Afterthoughts – Fantastic Fishies at Nick’s Fish Market, Maui / Hawaii
We love fresh seafood, especially when they are line-caught and pulled from pristine waters, so it’s no surprise that I’ve chosen to showcase Nick’s Fish Market as the final restaurant feature of our trip to Maui this time.
Nick’s Fish Market is a fine dining restaurant chain, and their Maui location is in the Fairmont Kea Lani, where we stayed throughout this trip. The location makes this restaurant the perfect spot to watch the sunset, with the beach only steps away.
We started the evening with wine and cocktails – my Mangotini was refreshing and also packed a mighty punch.
Our server highly recommended the “seafood sausage” which didn’t sound especially appetizing at first glance, but then, she explained what was in it (big chunks of lobster, tiger shrimp, scallop, smoked salmon, Hawaiian fish) all set upon a dollop of leek confit and drizzled with limoncello mostarda – we were sold! It was a delicious and interesting starter, and I liked the contrasting textures from the potpourri of seafood.
Since we are sticking to the fish theme, we both decided to go for grilled local fish. The Mister chose the Island Snapper, a beautifully tender fillet sautéed with lemon butter and capers, artichoke hearts, broccolini and tomato puree, and accompanied by herb spaetzle. I stole some (of course!) from his plate and loved, especially, the texture of the spaetzle.
Ever since watching a mahi mahi change from one colour to another during feeding time at the Monterey aquarium, I’ve been fascinated by this fish. When the fish gets excited, it turns from blue / silver to a bright blazing gold. Not only is it a great tasting white fish, it’s also one of the most sustainable fish species in the ocean, so naturally, I’ve been eating a lot of mahi mahi recently. I chose the Potato “Scaled” Mahi Mahi as my main, with potato puree, cabernet beurre rouge, white truffle oil and grilled asparagus. The potato was sliced wafer thin, lined the fillet like fish scales, and grilled to a golden shell. The cabernet rouge added resonating depth and flavour dimension to the dish.
Now let’s talk about the dessert! I’m usually not a big dessert / sweet tooth person, but I just had to get the Strawberries Panzini after watching a neighbouring table have it. The strawberries are locally harvested from nearby Ulupalakua ranch, and then flambeed table side with Grand Marnier.
The strawberries are served alongside Hawaiian brown sugar, Devonshire creme and chocolate sauce. Our server drew and shaped the sugar and creme into different motifs. Mine was a flower while the Mister’s was the beach.
The dessert really made for a sweet conclusion to dinner.
Verdict: Definitely a must-visit. Romantic ambiance, great location, and superb service. The dishes are innovative without being ridiculous, and I loved how the menu focused on locally produced ingredients. A solid seafood restaurant set in the heart of elegant Wailea.
Nick’s Fish Market
Fairmont Kea Lani, 4100 Wailea Alanui Drive
Tel: (808) 879 7224