Oliver's Chili Peppers

Oliver's Chili Peppers

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Adventure in Maui's Food Culture; Part Two

I had a full list of places that I wanted to eat when I arrived to Maui. I had researched the websites, read the magazines, and investigated the top 10 lists. Guess what?! We made it to none of them! Just part of the adventure. In most cases we were pleasantly surprised by what we found as there is a plethora of interesting, write-home-about restaurants. Our food tour of Maui included many exceptional choices and here is our short list...

Banana Pancakes
The Gazebo Restaurant is a little off of the beaten path. Located on the northwestern side of the island near Napili bay, this little gem of a place has a line up waiting to get in the moment they open. Only serving breakfast/brunch from 7:30am til 2:00, you certainly don't want to miss the banana pancakes with pineapple, macadamia nuts and coconut syrup. This dish tastes like a vacation! We visited this restaurant on our first morning, and it was just right. Plentiful, hardy food, right on the water, overlooking the beach. What a welcome!

Crab & Macadamia WonTons
Baked Hawaii
The Hula Grill's Barefoot Bar was another place that we had to try. Watch out, this place is a tourist trap. We embraced our inner tourist though, and joined the throngs of people waiting for a table on the beach. The lounge section of the restaurant is outdoor, with a sand floor, and palapa-style umbrellas. Expensive rum drinks, tiki torches, and live hawaiian guitar are on hand to contribute to your experience. I will admit that being there to watch the perfect sunset almost got me to order a round for the bar... almost. We enjoyed fresh fish sandwiches and great dessert, plus excellent service at this restaurant. 
Hula Grill Sunset

Our anniversary dinner was ceremoniously held at I'o restaurant in Lahaina. Very sadly, I forgot the camera on this outing, so we do not have digital proof of how beautiful the food at this restaurant was. Executive Chef James McDonald has put together a menu that offers both luxurious and local flavours, with a keen eye for freshness. The restaurant group actually owns a farm in Upcountry Maui, where they grow much of the produce used in their dishes. Needless to say, this place was worth this trip, but you'll have to check it out for yourself!

Craft Beer & Cocktails
Lastly, and almost not at all, we stopped for lunch on our way to the airport. In Wailea, we came across a really cool place called The Monkey Pod Kitchen. Another restaurant focused on presenting local ingredients at their best in a fresh and delicious way, this restaurant truly surprised us. They offered a great list of micro-brewed, craft beers along side some of the seriously BEST kimchi that I have ever had. Refreshing and spicy, all at the same time. Our meals were simple and flavourful, with careful attention to combining delicate flavours with bold ones. We enjoyed the atmosphere, the service and food so much and were really glad that we stopped! 

I have said this so many times since returning to our cold Canadian landscape, "Maui is one of the best places on earth! You should go!". Not only for the interesting food tourism, the choice offered in terms of restaurants or the paradise like setting, but also for the charm and warmth of the people. Thinking about it now causes me pain, because I want to go back. Aloha Maui, and Mahalo. 

I'O on UrbanspoonMonkeypod Kitchen by Merriman on UrbanspoonHula Grill on UrbanspoonGazebo on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on experiencing Maui's food. Makes me want to go visit.