On June 14, 2021, my son and I flew to Maui for a much needed vacation. For my son it was “Epic.” For me it was an adventure in traveling with a teen, but it was also my chance to explore the variety of amazing foods Hawaii has to offer.
When I travel, one of my strongest values is to support local businesses. I made sure we stayed at a Hawaiian-owned establishment,Maui Seaside Hotel. When it came time to eat, I told my son I wanted to look for restaurants that were locally owned and operated. Though some of the restaurants were not Hawaiian-owned, many were locally owned and operated. We enjoyed all our meals, however I’d like to highlight my top three favorites.
After we got off the plane and picked up our rental car, we honestly just wanted to eat. I told my son to look through Yelp and pick a restaurant. He picked SixtyTwo Marcket and because we were ready to eat, I obliged. We gave our name and walked around the “historic district” of Wailuku while we waited. After 15 minutes the restaurant called to say our table was ready. We hurried and walked over to be seated.
The restaurant had a lovely ambiance and the staff was pleasant. I ordered Swordfish Tacos. My son ordered Bacon and Eggs as he wanted his food simple and fast. When our food came we just dug in.
As corny as it sounds, for me it was love at first bite. The fish was tender and very well seasoned. The purple corn tortilla was the perfect texture and whatever sauce was on the taco enhanced the meal very well. It took every ounce of strength I had to not lick the plate. I literally scraped my knife on the plate to get up as much of the sauce as I could. The Sweet Potato Fries were flavorful, great texture as well. I washed it all down with an Iced Mocha. I included photos, but unfortunately the picture of my tacos came out very blurry.
My next favorite meal was the following morning. We ate atTante’s Island Cuisine, which was right next to our hotel. Tante’s was an experience in culinary delight. First off, their service was excellent, there’s a reason why “Excellence” is on the back of their shirts. Everyone was very courteous. My son ordered the Porkchops and Eggs with an Iced Tea. I ordered the Tapsilog with a Passion Orange Juice. I love Filipino food and have eaten Tapsilog on a few occasions, however this had the best flavor. The spices truly enhanced the beef, they complimented each other. The garlic rice had a subtle flavor and tasted very delicious. The juice had a tremendous, fresh flavor. The entire meal worked well together.
My son also enjoyed his meal. He told our server that the pork was the most tender he’d tasted.
We loved Tante’s so much we actually went back our last day in Maui and ate again. This time we both ordered French Toast with a side of bacon. Delicious!
I have to say my most favorite meal was very intentional. I had been following Chef Sheldon on Instagram and told my son we were absolutely eating at his restaurant, Tinroof Maui during this trip. When we arrived at Tinroof there were quite a few people waiting and my son expressed concern that there would be a long wait. I told him “too bad,” we were absolutely supporting this business. I had seen a picture of what I wanted and the determination took over.
I ordered the Mochiko Chicken over Garlic Noodles and a side of Pickled Onions with a Ginger Beer. My son ordered the Garlic Noodles as he planned on eating some leftovers from the night before.
Honestly, the food looked like hisInstagram photos. Now, there are no words for how fantastic was that Mochiko Chicken. The outside had a nice crunch followed by a very tender, juicy piece of chicken, spices on every level. I could taste everything and the flavors literally danced together in my mouth. I included theIsland Ginger Beer because it was honestly the best Ginger Beer I’d tasted.Tinroof Maui is a must experience if you ever visit the island.
At the time of this blog, Tinroof was “takeout only.” Fortunately for us however, our hotel was about five minutes away so we took it in stride and just brought the food back to our hotel to enjoy. I look forward to going back next time we, or I visit Maui.
I love food! Wherever I go in this world I check out the food immediately. Nine times out of ten I am very intentional about where I eat, making sure it’s locally owned and operated. Sometimes when I eat it’s not the case, but I do my best. With Maui it was pretty easy.
The food was fantastic, the people were incredible and we just had a good time. Next time I travel to Maui, I will eat at some of the restaurants we tried, but of course there’s more to discover when I go on my next excursion. Until that moment comes, Maui was the best culinary adventure yet.