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Mama's Fish House

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Mama's Fish House Review

For almost four decades, Mama's has been the Maui destination for special occasions. A path of gecko-shaped stones leads through the coconut grove past the giant clamshell and under the banyan arch to an ever-changing fantasyland of Hawaiiana kitsch. True, the setting couldn't be more spectacular, and yes, the menu names the angler that reeled in your fresh catch (do we know he really caught it?), but the dishes are a bit dated in terms of preparation and presentation—and the prices are extremely high. But if you're looking for an overall experience, make a reservation and celebrate your special occasion here.

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Updated: 02-20-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Fabulous View of Surf at Noon Meal

    Very pricey menu, but delicous food...so-so service.

    by Trisha1, 12/8/06
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    Can't Justify Their Stunning Prices

    We waited for 45 minutes past our reservation time for a table and then were seated at a front window where we would have seen the sunset if we had gotten there when we were promised. With a pitch black view beyond the front walk we dined on spectacular food which was followed by a stunning bill, about $80/person without appetizers or wine. I understand now why they don't put prices on their website. Stacking people down the front walk and then breezily saying they're having a busy night just is appropriate at these price levels, no matter how good the food or the presentation (both top notch). Prepare to be treated like cattle and then charged like tourists!

    by Pa_Bob, 1/17/07
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    Gouged, gouged, gouged

    Reservations do not mean a thing; you are still invited to spend half an hour or more in the bar waiting, while you are encouraged to buy one of their overpriced tropical drinks. Then you are led to a table where you are again presented with another tropical drink menu, and insistently asked for your further drink order. After asking three times, my waitress finally gave us a dinner menu. Sticker shock then ensued with prices highest on the Island. Wine prices were outrageous--more per glass than the bottle cost. Servings smaller that they used to be. Service somewhat indifferent. Unless you get really plowed with all the predinner drinking, you will feel shortchanged with this dining experience. If you want beautiful views, fantastic food, decent prices, great service, try the Plantation Club at Kapalua. We'll not be returning to Mama's.

    by docrambo, 2/1/07
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    It's a Good Thing We Went

    It's a good thing we ignored your mediocre review even though it has a star. Nobody likes to be taken advantage of with small portions and high prices, but people said "You must go". So we did. It is absolutely a beautiful and atmospheric restaurant, gorgeous flowers all over the place, the most drop dead views, impeccable service and excellent food. (I don't know what the portions used to be like, but it certainly was more than enough to eat.) As far as the bulging prices, all the restaurants we ate in were expensive and this was no more so. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Thank goodness we went.

    by Sunnybrody, 3/27/07
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    Everything excellent but expensive.

    The food and ambience are excellent. Beautiful location. Expensive though. Cocktails, even nonalcoholic are $10.00-$15.00

    by bsmom, 7/4/07
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    Magic - expensive yes, but worth every penny

    Every other EXCEPTIONAL restaurant is expensive. Perhaps this place has changed over the years from an endearing little fish house to the fine dining experience that isn't at all stuffy of what it is today. Perhaps people don't think ahead of what the best time to come is...we had a later reservation figuring it's a happening place, 8:15. We were immediately escorted to our table and the service is seriously top-notch. Every single course and drink or item we ordered had some sort of tableside presentation - and I'm including the drinks in that!!! The ambiance was perfectly romantic and exactly what we were looking for all over the island - laid back, deliciously prepared food, completely not pretentious. This made our experience in Maui complete and was our favorite meal of the entire two week stay. If you're looking for a bargain, this ain't the place, but it's worth every single penny.

    by boodles731, 9/23/07
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    Wonderful lunch!

    We skipped the dinner crowds and had a late lunch. Yes, it is expensive (about $90 for the two of us). But the view was exceptional. We could see windsurfers while we ate and there was a talking parrot as we wandered up the path from the parking lot. This was 5 years ago so I have no idea if the parrot is still there. We are heading back to Maui in a few weeks and will probably make another stop to Mama's. The Mahi-Mahi was superb!

    by Texray1, 12/11/07
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    Love it, Love it, Love it

    I love this restaurant so much that I have pictures of it as screen savers at home and at work. Have been many many times and always receive great service, food, and atmosphere. Everyone that I have recommeded it to has simply loved it. Most restaurants in Hawaii above casual dining are expensive.

    by kma837, 1/11/08
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    Favorite Restaurant in the World

    I have been to Mamas Fish House everytime I have traveled to Maui and it is always the highlight of the trip. The food and service are always excellent and the atmosphere is priceless! I recommend it to everyone I can!

    by Lbennink, 1/14/08
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    Lost it's touch on food

    The atmosphere is wonderful. Exotic flowers you can't find anywhere, even in the gardens. Beautiful flowers and view. Don't know what happened to the food. The food don't taste as good as nine to ten years ago. They probably changed the chef. Kalua pig don't have the smoking aroma and taste it use to have. All the dish don't taste the same anymore. They don't compliment each other. Not such great food. The complimentary sweet bread is good.

    by newpakflowers, 3/3/08
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    Must Eat Here Before You Die!

