Mama's Fish House, Maui, HI

 On Boxing Day we had the pleasure of dining at Mama's Fish House Restaurant in Paia on Maui.  After missing the turn off of the highway (it sneaks up you!), a quick U-turn brought us into the parking lot.

While the view out in the parking lot is gorgeous, I couldn't believe the view that was waiting for us on the inside.  The best way to describe the property is like an exquisite house with a huge front yard that looks out onto the ocean.  Not very poetic, I know, but it's the easiest way to describe it.  The ocean view here is truly stunning.  There was a bit of wind on this day, so the surf was frothy and full of kite surfers and wind surfers.  A hardy bunch!  I feel that if I attempted such a feat I would end up in Bora Bora.
Beach in front of Mama's Fish House
We were shown to our table promptly at our reservation time of 11h30.  There was more stunning scenery inside.  The interior of the building reminded me of an ornate tree house.  Pieces of burled wood furniture, fresh flowers, copper eave troughs to catch the rain - so many beautiful and unique touches.  The front of the restaurant is open with views to the ocean.  Our lunch host was able to secure us an ocean view table.  After our drink and food orders, we were able to sit for a while and enjoy the view.

A plate with a small loaf of Hawaiian bread and butter arrived at the table.  Next, a mini bowl of tomato and ginger bisque (find the recipe on Mama's website here).

Wonderful colour, warm with the heat of the ginger, savoury tomato and luscious.  When my meal arrived, I was not disappointed (who could be with this view?).
View from our corner table

I started with Papa's Ocean Fresh Sashimi - Salmon with coconut-chilli and Molokai pink sea salt; Ahi with star anise-daikon and Kukui nut salt; and Kampachi with pineapple-pomegranate and Hawaii Island black sea salt. Each tender, delicate slice melted in the mouth.  I probably could have eaten just this as my meal, it was that good (wait, who am I kidding?)

I ordered the Uku (a species of snapper also called the Hawaiian blue-green snapper) sauteed with Hamekua mushrooms, white wine and capers.  The plate was wonderfully scented with the ginger the vegetables were sauteed in.  The fish is like nothing I have ever tasted.  A succulent, yet firm fish.  From the texture, I would have thought it was chicken, but the visible flakes made me perish the thought. The mushrooms were delicate in flavour and didn't detract from the dish in any way.  Each caper a nice bite and a delightful counterpoint to the rich tasting fish.  A tiny mouthful of kale was bursting with taste of fresh ginger - wow.  Just enough rice accompany a lunch entree.  The other vegetables were cooked just enough that the fresh green beans had a pleasant crunch.  I had absolutely no complaints with this dish.  It can be difficult to combine stronger flavours and still let the fish be the star of the show.  This was not the case here - the uku ruled.  I am sighing to myself right now as I remember the dish.  Truly divine.  I envy those living by the sea (who love seafood) and are able to get fresh fish regularly.

A nice final touch (I didn't even contemplate dessert) was a small bite of Haupia - Hawaiian Coconut Pudding and a warm lavender scented towel.  There were several other breathtaking desserts (including their famous Polynesian Black Pearl) that will have to wait until another visit.

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