Piggy in Maui, Hawaii!
Although Hawaii is one of the US states, it felt like a world away from US. Perhaps it’s because of the islands we have chosen to visit, but everything really slows down here. The cuisine is also very different. We ate a lot of tropical dishes that contains coconut, ahi (tuna), fresh seafood and taro, and learnt a whole new word- “ono” which means nom nom nom/ yummy/ delicious :D
Our Hawaii adventure started in Maui. There are so many islands to choose from in Hawaii, I had to use an Island Chooser to help me find the right destination! I guess when I choose my destination, it mainly comes down to *ahem* food. As Maui has a reputation for its produce and its food, it was an easy choice for me.
We stayed at the Maui Coast Hotel, which is probably 3.5 stars. It was a world away from the luxurious Encore hotel in Las Vegas, but it really suits our purpose of exploring the island, and everyone was friendly there.
1881 South Kihei Road, Suite 111, Kihei, Maui
On our first night at Maui, we went to Cuatro Restaurant. Booking is recommended, as it has received rave reviews everywhere and only seats about 50 people. Cuatro at the moment is BYOB for a fee, which suits us just fine as we have been carrying a great bottle of red the host of airbnb.com has given us during our stay at his apartment.
For starters, we got given some nachos with their chilli verde sauce. As we are munching through our starters, the friendly waiter explained the menu to us and gave us a few suggestions of what to order and what their speciality was.
We settled on some appetizers, with the first being their Asian style Pupu Steak with mushroom and truffled teriyaki sauce $18. Holy crap it was HUGE! We couldn’t believe the size of this “appetizers”! It could easily be my mains! Anyway, the size of it aside, the steak was beautifully cooked to medium rare, ono-gasmic mushroom and truffle teriyaki sauce complements the beef spectacularly.
The waiter told us that their shrimp mini tacos were super popular, but as I don’t eat shrimps, we ordered the spicy tuna nachos instead $13. Apparently their tuna nachos won the Taste of Lahaina in 2005, so it’s obviously fantastic. Covered with lashings of aioli, cilantro pesto and some sort of red, slightly spicy sauce, the tuna sat prettily atop a deep fried wonton skin (which Americans love to use, see Wolfgang Puck post). I thought that the dish tasted delicious, although it was a bit of a pity that all the sauce covered the freshness of the tuna.
I thought I’d be a good, healthy piggy by ordering catch of the day $27. You get to choose different styles of cooking it, and I chose “House Style”, which is Mexican blackened fish with house vegetables, rice pilaf, cumin-oregano buerre blanc, and avocado pico de gallo. You can also choose Mauiterranean, Rivieria and Classic style. I haven’t tried this type of fish before (and I wish I remembered the name), but it was a bit tough for my liking. The flavours were gorgeous though and I love how it comes with avocado and bits of fish roe.
We were very full by then, but thought we should order dessert also. We ordered a dessert special, can’t remember what it was called, but it’s macadamia icecream with fresh fruit. We actually only order a half serve to share between the two of us, but it was so big we could hardly finish it! We saw the couple next table to us order the full size one and shuddered- it was huge!
Overall we love Cuatro and would love to go back there again. 8.5/10
To check out the other places we visited in USA, please visit my USA page here.