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Sept. 2017 Maui Trip Report - 5th family trip!

smiles33 | Sep 5, 201710:32 PM    

My four past trip reports are all on here somewhere, but this trip we REALLY knocked it out of the ballpark. DH and I remarked that every meal was fantastic!

HUGE thanks go to Kathryn, whose prolific and detailed trip reports inspired several of our choices (if not all?). We've been making annual treks for a few years now and we finally nailed the "perfect" eating itinerary for us!

As always, we make our own breakfasts in the condo (usually eggs, linguica, and potatoes) so we haven't tried Kihei Caffe or Gazebo's.

Day one:
Straight off the plane, we had lunch at Eskimo Candy in Kihei (a Kathryn rec!). I can wax poetic about the incredible poke bowls. I dream of this meal and we always go at least 2 times per trip (they are closed on weekends!). We ordered the kalbi plate for my 8 year old who's allergic to fish and she loved it.

For dinner, we picked up fish tacos and fried shrimp to go from Coconut's (the new location, which is closer to our Wailea condo). They were as delicious as we remembered! 8 year old had their kids' meal spaghetti (which was a HUGE portion so she ate it for 2 meals).

Day two:
We headed to Eskimo Candy again for lunch, as we knew they'd be closed on the weekend and on Labor Day. Poke bowls and kalbi again!

We didn't get to Ulalani's that first day, but we went the second day for shave ice and picked up lilikoi key lime pie from Sugar Beach Bake Shop next door.

We were intrigued by Morimoto's (thanks, Kathryn!) and ordered *exactly* the entrees she and her husband had on their last trip: the yellowtail in a stone pot for DH and the duck, duck, goose for me. We were THRILLED! My 11 year old sushi fan ordered sushi (even though we warned her) and had 3 orders of so-so sushi (tekka maki and hamachi). We also had the bone marrow appetizer and the spicy snow crab. Loved the bone marrow! The only lackluster item was 8 year old's steamed chicken over rice with generic teriyaki sauce. She seemed fine with it, thankfully.

Day three:
After a quick snorkeling session at Ulua Beach, we headed to the Maui Swap Meet. None of the food or shave ice appealed to us, but we loved the fresh pressed sugar cane juice. That alone was worth the drive! Sadly, we didn't see the Donut Dynamite lady and her lilikoi cream-filled malasadas (which we enjoyed 2 or 3 trips ago). The malasada truck there didn't have a line so we decided to skip it (I'm always a little suspicious when I don't see a line--no one else liked it?).

Afterward, we went to lunch at Star Noodle and had the scallop shots, two orders of ahi avo (our favorite!!!), garlic noodles, ramen, kalbi, and malasadas for dessert. I ordered the Filipino bacon and eggs but the waiter forgot it and we were full by the time we realized it wasn't coming.

Dinner that night was at Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, which was wonderful again! We left the kids in the condo a few minutes away (they ate leftovers). Last trip, it was our favorite on the island--but we hadn't yet eaten at Merriman's, which has wrestled the title away from RHW. Still, we loved the dinner. We started with the smoked amberjack "snack" (which was like a tasty smoked fish eggroll--creative!) for DH and raw oyster for me. Then we had the Grilled Tako and Kampachi Crudo. For the main course, DH enjoyed the steamed Kampachi while I had the nori spiced ahi. It was an incredible meal!

Day four:
I had been less impressed with Mill House on our last trip, but I think that's because I ordered pasta. This trip I had the fish and loved the meal! We started with the charcuterie board. DH ordered the cioppino (he says the best he's ever had--every bite was perfectly prepared!) while I had the fish of the day, which was kampachi served with coconut cucumber curry, papaya, tomato jam, and macadamia nut. It was extraordinary, and before our dinner at Merriman's, I would have said it was the best cooked fish entree I had ever had. Our 11 year old ordered the same dish as me and loved her kampachi. It was beautifully seared with a crispy skin! Our 8 year old had the hand-cut pasta in tomato sauce and ate every bite with relish!

Merriman's is a long drive from Wailea and we've resisted it on our past trips given our daughters' early bedtimes (as we stay on CA time when doing these short 5 day trips). After making the earliest reservation possible at 5 pm, we drove out and were prepared to be disappointed. Yet Merriman's was truly the BEST meal on the island. A wedding was taking place on the lawn as we ate, and I kept thinking, "My guests would have loved it if we had married here!" LOL!

We started with the ahi ginger poke and lobster bisque (the soup of the day). The poke was divine and inhaled by 3 of us within minutes! My 11 year thought she might want the wok charred ahi, but wasn't sure about the wasabi. I wanted the macadamia nut crusted kampachi but was open to either so we agreed to split the 2 entrees. Yet the clear winner was the kampachi and she ended up eating a significant portion of that! I thought the ahi was good, but that kampachi was truly the best cooked fish I've ever had!

DH ordered the fresh fish of the day (a fish we hadn't heard of before--ulua?). In any event, we both agreed that Merriman's is worth making the 2 hour round-trip drive in traffic (even though we normally avoid driving far on vacations).

Once again, my 8 year old suffered with an average choice. The keiki menu had burgers and she got 2 tiny sliders that were overcooked and dry. She loaded them with ketchup and pronounced them "ok" and ate them eventually.

Day five:
There were no restaurant meals due to our early morning departure.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Kihei Caffe
Eskimo Candy Inc
Sugar Beach Bake Shop
Star Noodle
The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea
Merriman's Maui
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