nor oily.
Next we shared an appetizer of "Seared Ahi Sashimi with Cucumber Tamarind Sauce"...wow! The sashimi was so fresh and a deep, gorgeous, magenta color. It tasted buttery and wonderful. The Cucumber Tamarind Sauce was a nice touch. It did not have too strong a taste, so it was a perfect compliment for the sashimi.
In between courses we had a palate cleanser of fresh Poi. Poi is steamed and mashed, wetland taro. Taro is a traditional Hawaiian root crop. Poi has a bland-starchy palate cleanser. My sister initially thought it tasted like baby food, however the fresh poi ended up growing on us both and we nearly finished the bowl they provided for us. Due to lighting issues, I struggled with getting an accurate color of the poi, it was grayish purple:
For the main course I had the "King Salmon, grilled in chili, ginger and soy with papaya salsa, coconut rice and baby bok choy." I ordered the salmon medium rare. It was DELICIOUS! The salmon fillet is perfectly and evenly grilled. The papaya salsa is chunky and a little bit sweet. The coconut rice is very coconutty and served in a little ball on a piece of fresh coconut with flakes of fresh coconut on top of the rice. It was fantastic!
My Mom ordered the house speciality "Mama's Stuffed Mahimahi Stuffed with Lobster, Crab and Maui Onion, Baked in a Macadamia Nut Crust" Wow!! It was warm and when you sliced into the buttery mahimahi, there was packed lobster and crab, cooked to perfection. It was served with a chunk of grilled corn on the cob and roasted asparagus and a pile of flavored, herbed orzo.
Here is a picture of inside the mahimahi, it was difficult to capture the lobster and crap stuffed inside the fish:
For dessert I ordered the "Banana Macadamia Nut Crisp, served warm with homemade Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream." It was exquisite and in my opinion, the best of the three desserts we ordered. This was like Hawaii's comfort dessert, Hawaii's answer to the apple pie is this made with local sweet bananas.
My sister ordered the "Mama's Chocolate Kua Pie, baked in a caramel cookie crust." The pie was a little too dense for us however the cookie crust was lovely and the best part of this dessert. My mom, again going for the house speciality, ordered the "Polynesian Black Pearl, Chocolate mousse and liliko'i cream in a pastry shell." This one was definitely the most beautiful dessert that I have ever been allowed to eat. It actually looked like a black pearl!
Everything about this dessert was truly Divine. The sauce on the plate was no exception. The brown is a milk chocolate, the white is a liquor cream and the light orange sauce is a mango sauce. The pastry shell dipped in the sauce was fantastic!
It is no surprise that the three of us polished off the desserts, with me, admittedly, having done most the damage. Here is a blurry picture my drunk-off-food sister took of me with the empty dessert plates...she took this right before falling into a food coma that would make her literally pass out in the car ride home:
Even her too-dense chocolate pie was finished...
The cherry on the top of the meal was that at the end, they brought out a small plate with cool, lavender scented washcloths and unbelievable fresh coconut sweets with little pistachio crumbles on top:


Unknown said...

Wow you girls had a great time!

J+K said...

I found your blog while looking at fish taco recipes and got super excited when I saw your Mama's fish house post! We recreated Mama's Ahi Sashimi Salad last weekend for our Gourmet Group. To die for!!!

AK44VMP said...

I have a home in Maui, and one of our friends works at Mama's... It is my favorite restaurant in Maui!! If you love it there I really recommend trying Hali'iMaile, it is amazing as well, with excellent presentation, especially the Elderflower liquer infused Champagne with an edible hibiscus! AHHH so jealous right now!

Jamie Jones, Daphne, Alabama said...

My mother and I had the pleasure of the "Mama's" experience (lunch) Saturday just before returning to Alabama. What a meal, what a place! Memories to last a lifetime:) Yes, lots of windsurfers, I felt like we were in a movie! We're now trying to re-create the fabulous food we had there. Can't wait to go back...I'm in a Maui mood and it's not going away!