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Wailea Eats: Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Seafood Restaurant

Are you able to pronounce “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a” in one fell swoop without stumbling? Great! If not, apparently they make it easier for both guests and staff by nicknaming themselves “Humuhumu”. Much easier. In case you’re not aware of it, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is  one of several species of trigger fish native to Hawaii’s coastal waters. It also happens to be the official Hawaii state fish. This elongated Hawaiian name translates to “triggerfish with a snout like a pig”.

Humuhumu Seafood Restaurant is located on the Makena side of the Grand Wailea Hotel Resort and Spa property. It sits atop an expanse salt water lagoon teaming with a variety of reef fish, making this another one of those type of “floating restaurants”, like the Pagoda Restaurant in Honolulu. Here’s some photos of the Humuhumu taken during the day…

I’m a big fan of open air restaurants with a Polynesian theme, and Humuhumu doesn’t disappoint, with the requisite thatched roofing and Ohia wood beam frame treatment.

I spotted a Humuhumu swimming around, but missed it in my shots. They even had live lobsters in the pond hiding in rocks near the restaurant perimeter, which you can point and choose yourself for your meal if that’s what you’re ordering.

Humuhumu is open daily for dinner only from 5:30pm to 9:00pm, so we made reservations for 8pm. Look at the intricate woodwork their menu is adorned by…

As mentioned a few posts ago in the review of Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe, we were lucky to be in town during Restaurant Week Wailea, a benefit for the Maui Food Bank, and Humuhumu was another participating restaurant for this event. With that, we were also given the option to choose from their Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu…

Obviously a great value compared to if you were to order each of these items off the regular dinner menu, we both went for the Prix Fixe selections.

Landing on the table first (along with our glasses of Cabernet) was a warm basket of the house dinner rolls…

The two on the left were Hawaiian Taro Rolls…

Compliments of the chef (mahalo!), we were each first served this delicious plate of Hamachi Sashimi…

That light green “stuff” on top is cucumber juice, frozen, then shaved on it like shave ice for service. Brilliant! When you bite into the top-grade Hamachi, not only is it extra cold and refreshing thanks to the shave ice, but the cucumber juice’ flavor adds this interesting, yet subtle twist in character to the whole dish. We can’t remember what the sauce under it was, but just remember as a whole this was delicious. Chef, may I have another one?

For some reason, we both had a craving for ribs no matter which restaurant we ate at up in Maui, so from here we ordered their Awapuhi Niu Pork Ribs to go along with all our other starters…

Humuhumu – Awapuhi Niu Pork Ribs: Indonesian Style Baby Back Ribs Marinated in Lemongrass, Hawaiian Ginger and Coconut Milk, Grilled and served with Fresh Cilantro and Mint, $19

I really don’t get that presentation (I actually asked our server what it was when she brought it the table), but here’s how it looks halfway through devouring a few ribs myself…

Whatever it is with all those exotic flavors involved, these ribs ROCKED! Tender inside, with a flavor-packed char-grilled crust on the outside. Between here and Tommy Bahama’s, it’s a toss-up who’s is better. They’re both fantastic in their own way.

For starters from the Prix Fixe menu, my girlfriend chose the Kula Lau’ai…

Humuhumu – Kula Lau’ai: Kula Butter Lettuce Salad, Cabot White Cheddar Cheese, Asian Pears, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette (Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu price)

I chose the Surfing Goat Cheese and Ipu Salad…

Humuhumu – Surfing Goat Cheese and Ipu Salad: Upcountry Goat Cheese and Melon, Kula Flower Blossoms, Mint finishes with a Red Wine Gastrique (Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu price)

For the entree from the Prix Fixe Menu, she chose the Grilled Ahi Caught in the Alanuihaha Channel…

Humuhumu – Grilled Ahi CAught in the Alanuihaha Channel: Marinated Hamakua Tomatoes, Pancetta, Tomato – Ginger Emulsion, Shaved Fennel, Steamed Rice (Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu price)

