Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mele Kelikimaka! {Our Honeymoon}

Aloha! Dusty and I are back from our relaxing and fun-filled honeymoon where we spent 10 glorious days in Maui. After having an extremely stressful last semester  finishing up nursing school and having to be apart from one another, this trip was much needed and appreciated.

Our honeymoon was spent staying at the fabulous Grand Wailea resort. A picturesque resort located on the south end of Maui with the most amazing white sand beach and home to two exquisite restaurants that are a foodies dream come true. On our honeymoon, Dusty and I had three goals....1) Relax. 2) Spend as much time on the beach as possible. 3) Eat amazing food.

All three of these goals were easily accomplished and I want to share with you all of our Maui favorites for the ultimate foodie honeymoon vacation....

Hula Cookies
On our second day in Maui, Dusty and I spent the morning hiking the Iao Valley and then touring the Maui Ocean Center. After visiting the aquarium, we stumbled upon Hula Cookies. They had flavors such as "Hula's Delight" which had coconut, mac nut, mango and pineapple in sugar cookie as well as Kona Coffee Chocolate  Chip, Chocolate Chip Mac Nut, Honey Papaya Oatmeal, and Chocolate Coconut Cookies. The cookies were so dang good that Dusty and I might have visited twice!

One of the restaurants at the Grand Wailea is Alan Wong's Amasia. It was voted "Best New Restaurant" on Maui for a was truly a special culinary experience. Because it was our honeymoon, Dusty and I were given special seating next to a waterfall in the restaurant and given a complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion. The staff at Amasia went above and beyond to make us feel special and it was a meal I know Dusty and I will never forget.

Along with our champagne, Dusty and I enjoyed an unforgettable 5-course dinner that was out of this world amazing. The best was BOGO as in buy one 5-course meal and get one free. Score! Our 5-course  meal included:
First Course
Chopped Ahi Sashimi, Avocado Salsa Stack, Won Ton, Soy Wasabi

Second Course
"California" - Alaskan King Crab, Avocado, Flying Fish Roe, Cucumber
"Spicy Ahi" - Spicy Ahi, Ko Choo Jang Miso, Crispy Potatoes, Green Onion
"Tiradito," Hanaoka Farms Passion Fruit Ceviche Sauce

Third Course
Beef Tenderloin Skewer, Honey Mustard Foie Gras Coulis, Moromi Miso 

Fourth Course
Soy Braised Short Rib, Ko Choo Jang Sauce 
Seafood Wonton, Black Bean Lemongrass Chili Veloute
Garlic Shrimp

Maui Gold "Pineapple Shave Ice" of Hawaiian Vanilla Panna Cotta, Lilikoi Sauce, Haupia Sorbet, Coconut

This place was actually Dusty and my favorite foodie find in all of Maui. I kept reading on Trip Advisor that this place was ranked #1 and I didn't understand how a shaved ice place could beat out all the high-end restaurants on the island. Once Dusty and I shared our first shaved ice containing the flavors mango, coconut and lilikoi...we were sold. We came back to Ululani's 4 times during our stay and almost filled out our punch-card to get one free. Yes, it is that good! My favorite combination was the combination of mango, passion fruit, coconut with a "snow cap" and coconut ice cream in the base of the shaved ice. INSANELY DELICIOUS and a meal in itself. This is the place I'm going to miss the most in all of Maui. Do you think they would open an Ululani's in Montana???? 

Pita Paradise
One thing Dusty and I quickly learned was that eating at a resort is ridiculously expensive. Therefore we sought out local restaurants to save on cost and experience different cuisines. Located in Wailea just a mile or so from the resort, this Mediterranean themed restaurant was an awesome find. The owner goes fishing each morning and brings his catch-of-the-day to the chef. Since ahi tuna was the fresh catch that day, Dusty enjoyed an ahi tuna sandwich and I had the best ahi tuna greek salad I've ever consumed. It's my mission to recreate the salad dressing!
Tip: If you check in on Yelp, they give you a free appetizer! We got to enjoy pita crisps with some of the best freshly made hummus as an appetizer for free.

Kihei Caffe
The best breakfast in Maui! Located in Kihei in what seems to be some hole-in-the-wall restaurant, this small outdoor cafe packs a lot of punch! Dusty and I spent almost every morning enjoying breakfast here trying as many different menu items as possible. My favorite thing was the French Toast. It was made with hawaiian sweet bread and topped with coconut and fresh pineapple. It was even more delicious with coconut syrup! The other thing Dusty and I both had to eat on our trip was the local favorite: the Loco Moco. Rice with a fried egg, beef patty and gravy will fill you up and make you not need to eat for the entire day. So good. YUM!

Da Kitchen
Another Kihei foodie find! Dusty and I found this local hawaiian food establishment thanks to a tip given to me from one of the nurses I use to work with in Billings. She told me that the food is ah-mazing and they give you so much food you can share one serving between two people and she was right! Teriyaki Chicken, Kalua Pork, Rice and Potato-Mac Salad for $12...heck yes! We ate here twice because we loved the local hawaiian cuisine so much. Absolutely the best teriyaki chicken I've ever had in my entire life!

Mama's Fish House
One of the coolest restaurants we have ever been to ever! Located on it's own private beach, you feel like you are eating inside the Swiss Family Robinson's tree house while having the most insanely fresh and delicious seafood of your life. This place is one of a kind and a must see! The server told us they have to print the menu twice a day because the menu changes so quickly depending on what fish is delivered throughout the day by local fisherman...something I absolutely love about Hawaii! For lunch Dusty and I split Papa's Three Fish Sashimi which included Ono with Haiku orange, olive oil and Molokai pink sea salt; Ahi with ponzu, baby red shiso and Big Island citrus pearls; and Opakapaka with lilikoi, Hawaiian chili pepper and “Hawaii Kai” brand black sea salt. For dessert we had to try the famous Polynesian Black Pearl. I had seen it featured on Food Network and was dying to try it. Possibly the most gorgeous dessert I've ever enjoyed. It was a liliko’i chocolate mousse in a pastry seashell that was so rich, tart and perfect in every way. If you go to Maui, you must go to Mama's Fish House!

Hali'imaile General Store
On one of the last days of our honeymoon Dusty and I made a trip up to Maui's Upcountry. We stumbled upon this spectacular restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous and extremely tasty lunch. We started our lunch off with Bev's Famous Crab Pizza. Rich, crunchy, creamy and oh-so delicious. Fresh crab is insanely good and on top of pizza....YUM! For lunch I had the Sashimi Napoleon which consists of crispy wontons layered between smoked salmon, ahi tartar and sashimi with a wasabi vinaigrette. When the server brought it out to me I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. He said the only way to eat it was to cut it up and mix it all together which is a bummer because it's such a work of culinary art. I couldn't decide if I should eat it or just look at it. I decided to eat it and I'm so glad I did! One of my favorite lunches I enjoyed on the island and a must try!

The next time you go to Maui, you have got to put these places on your list of places to eat. I promise you won't be sorry and you will enjoy every foodie experience and tasty bite! 

1 comment:

  1. Never been to Hawaii, but my sister has gone 4 times and raves. Your pictures look amazing. So glad you had the honeymoon of your dreams. Happy New Year.


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