Mala – Wailea
One of my dearest friends – known to y’all on my blog simply as StB – recently got married in Maui, Hawaii. There was no way I was going to miss this for the world, so I took myself on a week long trip… read along as I share everything I ate on this incredible vacation!
StB and her fiance (now husband!) arranged a few days of activities for those of us who arrived on the island for the wedding early. Thursday morning found me bleary-eyed, stumbling onto a shuttle bus that took us to the docks for a day of snorkeling fun – for those of us that know how to swim. No, I don’t know how to swim; yes, I know it’s an important life skill; yes, I’ve tried taking lessons; no, you can’t teach me; seriously, people need to stop bugging other people about these things! Ahem. In any case, I stayed on the boat and hung out with StB (who also doesn’t know how to swim!) and a couple of other people who just chilled, and it was a blast. After we got back to the resort, though, we were beat, and for dinner, didn’t feel like traveling too far to find food, so we headed to the resort’s restaurant. Each of us had heard good things about this place, separately – pretty much everyone recommended it when they heard where we were staying, so it came very strongly recommended.
As soon as we sat down, chips and a sort of salsa with edamame puree was placed in front of us. I liked munching on the edamame puree, which was chunkier and less creamy than guacamole is, and kind of nutty.
When in Hawaii, apparently you order mai tais. Half of our table of twelve? people ordered these, and everyone seemed pretty happy with them. I opted out of drinking that night.
It happened to be Maui’s Restaurant Week while we were there, so many of us ordered from the three course set menu for $39 – including me.
First up: ahi bruschetta.
I found my pieces of tuna to be very peppery, to the point where I had to remove the outer edge in order to eat it comfortably. I’ve come a long way from being the girl who hates peppercorns (and writes reviews that includes mentions of the mistresses in the restaurant, wow), but this was just exceedingly bitter. The ahi itself was super fresh, and I loved how ripe the tomato was as well. The bread was just a distraction and didn’t cut easily.
For my main course, the ‘seared sashimi’ – I don’t recall the other choice, but I do remember thinking I couldn’t eat the other appetizer choice (it had coconut, and I am allergic), and that I was in Hawaii so I definitely wanted as much fish as possible.
We were served a pretty large portion – most of the people at my end of the table ordered the same.
There was a cloud of mashed potatoes on one side, and the entire bottom of the plate was a pool of a creamy, buttery sauce that… smacked… of… ginger. The menu description hadn’t mentioned ginger, which is quite pungent and I actually do not like very much. The fish itself was again very fresh, and seared slightly on all sides (sans pepper this time), and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed swiping it through the sauce. The mashed potatoes were good for a few bites; I was curious about a slightly crunchy, slightly sweet, slightly vinegary bite I found sprinkled throughout. I finally realized it was small dice of candied ginger. Interesting, but that explained why I sort of liked and sort of didn’t like them… Haha. I know a few of the people near me really enjoyed their dishes. I actually got super full halfway through and gave away half my plate because I just couldn’t eat anymore.
A note: while they were serving our plates, one of the girls and I were looking at the plates left to be served – mostly steaks going to the other end of the table. She asked me what was on top of the steak – it looked like a big chunk of something – so I said “It should be butter, but it looks like cheese… wonder why it’s not melting” – they literally looked like they were still rock hard chunks. I confirmed with the waitress that it was butter, but didn’t ask why they weren’t melting. I found out later from the best man, EPS, that his steak was served ice cold and barely cooked – “good cut of steak, but pretty much raw” – eek. No wonder the butter didn’t melt. I can’t say for sure if it was because of the size of our group (I’d made a reservation, so they knew we were coming in, it wasn’t unexpected) or something else entirely…
Dessert was Key Lime pie. I don’t really like dessert but Key Lime pie is something I really enjoy as it’s not too sweet usually. I looked at it, and thought something looked off – I mean, who puts caramel on Key Lime pie? (and EPS snarkily suggested that the type of crust was wrong, too, but I didn’t get that far) – but I shrugged and stuck my fork in and began eating. One bite and I was done; not because it was bad, but because it was definitely topped with coconut. I flagged a server and asked, but she said “It isn’t usually… let me ask, though,” after I explained I was allergic. After a few minutes, a manager came over to apologize and say yes, there was coconut on top, and could she bring me ice cream? I was really full and saw no need to gild the lily (though I did give my slice to another person, who shocked me by having enough stomach capacity to eat a couple bites of it in addition to her own slice, and her entire dinner, and … props to FW, is all I can say!), so I declined. I thought that was nice of them though!
Yvo says: Everyone at the table had a different opinion of dinner, really – the other end apparently disliked our waitress, though I thought she was fine if a bit spacey (she got REALLY excited when she heard we were from NYC, which I only told her to explain why half of us were falling asleep at the table, and to ask if she could sort of get things going fast for us). The food was mediocre, though this could be because we all ordered from the Restaurant Week menu, which I’ve found is usually a disappointment… but the regular menu looked interesting enough that if you’re staying at the Marriott, you’d probably do OK checking it out at least once while you’re there.
middle of the road, hard to say