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Maui report - just visited Wailea/Kihei 3/2014

Just returned 1 day ago. I was able to find all sorts of great info about the food and restaurants in the Wailea/Kihei area on Chow before my trip. Here are some thoughts and experiences from this visit:

Maui Tacos, Kihei, multiple locations - The fish tacos here are probably some of the best things I've eaten in a chain restaurant/fast food place. The fish is grilled - not fried - which I really like, and sooo fresh. It's straight forward in a good way and has a big selection of tasty salsas and garnishes on the salsa bar. I think I ate at 3 different Kihei locations and they were consistently good. (I even made DH stop at one on the way to the airport to have one last taco before flying home.)

Migrant, Wailea - This was our favorite restaurant in Wailea. In fact we ate there 2 of the 7 nights we had on Maui. It's in the space that has been Mala in the Marriott and is in transition to becoming Migrant. This makes the atmosphere a bit strange since it's still kind of the former and current restaurants at the same time.

The chef is Sheldon Simeon (from Top Chef) and he was on site both nights we dined there. Both nights we had sauteed pea greens and they were delicious! The opaka (snapper) special one night was absolutely the best dish we had on this visit. The fried chicken was also one our favorites. Everything we had here was wonderful. It must be in the recipe testing phase though because both nights things were prepared a bit differently. The prices - for Wailea - were reasonable but this may change too.

Coconuts Fish Cafe, Kihei - The fish tacos and fish sandwiches here were very fresh and tasty. There was just a bit too much sauce in the coconut milk dressed coleslaw that tops them. The fish didn't shine through it the way we'd have liked it to.

Home Maid Cafe, Kihei - (not to be confused with Home Maid Bakery which we didn't get to) Went there for breakfast on our first morning. It's very, very casual. The service was a bit slow since they were so busy. He had the eggs with portuguese sausage and really loved the sausage. I had a simple cheese omelette with veggies. They also serve saimin and plates like breakfast loco moco. Some of the locals told us this was their breakfast place every day that it's open.

They make malasadas to order here and they were very popular. The dishes we'd had were very generous so we didn't actually eat any even though they smelled amazing!

Ululani's, Kihei- This is the place that we learned what all the fuss is about shave ice. Favorite flavors were coconut, passion fruit and mango. It's really as good as everyone says it is.

Ko, Wailea - The atmosphere here was very nice and service polished and gracious. The food was fine, seafood and fish very fresh, and portions generous. Maybe we're too picky but it didn't really impress with the flavors. It's pretty pricey not to be better than it was.

Monkey Pod Kitchen, Wialea - This place is loud, kind of sports bar loud, including surf videos and live music. The wine list is surprisingly good, served in good stemware and there are many good beers to choose from. The food is local, fresh and tasty but not amazing. It does stay open later than most of the places on Maui.

Sansei, Kihei - This was a real puzzle to us. It was absolutely packed the entire time we were there. The sake selection was small but nice. The butterfish and miso appetizer was so good we ordered a second one. The rest of the food was a disappointment. We ordered 2 pieces of kampachi and 2 pieces of hamachi sushi from the specials. It wasn't like any sushi I've had before in the way it was cut - the grain of the fish (while it was fresh) was going all different ways on each piece - and the rice was very cold and not much flavor. I ate only 1 piece. Another roll we ordered was served on a plate of sauce and was not like anything I'm used to either. The shrimp dish we ordered didn't change our mind so we stopped there. This wasn't a place we'd go back to again.

Jawz fish truck - Each taco is really 2 tacos. We shared one for lunch. It was plenty, tasty and fresh. We'd have eaten here again if we'd seen it again.

If it's of interest, Hotel Wailea's renovated rooms each have kitchenettes that have a double 15" Wolf induction stovetop, a Wolf convection/microwave and a 24" Subzero with one freezer drawer and one refrigerator drawer.

Mar 10, 2014
nmawhb in Hawaii

Any suggestions for dining/food shopping in Le Marche, especially Camerino/Tolentino area?

Just returned and definitely had some great food, eating in and out. Staying with friends however didn't give me a chance for exploring on my own but thank you for the recs and info.

That said here are the places in and around Camerino that I was able to visit and can recommend:

Villa Fornari's restaurant-The food here was so good we ate there 2 times. One of the owners, Alessio, was sooo nice and helpful too. The menu changes with the seasons. The most memorable for me were the duck ragu gnocchi, local truffle sausage pasta and swordfish carpaccio. The wine list had mostly local wines and Alessio's recs were very good.

Gelateria Centrale in Castelraimondo-This was our favorite gelato place on the trip. The nocciola was amazing!

Casa del Formaggio-We bought great cheese and proscuitto as well as a few other things here. The owners here were also sooo friendly and the care taken in slicing the meat was lovely.

There was a deli that sold amazing porchetta, and other great stuff, just a few doors down from the cheese shop. Wish I could remember the name.

La Cappinina in Portonova-right on the sea with beautiful views and seafood. The favorite was crab and lobster pasta but grilled sea bream and vongole pasta were almost as good.
(By dining here their beach and chairs are available to you too.)

I wouldn't hesitate to visit this area again!

Oct 02, 2013
nmawhb in Italy

Any suggestions for dining/food shopping in Le Marche, especially Camerino/Tolentino area?

