Maui, Hawaii

Category: Restaurants

Lunch at the brand new Tin Roof Restaurant

As reported last week, former Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon opened a new restaurant in Kahului – the Tin Roof. This restaurant is tiny – with bar seating for four or five people along the window, it’s a take-out place. I have heard great things about it, and have been anxious to give it a try.

Tin Roof Maui
Sheldon Simeon straightening his hat in his new kitchen! This is it – the Tin Roof – with a drink cooler to the left of the picture and window bar seating to the right, it’s a small space but big enough to cook delicious food!

As it’s a brand new restaurant, they are still figuring out some of the details. The first week of being open, they had lines out the door. Then on Facebook they asked diners to call in their orders. This week they’ve gotten techy and you can order and pay online. It was really easy ~ Tin Roof Mauilast night I ordered my lunch from their menu (mochiko chicken), added a side (kale salad – $7 for the mochiko chicken, I wasn’t sure how large the serving would be), selected a pick-up time and paid online. This morning I drove into town, pulled in, and there it was, waiting for me. I also got an email at 10:57 informing me lunch was ready. The portion was a lot larger than I thought it would be! Ah well – more food for me!

We grabbed our orders, checked out Rachel’s U’i Gallery next door and then headed for Queen Kaahumanu Center to eat in their food court.

Tin Roof MauiWhat is Mochiko Chicken? My non-foodie explanation is this: it’s breaded chicken pieces (moist) with some steamed cabbage on the side (the green leafs). I had mine over hapa rice – (half brown half white – which was a little sweet) and a spicy mayo sauce (unsure of name) drizzled over it. It was amazing!

As a side I ordered the kale salad, my friend had the beet box – both delicious!

Tin Roof Maui
Tin Roof Maui’s kale salad – very delicious

Tin Roof is located at 360 Papa Place in Kahului. There is currently no sign. It is tucked in between U’i Gallery and Money Mart. Marco’s Grill, Pinata’s Mexican and Fedex are all in this strip mall.

Tin Roof Maui
the beet box was surprisingly ono (good)! I’m not a beet lover, but this was great!
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Mother’s Day Brunch in South Maui 2016

Mother's DayCan you believe Mother’s Day 2016 is around the corner? This year I got it together and made a note of driving upcountry to Makawao to browse the art galleries for Mother’s Day cards for both my mom and mother-in-law. They go in the mail today and should make it back to Canada on time (I hope).

One of our condo guests has been asking where to book their Mother’s Day 2016 brunch in South Maui, so here are some ideas:

  • 5 Palms Restaurant on the Northern tip of Keawakapu Beach (this is just across the parking lot from our Kihei Surfside condo).
  • Sarento’s on the Beach also on Keawakapu Beach doesn’t currently have a Mother’s Day menu posted, but check back!
  • Gannon’s on the Emerald/Gold Course has a stunning view of the golf course, the ocean and Molokini.Mother's Day
  • The Grand Wailea is known for their Sunday Champagne Brunch. I don’t know if there will be a Mother’s Day twist to this – for now the champagne brunch is all I see on their website.
  • The Makena Resort at the Southern tip of South Maui is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch.
  • The Ka’ana Kitchen at the Andaz Maui is showing a Mother’s Day brunch on Open Table, though I am not finding a menu yet.
  • Mother's DayLonghi’s at the Shops at Wailea is also advertising a Mother’s Day brunch on Open Table.
  • The new Oceanside Restaurant at the Shops at Ma’alaea also has a Mother’s Day Brunch advertised on Open Table. Check out their beautiful view of Ma’alaea Harbor (formerly the Waterfront and Saltimbocca).

This is what I’ve found to date. I will add to the list as I find more. Please, make reservations so you are not disappointed!

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The Tin Roof – a new Top Chef Sheldon Simeon restaurant

The foodies and food-show lovers may remember Sheldon Simeon from 2013s Top Chef: Seattle, a reality TV cooking show, where he made it to the ‘top three’ and won the fan favorite award. Chef Sheldon Simeon has won numerous other awards since then. He could be found at Star Noodle and Mala, more recently opened his own restaurant Migrant at the Wailea Beach Marriott. Migrant is scheduled to close next month as the lease expiring (a Roy’s is slated to renovate the space and move in). Last I read they hope to reopen in a new location.

Sheldon Simeon Tin Roof Maui
This is where to find the Tin Roof – nope, it does not have a sign (that’s just the logo super-imposed into the picture), but the restaurant is to the right of the U’i Gallery. Be sure to check out the U’i Gallery for some beautiful art/souvenirs too!

But have no fear, the Chef has a new local flair take-out restaurant on Maui. It’s called the Tin Roof. They just opened a few weeks ago. It is so new that they don’t even have a sign on the door. It is located along Dairy Road in Kahului, in the same strip mall as the Fedex/Kinkos, Pinatas Mexican, right next to my friend Rachel’s U’i Gallery. The windows are reflective, and the only thing to give away that it is a restaurant would be the line-up outside the door (they are open 10am-2pm). That’s right, the word is out, and as of April 14th’s facebook post they recommend you call in your orders between 8-10am. The number is 808-868-0753.

