Move over mai tai, the cool kids of Maui are drink­ing pineap­ple wine and beer

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - DESTINATION MAUI - KARA MUR­PHY

Dis­cov­er­ing fresh, lo­cal fare – on your plate and in your glass – is a de­li­cious high­light of vis­it­ing Maui, the sec­ond largest Hawai­ian is­land. From Up­coun­try pro­duce, to pineap­ple wines and brews, to fresh seafood with re­gional Hawai­ian flair, here are a few ideas to help fuel your itin­er­ary.


For an im­mer­sive farm-to-ta­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, head Up­coun­try (the higher el­e­va­tions sur­round­ing 3055m Haleakala) to O’o Farm in the Kula dis­trict, about 1066m above sea level on Haleakala’s north­west­ern-fac­ing slopes. Res­tau­ra­teurs Louis Coulombe and Stephan Bel-Robert bought the land in 2000 to sup­ply their Pa­cific’O restau­rant in La­haina with or­ganic pro­duce; to­day, the 3.4ha farm also roasts 100 per cent Mauigrown Ara­bica cof­fee and serves meals on-site, just a few steps from its crops.

The three-hour tour and gourmet lunch in­cludes a peek at the farm’s cof­fee trees and roast­ing fa­cil­i­ties; the chance to pick (and taste) a va­ri­ety of field greens and ed­i­ble herbs and flow­ers for a salad; and, fi­nally, a multi-course, fam­ily-style, BYO-wine out­door lunch, where the peo­ple who grow and har­vest the colour­ful veg­gies cook and serve them as well.

Mains might in­clude cof­fee cher­ryglazed tofu with sprouted legumes, broc­col­ini, and aubergine-cele­riac puree; lo­cally caught fish with beets, daikon, chay­ote and arugula puree; and Maui-raised chicken with fireroasted parsnips and rutabaga.

A cup of French-press Aina cof­fee paired with Maui Gold pineap­ple slices and a sliver of dark choco­late deca­dence (flavoured with cof­fee cherry, ap­ple, ba­nana and cumquat) pro­vides a sweet fin­ish.



Also Up­coun­try is 8093ha Ulu­palakua Ranch, home to Maui Wine and a 9.3ha vine­yard. The win­ery be­gan grow­ing grapes in 1974; while wait­ing for the grapes to ma­ture, they de­vel­oped wine made from Maui Gold pineap­ples. The pineap­ple wine was such a hit that they now pro­duce three types: off-dry Maui Blanc, sweet Maui Splash, and sparkling Hula O Maui.

Taste all three in circa-1870s King’s Cot­tage, built for the vis­its of Hawaii’s last reign­ing king, or sam­ple small pro­duc­tion es­tate wines in the Old Jail, a thick-walled stone build­ing, once a base­ment jail­house.



Wine isn’t the only adult bev­er­age in­cor­po­rat­ing Maui Gold pineap­ples. Maui Brew­ing Co., Hawaii’s largest craft brew­ery, uses the fa­mous fruit in a wheat beer called Pineap­ple Mana, which is avail­able through­out the is­land in stores and some restau­rants as well as in the com­pany’s Ki­hei tast­ing room and Ka­hana restau­rant in La­haina. The tast­ing room has a 32tap draft sys­tem, fea­tur­ing other flag­ship beers such as Co­conut Hiwa Porter, made with hand-toasted co­conut, as well as lim­ited re­lease drops such as Mango He­feweizen, a Bavar­ian-style wheat ale brewed with lo­cally sourced mango.



Peter Mer­ri­man is one of 12 Hawaii chefs who, in 1991, es­tab­lished Hawaii re­gional cui­sine, which show­cases Hawaii’s di­verse eth­nic flavours with fresh lo­cal in­gre­di­ents.

One of Mer­ri­man’s restau­rants is the lively and ca­sual Mon­key­pod Kitchen in Wailea (also soon to open in Whalers Vil­lage, Ka’ana­pali), where the lo­cally sourced menu in­cludes items such as Kauai shrimp and Ha­makua mush­room pot­stick­ers; hand­made gnoc­chi with pork sausage, ri­cotta, vine-ripened toma­toes, and or­ganic kale; and ki­awe (a mesquite tree) wood oven piz­zas.

How­ever, even if you’re not hun­gry, the tart and per­fectly balanced Mon­key­pod Mai Tai – made with Old La­haina sil­ver and dark rums (made from lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and dis­tilled in Paia), fresh lime juice, macadamia nut orgeat, or­ange cu­ra­cao, and a thick layer of house-made honey liliko’i (pas­sion­fruit) foam – is rea­son enough to visit.



Hu­muhu­munukunukua­pua’a, the Grand Wailea’s Poly­ne­sian thatchroof restau­rant, is named for Hawaii’s state fish, the Hawai­ian trig­ger­fish – and at­tempt­ing to say its name cor­rectly is a fun chal­lenge as you pe­ruse chef Mike Lo­faro’s menu, which re­flects a “cul­tur­ally con­scious, mod­ern Hawai­ian sea­son­al­ity”.

Small plate con­tenders in­clude seared Hokkaido scal­lops with radish, truf­fle vinai­grette, and “ca­noe plants” such as bread­fruit and sweet potato, brought to Hawaii by Poly­ne­sian ex­plor­ers; Ha­machi Carpac­cio with chilli, cel­ery, and gin­ger shave ice; a rich “risotto” made from bread­fruit in­stead of rice; and mar­i­nated toma­toes, mo­lasses, Surf­ing Goat cheese and smoked Kula straw­berry.

Main choices are sim­pler: opt for the catch of the day – which could be the eas­ier-to-say Opaka­paka (Hawai­ian pink snap­per) – served with gin­ger rice, dark soy and scal­lion vinai­grette, and sunomono (cu­cum­ber salad).



Dis­tilled from Maui-grown or­ganic sugar cane and blended with deep ocean min­eral wa­ter sourced from the Big Is­land’s Kona Coast, OCEAN Or­ganic Vodka fea­tures in cock­tails through­out the is­land, and tours of its Kula farm and dis­tillery are avail­able.

You don’t have to wait un­til you ar­rive in Maui for a sam­ple, though: it’s served on Hawai­ian Air­lines flights and is de­li­cious on the rocks or with a splash of pineap­ple juice.



A pupu is a Hawai­ian-style ap­pe­tiser or hors d’oeu­vre, and in­dulging in sev­eral types (and a cock­tail or two) at one of Maui’s ocean-view restau­rants is a great way to re­lax as the sun slides into the sea. At the Westin Maui’s Rel­ish Ocean­side restau­rant in Ka’ana­pali, for ex­am­ple, try the spicy Ahi poke tostadas, a com­bi­na­tion of av­o­cado, Ahi poke (raw yel­lowfin tuna salad), and Hawai­ian chilli pep­per aioli served atop a crispy won­ton chip; taro fo­cac­cia with Kim­chee but­ter, shal­lot and gar­lic con­fit; and miso yak­i­tori (miso-shoyu seared bam­boo chicken skew­ers with sam­bal pick­led pineap­ple). And, while not tech­ni­cally a pupu, a serv­ing of the lob­ster mac and cheese is worth shar­ing as well.

As for cock­tails, re­sort bar­tender mixol­o­gist Fred­die Scon­fienza’s award-win­ning Dragonberry Bomb (Bac­ardi Dragonberry, St Ger­main el­der­flower liqueur, fresh lime juice, lo­cal sugar cane syrup, and black­ber­ries) is a re­fresh­ing choice.




Pupus and cock­tails (be­low) at Westin Maui’s Rel­ish Ocean­side in Ka’ana­pali.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.