restaurant review: why my trip to mama’s fish house was just OK

mama's fish house

nestled in coconut groves

When in Maui, you have to visit Mama’s Fish House, it’s the island’s, maybe even the state’s most revered restaurant. It was the first fresh fish restaurant and is a beautiful beach hideaway nestled in coconut groves with a beautiful view of Kuau Cove (how’s that for a run-on sentence?!). It’s recommended that you make a reservation. I was a party of one so I didn’t make one, figuring I could just crash at the bar or their lounge area. But, to my surprise the super friendly hostesses found me a table, and even snapped a picture of me (I tend to forget to do this on my trips). Voila, I ended up with a window seat with a view.

best place to eat in maui

my windowseat view

When I told my co-workers I was headed to Maui for a solo weekend getaway, I received a resounding “YOU HAVE TO GO TO MAMA’S FISH HOUSE”, one of our sales directors told me his wife asked if they could fly from Oahu to Maui just to go to Mama’s Fish House. With an endorsement like that and 4.5 stars by nearly 2,000 reviewers on, I simply HAD TO GO TO MAMA’S FISH HOUSE. I have to say I was a little skeptical with so many great reviews. I had a feeling I might be set up for disappointment, but I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed. However, I also can’t say this was the BEST meal I’ve ever had, especially for the price I paid. I’m certainly no food critic, but I have had some wonderful meals in my travels.

*Disclaimer: I was starting to come down with a cold so my taste buds were a little tainted.

best place to eat in maui

just little ole me under a tree at mama’s fish house

I started off with the soup of the day (sorry, I’m blanking on what it was and regrettably didn’t make a note on my iPad), but I do recall it was very good (I think I enjoyed it more than my meal, see sickly taste buds). Oh and the warm, fresh bread and butter! I had to push it away after a slice. I didn’t want fill up on bread. At least not on this trip!

best place to eat in maui

bon apetit

Who knows if I’ll get back to Maui or Mama’s for that matter. So, I was going for the gusto. Drinks, appetizers, main course and dessert (if my stomach didn’t pop by then).

For my appetizer, I decided on the Wasabi Crusted Calamari. Instead of the normal rings and tentacles you get at other restaurants, the dish was served more like a sliced cutlet and with a side of edamame.

wasabi crusted calamari


For my main course, I went with one of the house specials Mahi Mahi stuffed with crab and lobster, baked in a macadamia nut crust. Sounds relish, right? I had my taste buds and senses set up for a savory overload, but I’m sad to report while it was very tasty, I didn’t get that boom, bang, pow! But, at $50 for the dish I certainly wasn’t going to leave a morsel on the plate! I’m not rolling in the dough to be able to let that go to waste.

mahi mahi


So, at this point in the meal, I was completely stuffed and couldn’t fathom taking another bite of anything. I mean, I still had my Mai Tai finish! So, sorry I have no dessert to report on in this post. But, the selections did sound good. If I had room, I would have gone for the Tropical Fruit Sorbet or the Liliko’i Crème Brulèe.

Would I visit this restaurant again? Yes, I think I’d give it another try. But, I’ll make sure I have no trace of sickness so I can form an un-tainted, healthy taste-bud approved opinion. But, what I can say with assurance is the staff was great, courteous and attentive! They know their stuff and make sure your glass is full and food is always on the table. And it doesn’t hurt that my waiter was a local cutie, lol.

And, the views from the restaurant are simply amazing. See for yourself…

mama's fish house view

view of kuau cove

best place to eat in maui

“the sandy snowman”

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