    If there was a list of restaurants that you must eat at before you die, this would be at the top! Friends recommended that we go before we left the island. We went to lunch one day and it was so outstanding that we went to dinner the next afternoon just before heading back home on a late evening flight. Mama’s – airline food, Mama’s – airline food…easy decision, and this restaurant is located very close to the airport, what could be better?? The views of the ocean are beautiful and people walk the grounds before and after dining to take some of the best photos of themselves in the Hawaiian Islands. An incredible picturesque location! On both occasions we were seated promptly, in fact we arrived early for lunch and were seated immediately. The wait staff had fun personalities, were very helpful with the menu and the food was awesome! This restaurant serves over 750 people per day with each patron enjoying a minimum of 2 courses. This means that 1,500 plates of delicious food expertly prepared and beautifully styled are served each day. An incredible task and a compliment to their culinary creativity, organizational discipline, and service staff who perform professionally and with a grand sense of hospitality. I don’t understand some other ratings that bemoan one and a half hours for dinner with someone they want to share the evening with. That’s why they call it dining, not eating. Portion sizes are more than adequate; you don’t take this food home in a doggy bag. If you enjoy dining, beautifully layered flavors and sauces and a view that changes each time you are there, this is a must! Mahalo!

    by Russm, 4/28/08
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    Great View, Overpriced

    The view is fabulous with the windsurfers and the beachfront view. There are plenty of restaurants on the island with better food without breaking the bank.

    by Crawfishlvr, 11/12/08
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    Mama's Fish House Review

    The setting is beautiful! The food was really second rate. Terribly over-rated. There were 5 of us and we all thought food was better elsewhere much cheaper. None of us were overly impressed. In fact, myself and conpanion ordered the same thing. A few hours later, we were sick as dogs. Luckily, it passed quickly. Service was very poor, and were hurried along, and after an hour there, were almost asked to leave our table! "We are a very popular restaurant, you know"

    by rozeldy, 9/23/10
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    Mama's Fish House Review

    I was looking forward to a very memorable dining experience since I heard Mamas Fish House was a great seafood restaurant. My family drove there from the Fairmont Kea Lani. We were seated and the waiter brought water to the table and while he was behind me he spilled two large glasses of cold water on my back and hair. I laughed it off while everyone looked on in horror. The waiter apologized. What could I do I was soaking wet. I was not going to get up and walk around. We ate a great meal. My fourteen year old granddaughter started feeling I'll and excused herself to the ladies room. She came back after several minutes. She stumbled to the table over the waitress. She was drunk! My son in law who is a doctor of pharmacy noticed and grabbed jer asking her if she was okay. My granddaughter just stared at him nodding her head. We reported this to the waitress and the manager and the bartender. Of course they all denied that she was served alcohol. My granddaughter had ordered a virgin type of smoothie drink. The bartender actually mixed alcohol in her drink. My son in law said that without a doubt she was served alcohol.

    by Lauren_Sam, 9/10/11
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    Mama's Fish House Review

    Oh, Mama's! What is it about Mama's Fish House that conjured up a Wedding Reception and Dinner beyond our wildest dreams? Was it the beautiful oceanfront open air dining or basking in the glow of our Maui sunset? Could it have been Mama's exquisite cuisine artfully prepared and orchestrated to perfection by Executive Chef Perry Bateman? Or, perhaps it was Pastry Chef Lezley Jacintho's sumptuous white wedding cake and fresh mango mousse filling decorated with cascading fresh Hawaiian flowers. Maybe it was the special attention given to us and all of our wedding party by Perry Bateman, Hoku, Tim, and all of Mama's staff who graciously stopped by to offer their aloha on our wedding day. We believe the people and their ability to go beyond perfection plus their desire to please made our wedding reception and dinner exactly what it is, was and always will be. . .like none other. . .the most memorable and cherished event in our lives. Aloha to Mama's Fish House Family, Mark and Elle

    by Bride2012, 6/6/12

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