Note: there is very limited seating along the window, this is primarily a take-out restaurant.

I have yet to make it to Tin Roof – sadly I had to cancel this week’s lunch plans.

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One of our favorite lunch spots

If you are looking for a reasonable delicious air-conditioned lunch place – I know just the place! Cafe o Lei, on the second floor of Rainbow Plaza across from Kamaole I beach in Kihei is great for lunch and dinner! Confession – we rarely go out for dinner. Dinner prices on Maui are often double of the lunch prices. How are the prices at Cafe o Lei? Most everything on the lunch menu is in the $9-14/person range.

So what’s good at lunch? Pretty much everything!

Here are a few pictures of our orders from this past Sunday.

Sig likes the fish special – this is usually a mahi mahi, either mac nut or panko crusted. Sig isn’t a rice lover, so he goes ‘light on the rice and heavy on the salad’.

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ fish special

I often get the Quinoa Salad. It has lots of greens, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, some sprouts and a great vinaigrette. My other favorite is the crab club sandwich – come hungry!

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ quinoa salad

My sister-in-law tried the Jumbo Shrimp Papaya Salad – she was a fan.

Cafe o Lei lunch
Cafe o Lei ~ jumbo shrimp papaya salad

I can’t speak to their desert – if we want desert, we will often walk downstairs and grab a shave ice from S&Q’s. Have you had a shave ice yet? (Note, no D at the end of shave). Delicious and refreshing!

The owners of Cafe o Lei own several additional restaurants: Ami Ami at the Maui Coast Hotel, Cafe o Lei at the Dunes Golf Course (in Kahului) and the Makawao Steak House (in Makawao).

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A hidden gem of a restaurant – Cuatro!

I don’t know why we’ve never been to Cuatro. We have several friends who tell us about amazing dinners they’ve had at Cuatro. Turns out Sig even knows the owner/chef of Cuatro. Today we finally had dinner at Cuatro. Wow.

This is a small Asian-fusion restaurant in the same strip mall as Sansei (Kihei’s favorite sushi restaurant), near Foodland. When I say small, I mean small – the sign above the door says their maximum capacity is 46. Looking around, I think that includes wait and kitchen staff. I’m not sure where you’d put 46 people.

Sig made reservations (we were celebrating a special occasion), and it’s a good thing he had. Every table was occupied. True, we brought down the average age, but when dinner is great, who cares? It’s a BYOB establishment (it can be difficult and expensive to get a liquor license on Maui), so bring your favorite drink, they charge a $10/table corkage fee.

Cuatro Asian steak
the Asian marinated grilled steak

I had the Mauiterranean fish of the day (ahi tuna), Sig had the Asian marinated grilled steak. Dinner was amazing! A woman at the table next to us had the Spicy Tuna Nachos – that is the signature dish, they looked wonderful too.

Cuatro Mauiterranean ahi
Fish of the day – ahi prepared Mauiterranean style. Amazing!

Forgot to bring a bottle of wine? No problem – make a quick stop at Foodland. We had picked up one of our favorites (a Napa Valley wine – Prisoner) at Foodland on sale this week. What a special dinner, just the two of us!

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Where to eat breakfast in Kihei?

You may have heard… Kihei’s Denny’s restaurant closed down a while ago. My friend Bonnie’s kids loved eating at Denny’s when they come to Maui. No worry, I told Bonnie – we can find you much better places to eat!

So where to eat breakfast in Kihei? Here are a few suggestions, in no particular order.

  • wonderful breakfast at Kihei Caffe
    wonderful breakfast at Kihei Caffe

    If you are looking for plentiful and cheap eats – check out the Kihei Caffe across from Kalama Park. They open daily at 5am and serve huge delicious portions at very reasonable prices which explains the at times long-line-ups. However, if you are up early and considering hitting the beach at 6AM because the kids are wide awake, you will likely avoid line-ups at that time. Cash only.

  • 808 Bistro – tucked in behind Fred’s Mexican Cafe (2511 S Kihei Road) this place has been around for several years, serving breakfast and dinner (closed for lunch).
  • Chez Meme – in Kihei’s industrial area, just down the road from Eskimo Candy, is a cute little French restaurant, known for their breakfast! I’m told they have great lunch also!
  • For breakfast with a view check out the Five Palms restaurant, on the main floor of the Mana Kai building. Their banana mac nut pancakes are wonderful. If you are staying in one of our condos, grab the Pueo discount card for an additional 20% off the bill.
  • Nalu’s Southshore Grill – a new breakfast/lunch place in Central Kihei behind the post office and next to Ace Hardware. I have heard rave reviews of their breakfast items, in particular their Acai bowl.
  • D’Lite – a healthy fast-food place in the old KFC location across from Kalama Park. I have not tried this, but it keeps popping up in my Yelp and Tripadvisor searches. Check it out, it has good reviews!

If you must have Denny’s, I believe the Kahului Denny’s near the airport is still there.

Where do I eat breakfast? Personally, all I want for breakfast is a good cup of coffee, a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter and jam and maybe some fruit. I personally prefer to eat breakfast at home – staying at a condo gives you this option as you have a full kitchen! I love to go out for lunch instead!

