Heading to Maui in February. Is it worth a visit to Mama's Fish House?
The view is quite breathtaking and the food is delicious, but it is pricey. We like to go for lunch if we have an early arrival into Maui. It just seems like a great way to start our Hawaiian vacation (and lunch is more affordable).
I'm with "Mamma", on Mama's. We have found it is an experience like no other, and the setting is beyond lovely. Wonderful service, attentive, but not intrusive. Superb quality food. Pricey? Yes, but I wholeheartedly agree with Patrick1953 that Mama's is not any pricier than a good number of high end Maui restaurants.
As several others have stated, go and experience it for yourself. Only you will be able to decide if it will be on your "must-do" list in the future. Happy planning!
Just got back from my first trip to kaanapali last night. Mama's fish house was the food highlight of the trip. Roy's, Duke's, and Kimos were okay but nothing to write home about. Mama's fish house lived up to the hype. Price isn't excessive when compared to similar restaurants. It's not like you should compare it to a lunch plate spot. I didn't feel the price was reflected in the food at the other places, like it was at Mama's. Plus they have complimentary valet parking.
We went for dinner, then went back the next day for lunch. With the hour drive, was expecting a second trip let down but was just as good.
For dinner I got the traditional hawaiian. They included a complimentary grilled opakapaka(?). Best fish I've ever had at a restaurant. Reminded me of backpacking trips eating freshly caught fish simply prepared. macadamia crab cakes,Lomi lomi, and ahi poke were best I've had. Usually people say my short ribs are better than the ones they ordered. Mama's got the nod over mine. The short ribs at roy's, mine were still better.
Loved the atmosphere of the restaurant. Casual with great food and service. Not hoittie toittie at all.
The cocktail prices could be a little more reasonable. Just couldn't do it $16-18 for a cocktail? I'm not that much of a lush, lol.Edited: 2:07 pm, December 14, 2012
Had a cocktail at Mama's this past week for a birthday celebration....it was cocoanut milk based with lime and mint....anyone have an idea how it might be made. We'd like to replicate it at home...It was delicious. Wonderful, mid-afternoon lunch. Food, ambiance beyond excellent. Fantastic service. Frightening prices. It was for a special event, so worth it!
Definitely not. I'm not shy about spending good money on a great meal, but at Mama's it's more like spending good money on a very mediocre meal. There are much, much better options on the island.
I've always found it very mediocre compared to the other fine Maui options. Whenever I read these threads I wonder how opinions can be so divergent about it, and I think it may just come down to simple palate and food preference, not right or wrong. Overcooked fish, or what I call overcooked, is the quickest way to turn me off a restaurant, and combined with what I consider to be overdressed food at Mama's, it just IMO ruins great local meats and produce, which shine with the simplest of preparations. Basically too much butter, wine, milk and fruit in their dishes. Even the ceviche, which could have been great just gets swallowed by mango chunks. This is a problem at Roy's lately too and a lot of tourist-oriented restaurants who seem to think fish and meats need pineapple glazes and Mac nut crusts and be sautéed in lilikoi butter or something. Ick.
<<The cocktail prices could be a little more reasonable. Just couldn't do it $16-18 for a cocktail? I'm not that much of a lush, lol.>> No offense, vanbecky, but hey, do or die -- perhaps i AM that much of a lush!! When I know I'm about to be "fleeced" (just for my pal, Patrick ;) my motto is go big or go home -- I'm not about to snivel over 65bucks for cocktails when I'm about to over-pay X2 for a mediocre (at best) meal for the sake of the atmospheric bliss & the pleasure of b!tch!ng about it later to all of you people! ;)
Shea nailed their entree preparation, nicely ... but even their side dishes come out overcooked & tepid at best -- and this comes from a devout carnivore -- FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD!!! Why go to Mama's & not order fish?? Because I can, that's why -- and then I can come complain here whilst looking forward to my next bi-polar adventure right there on Poho Place in Paia! ;)
Have a great rest of weekend folks!
I'm that much of a lush too, I guess. Sometimes when I get stuck going to some place I really don't wanna, like Mama's, I make someone else drive, just order a salad and drink my dinner, lol. At least they don't screw up a martini.
@Leeyoung - you asked <<< Had a cocktail at Mama's this past week for a birthday celebration....it was cocoanut milk based with lime and mint....anyone have an idea how it might be made. >>>
You might get a better response if you start a new thread, but here is a recipe that looks similar. It's from cooking Hawaiian style and they call it a cojito. Isn't that what Mama's calls it too?
Our favorite meal on Maui. We made a few bad calls on meals but this wasn't one of them. We went to Ruth's Chris which I've been to other places. That was a bad call. Mamas was most definitely not. Expect to spend $160 or so for two. That was two fancy drinks, fish dinners and shared dessert. Worth every nickle to us especially as a farewell Maui lunch.