Thursday, 1. December 2011 5:25
MAUI, HAWAII — You’re probably accustomed to restaurant menus that list the farms where the produce comes from and the ranches that raise the pork and beef starring in the dishes.
But how about a seafood restaurant that lists not only where the fresh fish it serves comes from, but the name of the fisherman who caught it and the method used to land it?
That’s what you’ll find on the menu of Mama’s Fish House in Paia on the north shore of Maui, which has been including that information since it opened 39 years ago. At a time when upscale restaurants on Maui were all steak houses, Vice President Karen Christenson’s parents opened this beach-side restaurant to spotlight seafood because it was cheaper then — and because the fishermen conveniently delivered.
Today, you’ll find descriptions on the menu such as “Deep-water ahi caught by Shawn Boneza trolling the north shore of Maui; seared in ginger and panko crust with kalua pig rice pilaf” ($40) and “Papio caught by David Wallace while adrift over deep sea ledges near Kaupo; upcountry style with caramelized Maui onion, tomato and jasmine rice” ($38).
How’s that to make a dish sound even more enticing?
Recently, I had a chance to dine as a guest at four wonderful restaurants on Maui, including Mama’s Fish House, as part of my trip to Hawaii, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
They take their fish seriously at Mama’s Fish House, a bustling tropical outpost with dining rooms decorated with outrigger boats and shells, as well as views of sand and palm trees.
Chef Perry Bateman, who has been at the restaurant an astounding 20 years, turns out about 1,000 meals a day. Everything is made from scratch, too.