I chose the Alakahiki Channel Mahi Mahi…

Humuhumu – Alakahiki Channel Mahi Mahi: Crusted with Waiehu Grown Macadamia Nut, Citrus Butter Sauce, Glazed Bok Choy, Mango, and Mint Relish, Toasted Coconut – Jasmine Rice (Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu price)

For dessert, we both opted for the Humu Pie…

Humuhumu – Humu Pie: Layers of Lappert’s Macadamia Nut and Kona Coffee Ice Cream on an Oreo Cookie Crust, Topped with a Chocolate Tiki (Restaurant Week Wailea Prix Fixe menu price)

Here’s the backside of the Humu Pie…

Mmm, mmm, mmm, I could for one of these right about now! I’ll have to search online how to make that Oreo Cookie Crust. Once I got that, this is totally doable to make at home.

The Kula Lau’ai and Surfing Goat Cheese and Ipu Salads were both fantastic, with the flavors and textures involved marrying perfectly with each other.

Both the Grilled Ahi and Mac’ nut crusted Mahimahi were also fantastic, with the fish being very moist and inside, and all the flavors and textures of the complex sauces and other components coming together beautifully.

Grilled Ahi

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahimahi

Our server was even kind enough to bring us a sampler platter of their Macaroons…

One decor item I thought was particularly interesting was this chandelier in the main dining room, which resembled a school of swimming triggerfish…

To sum it up, our entire dinner and dining experience at Humuhumu was EXCELLENT, making our stay at the Grand Wailea that much more memorable.

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Seafood Restaurant
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa
3850 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea, Maui, HI 96753

Tel. (808) 875-1234 ext. 4900

Hours of operation:
Open daily for dinner
Humu Lounge & Bar 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Dinner 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Pau Hana Happy Hour 5-6pm 50% off on the rocks, well drinks, house wines by the glass and domestic beers

Website (<—see dinner menu there)

The Tasty Island rating:

Related links:
Humuhumunukukuapua’a Restaurant – Yelp user reviews

More tidbits around Maui, this time on the property at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa. Here’s our room…

The pool and ocean view from our room…

We’ll take a photo walkthrough around the pool and grounds of the Grand Wailea in the next post. This has got to be one of most the extravagent, feature-loaded resort swimming pools in the state of Hawaii. Lotsa’ fun!

16 thoughts on “Wailea Eats: Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Seafood Restaurant

  • June 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Wonderful post about wonderful food

  • June 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Woops, I removed that photo. Didn’t notice that. Woops! lol

  • June 9, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Pomai, that the kind of place I call a vacation. A good R&R. Will bring guests to see and dine at restaurant too.

  • June 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Grand Wailea rocks! Never been to the restaurant before even though I lived there 20 years. But we go to the pool all the time when we go home…we usually stay a night at Grand Wailea just to get into the pool! It’s the best hotel pool area on Maui. Very comfortable at the Grand Wailea on Maui…that’s where Jon & Kate renewed their vows.

  • June 9, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Pomai, wondering what in Pomai’s shopping bag from Maui? I like to see what goodries you got from your trip and products from Maui.

  • June 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I really enjoyed this one! I enjoy all of your posts, but it’s nice to see one from Maui, which is where I eat the most…Beautiful!

  • June 9, 2009 at 7:38 am

    It all looks delicious.
    Oreo crust is just fine crushed oreos and butter. I think salted butter is best for this. Instead of oreos, you can also use crushed nabisco wafers and butter – again, I think salted is best for this. The wafers are not in the cookie section, they’re usually near the ice cream, maybe near where the cones or sprinkles are. I don’t know for sure why they’re stocked there, but I think it has to do with an old fashioned layered (ice cream and wafers) dessert they’re famous for. This is what the box looks like: http://www.amazon.com/NABISCO-FAMOUS-CHOC-WAFERS-CT/dp/B0002QF1NS

    FYI, last time I was in the baking isle @ the grocery store, I saw oreo crumbs for crusts.