In late Sept. I'll be staying with friends in a house they've rented in Le Marche near Camerino, and return home in early Oct. All of us love to cook as well as dine out.

I'd appreciate any suggestions and thoughts since I've never visited La Marche before. Thank you!

Sep 12, 2013
nmawhb in Italy

Suggestions for cooking Wagyu tri-tip roast sous vide?

So here is what I finally did:

seasoned it with salt and pepper
sous vide at 130 degrees for about 5 hrs.
preheated pan on stovetop on highest heat
seared it on all sides
served it with chumichurri on the side

It worked out very well and tasted very good. The only flaw was that to it was I think I should have seared it a bit faster/hotter but all the guests were very complimentary.

Jun 24, 2013
nmawhb in Home Cooking

where to find fresh kaffir lime leaves in nyc

Just went to Sahadi's (luckily, it's nearby) and there were no lime leaves. I was told there is a problem getting them right now but they do plan to stock them again when they're able to.

Must go to Bangkok Grocery in the meantime...

Jun 24, 2013
nmawhb in Manhattan

Suggestions for cooking Wagyu tri-tip roast sous vide?

Got it, thank you.

May 29, 2013
nmawhb in Home Cooking

Suggestions for cooking Wagyu tri-tip roast sous vide?

BrianGilligan Great link! Thank you.

pikawicca It's approx. 2"thick.

wattacetti Does the chill before searing, instead of searing immediately after the meat coming to temp, improve the final roast in some way?

wirloftheworld Wish I had a quarry nearby...

A friend also pointed me to an app by PolyScience about sour vide which he's used to learn when the meat's core should be to temp.

The roast will be served this Sat! Will post results.

May 29, 2013
nmawhb in Home Cooking

Suggestions for cooking Wagyu tri-tip roast sous vide?

I'm have an upcoming dinner for a group and would like to be able to sous vide a Wagyu tri-tip roast to (near) temperature and then sear it to finish it to decrease the risk of overcooking it.
Of course it would be sad if ti turned mushy or tough. I'm aiming for rare/medium rare.
Anyone have experience? Thx!

May 23, 2013
nmawhb in Home Cooking

definition of Malaysian casserole?

I'll order some of them and find out what they're like!

Jan 20, 2013
nmawhb in General Topics

definition of Malaysian casserole?

Redang Island and Nyonya both have casserole sections on their menus.

On Redang Island's menu:
Curry assam fish head is under "casserole", while assam laksa is under "noodles in soup".

An example from Nyonya's menu:
fried fish head casserole under "casserole", steamed fish in Nyonya house special sauce is under "fish"

(Sorry, I'm a bit technologically challenged and not sure how to put a link in here)

Maybe it's a nyc thing?

Jan 15, 2013
nmawhb in General Topics

definition of Malaysian casserole?

Hi, I love Malaysian food, have numerous cookbooks about it, and often eat it out in restaurants here in NYC.

Some of the menus have separate sections titled "casserole". What make a dish a Malaysian casserole and what distinguishes a casserole from other dishes like a curry or laksa?

Thank you for any info that will help me to understand this.

Jan 13, 2013
nmawhb in General Topics

Mexican restaurant in Palm Desert area/Cathedral City

I've been visiting Palm Desert for a couple years with extended family, and finally found a Mexican restaurant I really enjoyed: Salsas Restaurant (aka Taco Salsas). It's very unpretentious, has little decor and is in a strip mall so this may not be for everyone, but if authentic food is, especially Mexican seafood, it's worth the drive to Cathedral City.
Everything we ordered was tasty but the standouts were the fish taco (not deep fried fish, with shredded cabbage and tomato and creamy sauce) and shrimp tostada (like good shrimp cerveche on a tostada). Maybe the best thing is the salsa/garnish bar where there were about 5 types of salsas, fresh and roasted types of chiles, lime, cilantro, diced onion...... so we cound personalize the flavors of everything (My husband especially loves condiments.).
There's a full bar with a really good slection of tequilas too.
They're open breakfast, lunch and dinner so we'll be going back tomorrow!

Apr 07, 2012
nmawhb in California

Swedish mazarin tarts - individual pans or foil shells?


I'd love to get either the individual pans or foil shells for the traditional oval shaped mazarin tarts. I've googled, even looked in cookware shops while in Stockholm and have only seen the foil ones, but they were in bakeries with tarts in them. I probably should have asked at a bakery while I was there but didn't think it would be so hard to find any. Does anyone know where they can be purchased?

Aug 21, 2008
nmawhb in Cookware

Butchers in Brooklyn Hts/Cobble Hill

The Park Slope Food Coop has an excellent variety of organic meats and really good prices. If I'm not in that area I go to Staubitz.

Feb 28, 2008
nmawhb in Outer Boroughs

Culantro - assistance

Culantro is sometimes called recao.

Feb 26, 2008
nmawhb in General Topics

Vasterbotten Spotting (Swedish cheese)

I'm not sure about vasterbotten but Ikea carries a number of Swedish cheeses and other foods.

Feb 26, 2008
nmawhb in Outer Boroughs

Sour Oranges for Cuban food?

My local greenmarket doesn't stock them. They say they're too ugly and don't sell. They were nice enough to buy a case just for me and now my freezer is filled with 1/2 c. portions of the juice. (I think the season lasts though Feb. but I received mine a couple of weeks ago.)

Feb 26, 2008
nmawhb in Home Cooking