We arrived in Maui last Friday night after nearly 22 hours of travel and couldn’t wait to have our first look at Hawaii in the morning … still Journey Proud. As we got in late, we stayed at a small hotel a few miles from the airport, right on the ocean.
Our friends flew in from Oahu Saturday morning, we did some shopping to stock the necessities for our condominium for the week ahead and then set off on the Hana Highway. With our priorities clearly in order, we stopped for lunch nearly immediately at Mama’s Fish House in Paia. It sounds like it could be a cute grass shack on the beach that would serve the best fresh fish from paper lined baskets, and it may very well have started that way some 37 years ago when it was Maui’s first fresh fish restaurant. But today, it’s a soundly built open-air wood structure, decorated with simple elegance, looking out across a well-kept lawn to Hookipa beach where wind and kite surfers zag and zag across the horizon line.
Was any part of that first descriptive accurate? Yes! “The best fresh fish.” As soon as we began reading the menu we declared this meal dinner. We began our midday “dinner” with a variety of drinks with umbrellas in them! And for food, we shared a silver snapper appetizer that was delicate and delicious, and Peter’s tuna sashimi that had been caught that morning aboard the fishing vessel “Lady Christine”. We’d never seen tuna sashimi this bright red, a color that just screamed, “Just caught!”
Our main courses included: Mama’s signature dish, Mahimahi, stuffed with lobster, crab, Maui onion, baked in a macadamia nut crust; deep-water Ahi, seared in ginger and panko crust with rice pilaf; and a wonderful red snapper special of the day. Full but determined, we perused the dessert menu and decided to share a crème brulee, billed as the smoothest and delivering on that promise, as well as a medley of Mama’s tropical fruit sorbets. At this point we knew we had to do one more thing before we left … make a reservation for lunch on the day we leave Maui. Done! Stay tuned and visit Mama's website, it's incredible. http://www.mamasfishhouse.com/