  • June 9, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Pomai, the first thing I notice was the plates the restaurant use for the food. Wonder where I can get some of those plates? Been trying to collected plates and dishes for a while with polynesian theme. That dessert killed me. Your last entry on fish & chips drove me crazy also so I headed on to 1014 Valkenburgh St for some and hush puppies. I never had it with honey but not bad. Fried clams was good too.

  • June 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Yet another entertaining and hunger-inducing entry! I love how you get shots of the menu so we can all dream of what we’d order.
    Don’t know if you’ve ever read this particular blog, but she made an Oreo crust for a peanut butter pie today and I thought of you: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/06/another-pie/

  • June 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Oh we absolutely love this place. We ate here after our original commitment on the beach many many years ago and have been back frequently. I wasn’t aware your posts ventured off Oahu. Thank you for this coverage!

  • June 11, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Wow, it all looks so good! We’ve always stay at the Grand Hyatt in Lahaina but I think we might have to stay at Grand Wailea next time! The pool reminds me of the one at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, which I love!

  • June 11, 2009 at 9:36 am

    CAB, funny you mention that. The next post will be a visit to Umalu Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Ka’anapali (it’s not in Lahaina, which is the next town over).

    Blake, I take it this is where you proposed to your wife? As C mentioned, the GW is also where Jon and Kate renewed their vows. It be quite an experience getting married in the GW Chapel. During our stay, we seen several bridal parties walking around the property, so this is certainly a destination for booking weddings.

    Syndrax and Holly, mahalo for the Oreo cookie crust recipes. Looks easy enough. Now I’ll have to run to the store and find the best quality Kona Coffee and Macadamia Nut ice cream I can find. I think Maui’s own Roselani brand has Mac nut ice cream. I know Meadow Gold makes a basic Kona Coffee ice cream, which is actually pretty good considering its price. I can probably find a kitschy Tiki-shaped chocolate in some shop in Waikiki. Ya’ know… for presentation.

    Amy, Erica said something about Long John Silver being near there? Never been to an LJS before, but I hear just everything on the menu is deep-fried. Yowza!

    Olivia, glad you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed eating it!

    Erica, I managed to squeeze in 6 bags of Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips as omiyage for friends back home, a container of Iwamoto factory Natto, 2 bags of Iwamoto factory undried saimin noodles and several packs of Ah Fook’s own Portuguese Sausage… all products unique to and only available on Maui. Next time I hope to bring back at least 3 gallon’s worth of Tasaka Guri Guri for omiyage. I wouldn’t attempt to do that in the summer heat though. I’ll try that some time in Winter when the day temperature isn’t so scorching.

    C, Grand Wailea indeed rocks… especially the pool. Yet we also really enjoyed our stay earlier in the week at Kamaole Sands in Kihei. Being those were vacation condos, KS has all the comforts of home, including a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a stack washer/dryer in the unit. Nice.

    The last time on Maui we stayed at the Maui Coast in Kihei which was also very nice and great location in the middle of Kihei. We plan on staying at the Hyatt in Ka’anapali on our next visit there. Front street is such a cool little town… like a mini Kalakaua avenue (Waikiki), except much more laid back.

    Betty, you don’t have to be guest at the Grand Wailea to dine at Humuhumu, although you do need to be one in order to use the pool facilities (they’ll issue you a colored wrist band for identification as a guest).

  • June 11, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Pomai, in California Long John Silver have a Freshside Grille Menu. For people who prefer grill fish instead of deep fried type. Not sure yet in Hawaii branches. Vegetable shortening is use now for deep fried food less tran fat. Not much into fried food but once in while is OK.

  • October 25, 2010 at 3:37 am

    well, who does not love seafood anyway? Seafood tastes so yummy and is addicting–;


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