It's no secret that I love to eat. I would say, and have said in the past, that I live to eat, not eat to live. I am often looking for a place that serves up delicious, mind-blowingly good, diverse, tasty and satisfying dishes -- so much so I believe that I have become a food critic who may be hard to please now. With that, I still love staples like Zippy's, Liliha Bakery, and frozen pizza... so I am not that much of a food snob, but I definitely think my palate is well trained and experienced when it comes to elevated levels of cuisine.
Now, I have to share a few of my favorites when I travel to Maui because the food scene there is literally on fire! The Valley Isle is bursting at the seams with gourmet culinary experiences, grand tastings and delicacies that are mouth watering, memorable and a personal favorite when it comes to eating. Noted as one of the best chefs in the state, and also in the country for that matter, Sheldon Simeon has found a home in Wailea after placing as a finalist in Top Chef Seattle. The Hilo native and his beautiful family reside on Maui and we are all so very lucky because of this. Sheldon is one of my favorite chefs in the world because of his island/Filipino influences, combination of flavors, textures and unique takes on traditional dishes with a new and innovative presentation.
I gotta be honest, I am NOT fan girling, as I didn't really watch Top Chef that season, I did see a couple of episodes, but I wasn't glued to the TV enamored with his progress or the show. I actually met him after the show was done and experienced his cooking after he left Star Noodle and ventured off to find a new venue to showcase his ability to blend the old world with the new world. After visiting his restaurant a handful of times and tasting his dishes at numerous special events statewide, I am proud to showcase some of the items available at my friend's fabulous restaurant. Here some of the dishes he prepared (on and off menu) currently at Migrant, located in the Wailea Beach Marriott.
AHI AVO: Sashimi Grade Big Eye Ahi, Argumato Lemon Olive Oil, Usukuchi Soy Sauce, Ground Chili Paste, Ulu Chips $24.Talking about flavors and textures this is a great representation of that combination - the sashimi texture with the buttery avocado then crunch from the ulu chips, perfectly seasoned to highlight the tuna.
Beets & Goat Cheese: Roasted, Pickled & Shaved organic and local beets, Maui Oma Coffee sprinkled "soil" with whipped goat cheese and aged balsamic (salad). $12. I have never been a huge beet lover, until recently and I love how Sheldon likes to pickle things to make them more acidic and easier to eat, plus that crunch! The sweet beets, creaminess of the goat cheese, crunch from the crumbs and pickled beets and toast, overall a standout dish.
Sorry for the blurry pic, I was reaching across the table and thought it came out ok. LOL MIGRANT DYNAMITE BOMB! Fresh Fish Changes Daily, Bay Scallops, White Shrimp, Shiitake & Zuchini, Chili Masago Mayo, Faux Nagi Sauce All on Bed of White Rice $38 This was no doubt the best seafood dynamite bowl ever. The chunks of seafood, the creaminess of the mayo and the rice in the bowl all very hearty and delicious.
Off Menu: pork with fried paiai, onions and guava jelly. Oh this dish was a bit of a preview for a catered event the next night so you may not be able to order it. They looked like chicken nuggets but served with the crisp paiai was divine! Add in the guava jelly, like when you make smoked meat and it was a really fun dish.
HAND CUT FAT CHOW FUNN Steamed Tapioca Fat Chow Funn Noodles, Chopped Lechon Pork, Pipinola Shoot Salad, Brown Butter Achuete Jus, Grated Parmigiano Reggiano $16 This is a chow fun, noodle unlike any other you have ever tasted. That almost gum-like texture with the cheese and fresh veggies was so unique. I loved every bite and the small chopped noodles are fun to eat too!
Now after sampling all these dishes the other night I am dreaming about the time I can return and eat there again. The menu is whimsical, yet robust with flavor, an abundance of textures and pairings of sweet, savory, chili, tangy, fishy, meaty, all in one adventure. Some of the items I have yet to try include: Bottom of the Plate Lunch, Mean Kine Ramen, Eh! Caprese! and a few others. I am super honored that I have had the chance to taste what I have so far and am foaming at the mouth for the chance to return.
THE WAILEA BEACH MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA
3700 Wailea Alanui Dr
Kihei, HI — 96753