Monday, September 24, 2012

Where To Travel: Mama’s Fish House @ Maui, Hawaii

The Destination: Mama’s Fish House, Paia, Maui, Hawaii

The Vibes:
Tropical, relaxing, chill, at the beach, picturesque

Open daily for lunch (11am-2:30pm) and dinner (4:15pm-9pm)

The $ Factor:
$$$ - lunch dishes average about $50

The 4-1-1:
Menu changes daily, depending on the catch of the morning

I’ll Be Back…:
For more seared ahi tuna! 

Last month, I got a pleasant little surprise when an all-expense paid trip to Maui just so happened to land in my lap. Feeling more elated than the ‘Homeland’ cast probably felt at the Emmys last night, I boarded that plane so quickly and set off to enjoy a week in paradise.

I had planned to spend my vacay propped up at the beach, sipping thousands of mai tais and chucking the deuces at all my responsibilities. But lo and behold, one trip to Mama’s Fish House and I knew that wouldn’t be the case. I had to feature this restaurant in a #WilsonsGuide post, so I had to do some investigating, take some notes, snap a few photos, open up my laptop, write a few words…(such hard work, right?)

So what was it about this adorable Polynesian-themed restaurant that caught my attention?

It wasn’t that Mama’s Fish House is pretty much paradise in every sense of the word. Located on a quiet beach dotted with swaying palm trees and a traditional Polynesian canoe, the restaurant has incredible views and an intimate South Pacific décor inside. Sitting by the windows to catch the airy ocean breezes that drifted in was probably one of the most relaxing things I ever did on Maui.

But no, that wasn’t it.

And it wasn’t the fact that the restaurant is literally the epitome of sustainable food sourcing. Each day, the restaurant creates a menu that centers around the fish bought from local fishermen earlier that morning. That means none of the fish in any of the dishes, like my Lobster Guacamole and my Ahi Sashimi both pictured below, is frozen or shipped from faraway shores. And yes, you can notice the difference by how fresh everything tastes.

That was close, but still, no cigar.

And it wasn’t the delectable desserts, such as the Liliko’I Crème Brulee, made with this awesome fruit that's native to Hawaii, or the one-of-a-kind homemade ice cream, which features a new flavor every day.

The real reason? It was the seared ahi tuna. 

Never in my life – not on any of my stops in hundreds of restaurants on the east coast, down in South America, all throughout California – have I tasted ahi tuna that fresh and delightful. In fact, we even went to several other restaurants all over Maui, at five-star hotels and at casual, local places, ordering tons of ahi tuna, but I can still confidently say that nothing else came close to Mama’s Fish House.

Mama’s ahi tuna is perfectly seared to crunchy perfection on the outside, and so buttery and rich on the inside, melting in your mouth. There was a brief second when eating it, that I closed my eyes and murmured to myself: “I never want this moment to end.” In fact, it was so good that we ended up getting two more orders.

So if you ever find yourself on the island of Maui, treat your taste buds to Mama’s Fish House and order the ahi tuna (call in advance to make sure it’s there). If you’re going to go all the way to paradise, then make sure you go all the way. See you there soon!

For more information:
Mama’s Fish House; Facebook 

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