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A new restaurant in Kihei – Nalu’s!

Nalu's restaurant
inside the restaurant

There is a new restaurant in Kihei – Nalu’s South Shore Grill! It is in the old Ihop location in Azeka Marketplace, next to Ace Hardware and behind the Kihei post office. Actually, it’s been more than a decade since there was an Ihop in Kihei, but if you describe it that way, it seems all locals and many repeat tourists know what you are talking about. In the past ten years there has been a steady procession of other restaurants at this location. Sadly they have come and gone. The restaurant business is tough.

Nalu's Ahi Club
the Ahi Club

Nalu’s South Shore Grill is popular with both locals and tourists – a key to making it here on Maui. Nalu’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You order your food at the till, pay, then choose a seat indoors or outside. The food is brought to you. Nalu’s serves breakfast all day (bonus especially with kids!) and also has a bar with several screens to watch your favorite game! Nalu’s is an open-air restaurant, I am told they are dog-friendly.

We tried out Nalu’s for lunch. Our friends had previously checked out the menu and reviews online and had plenty of suggestions. Sig ordered the burger, our friends and I all had the Ahi Club. Both were served on unique cutting boards and came with homemade chips and a tasty side salad. The Ahi Club was so good – the flavor just amazing! Sig enjoyed his burger too.

Nalu's burger
The burger was also delicious

I forgot to order my desert malasadas (research for this blog, of course), by the time I was ready for desert, there was a line-up at the till. I guess I will have to go back and try those. Would anyone want to join me for a morning treat?

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A few Maui restaurants to check out!

Our family enjoys eating out. We usually go out for lunch as it’s half to a third the price of eating out at dinner. It seems we get stuck in a rut though, shy of trying new restaurants.

Here are a few new-to-me places some of my local friends are talking about.

Nalu’s South Shore Grill – this is a new restaurant in Kihei’s Azeka plaza (makai-side) next to the Ace Hardware, tucked in behind the post office. Years ago this was an IHOP location, since then a number of restaurants have tried and sadly failed in this location. Nalu’s seems to be holding its own. You order and pay at the counter, the food is then brought to your table. I have been told it’s a dog-friendly restaurant and that the food is very good.

Las Pinatas – according to local friends this place at the Dairy Center in Kahului is the best Mexican restaurant on Maui.

Maui Thai Bistro – several friends have told me this place is awesome! It’s tucked into the back of the strip mall by Cafe o Lei (Rainbow Mall).

I’ve been wondering about the new Paia Fish Market Southside that opened in the Triangle area across from Kihei’s Kalama Park. Their Pa’ia restaurant is a favorite to many.

Gannon's restaurant view
the beautiful view from Gannon’s on the Wailea Emerald and Gold Course

As previously reported on this blog, Joe’s restaurant at the Wailea Tennis Club closed rather abruptly this summer. Gannon’s (its sister restaurant) has recently added Joe’s Classics to the dinner menu and are now serving lunch rather casually in baskets – not sure what the baskets are about, but the food is great! We do like Gannons, you just can’t beat their view.

Have you tried out a new-to-you restaurant on your Maui trip? What did you think? I would love to hear about a great experience and am always looking for something new to write about! Leave me a comment below!

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The best bakery on Maui!

I’ve been told Komoda’s Bakery in Makawao is the best bakery, and very particularly that they serve the best malasadas. But is it true?

komoda display case

komoda display case

What are malasadas? They are Portuguese donuts and come either plain or with a filling of sorts.

I’ve driven by Komoda’s (on Baldwin Avenue, the main road leading down the hill) several times, and a few weeks ago went in to check it out. Unfortunately it was already two in the afternoon and there wasn’t much left. Go early! The store itself is a hole in a wall. Don’t let it deter you! And bring cash – I am not sure if they take credit card.

Komodas Bakery
Komoda’s Bakery in Makawao

Today I poked my head in at 9am. Oh yum. These are available ready to go (room temperature) while the Home Maid Cafe in Kihei makes them while you wait (hot). The guava-filled ones and also the ‘malasadas on a stick’ are so ono (delicious)!

komoda maladas
Two types of malasadas – guava-filled and ‘on a stick’
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New Paia Restaurant – Hana Ranch Provisions

I don’t often drive through Pa’ia. But today was one of those days when I came cruising down Baldwin after some upcountry errands. I was looking for Dazoo Restaurant as I was contemplating picking up some goodies at their Moana Bakery. Apparently it’s really been a while since I drove through – Dazoo closed its doors in June. In its place, I was intrigued to see a sign for Provisions. What is that? Apparently the Hana Ranch in East Maui last month opened up their own restaurant, Hana Ranch Provisions, using all locally sourced organic ingredients, creating made-from-scratch lunch and dinners….

Hana Ranch Provisions
Hana Ranch Provisions – photo courtesy of Yelp

The pictures on their website and facebook page look amazing! I will be checking this place out! They still have a bakery (where Moana was) which serves goodies and to-go items.

Check it out!

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