The perfect Mahi Mahi Fish and Chips
The website is launched and live now and I can think of no better thing to talk about today than the the humble Mahi Mahi. When I travel to Maui, it’s one of the first meals I have. Mahi Mahi Fish & Chips – Maui style! Paia Fish Market has long been a favorite restaurant of mine – from way back in the days when my soul-sister and I would fly over to Maui with our checked luggage (back when you could still check two bags per person with no charge) consisting of mostly camping gear and we’d camp out at Papalua Beach campground. But that’s a story for another day…
I think in the 25 years or so that I’ve been visiting Maui, that I’ve only ever ordered the Fish & Chips from Paia Fish Market. Never had a need to try any other dish on the menu. This one is perfection and I just don’t want to mess with perfection. Though every dish that passed me by on it’s way to another customer look entirely mouth watering! There’s just something about a cold beer and a delicious, fresh cooked piece of fish!
I consider myself a Fish & Chips connoisseur. I’ve tried hundreds of fish & chips from England to New Zealand. Anytime we visit a coastal town and eat out, I try the fish and chips. Some make theirs too doughy, you know the kind where it’s still raw tasting goo in the middle, some have more batter than fish, others hit the mark but they just never can match my beloved Paia Fish Market style.
Picture this (and get a bib if you must) an ice cold beer (I had the Pau Hana Pilsner* from Maui Brewing Co. on my last visit, excellent!), delectable coleslaw with just the right tartness level, perfect French fries and laying over that are four lightly breaded (no gooey beer batter here!) with just the right amount of herbs and spices, cooked just right FISH STICKS! Inside is tender and juicy Mahi Mahi… hold on I have to go get my own bib – my mouth is watering just typing this… the flavor is enhanced by their perfect tartar sauce… mmm the tartar sauce adds just the perfect touch.
One serving can easily serve two people for a light dinner. I’ve never finished a whole meal of Fish & Chips in one setting. I always take leftovers home*.
When we first started eating here, there was one restaurant, all the way over in Paia (which isn’t really far) but not so inconveniently far that we wouldn’t hop in the rented beat-out Jeep with no top and head over to stuff ourselves. But now they boast three locations, one of which is just is 2.3 miles from our condo door! A mere 6 or 7 minutes to mouth-wateringly delicious food. I was so excited to see that they had opened up shop in Kihei! I can now get my fix without the long drive.
Paia Fish Market has a very casual environment. Order you meal & drinks at the window, get your ticket number and seat yourself to one of their picnic tables. Condiments, napkins and silverware are on the table, ready for you. When your piping hot Fish & Chips is ready for you (ok, maybe you tried something else on the menu) a server will bring your food to you. Casual or ‘Aloha’ ware attire is perfect for dining here. If you eat at the flagship restaurant in Paia there is some great surfing decor that is sadly missing at the Southside location.
Check out their flagship restaurant in Paia town on your way watch the wind surfers in Ho’okipa or to watch the surfers on the north shore. And if you’re up Lahaina way, grab a beer and some Fish & Chips (or be adventurous and try something else on the menu.)
* Tip! Pau Hana roughly translates as ‘Finished’ but it conveys as ‘The time after work. It is considered a time for relaxation, informal socializing with friends and family, and enjoyment.’
*Tip #2! Order extra fish sticks to take home. They run about $3 a piece and nothing beats cold fish sticks for breakfast! Don’t knock it till you try it!