On a friend's recommendation my husband and I stopped at Mama's Fish House for lunch while recently vacationing on Maui. Knowing how popular it is we took a chance going without a reservation, but fortunately we were seated as soon as we arrived. The setting, smack on a stretch of beach with swaying palms and aqua waters, is quintessentially Hawaiian. The interior of the space is purely Hawaiian as well--bamboo and rattan furniture, blue batik table linens, and walls of pictures of famous people who have all dined at Mama's.
Since it was lunchtime and we wanted to sample much of what Mama's had to offer, we ordered an array of appetizers rather than main entrées. Definitely the way to go.
We started with two cold appetizers-- Lobster Guacamole and Sashimi Goat Cheese Salad. Served in a martini glass with three different kinds of thinly sliced homemade chips, the lobster (from Maine) was succulent and the guacamole had a nice little kick. The sashimi salad turned out to be a great choice and ideal for sharing.
The hot "starters" came out next--Shrimp Wontons and Crispy Ahi Rolls. The shrimp wontons were large prawns, resembling fried shrimp more than they were any kind of wontons. That was probably our least favorite dish. But the ahi rolls with mango dipping sauce more than made up for it. They were terrific!
For dessert we opted for the coconut lime sorbet. While the favors were nice the sorbet lacked creaminess. The biscotti served with it, however, was scrumptious.
It's definitely pricey but because it was so good in every way, the $120 price tag (including tip) goes down easy. Mama's is an institution on Maui and rightly so. The owners, a couple originally from California, bought the property for a song in the '70s after sailing the Pacific in their own sailboat. Their dream of opening a restaurant (they also own a small inn on the property) came true when they bought the property and existing place. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences we've ever had--we live in NYC so that's saying a lot. In a coconut shell, my advice is to walk, run, sail or swim on over to Mama's!
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