Review: Molokini Bar and Grill at Makena Beach Resort, Maui

My visit to Molokini Bar and Grill was one of the culinary tourism features in my Destination Guide Travel to Maui Hawaii

My final feast before flying off to the remote town of Hana on Maui’s east coast was at Makena Beach Resort’s Molokini Bar and Grill. Upon arrival I checked in to a suite which offered fantastic views of the ocean and pool below. The hotel’s architect designed with whimsy as rooms are built in a circle with tropical garden, pond, creek and waterfall enchanting guests al fresco from within.

I spent the late afternoon relaxing on the beach and attempting to digest my first two meals of the day. I dove into the salty deep and swam past a gaggle of honeymooning couples who stood waste deep in each others arms. I flipped onto my back and lay motionless, floating wherever the current cared, staring up at whispering palms and delighting myself in the bright sunshine.

As the sun was just starting to set I ran up to my room and grabbed a quick shower, throwing myself together for my dinner date at Molokini. That evening my feast felt a little like a dinner party as Makena’s PR Pro Jovelyn Bonilla invited a few members of the local community to join me at the table. After initial introductions and chit chats the story began to take shape…

Chef Marc McDowell first introduced himself and spent the rest of the evening beaming as he presented each of his culinary creations. Chef Marc had prepared a special menu for the table which consisted of 10 courses. McDowell has helped spearhead the resorts famed monthly food and wine tasting events which include sold out five course dinners which are paired with world renowned wines. Everyone at the table raved about these adventurous culinary bacchanals.

I slowly made my way around the table to meet my other guests. Directly to my right sat a couple who run the award winning Kumu Farms, recently ranked as the best farm in Maui by Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine. Maui residents and local chef’s are big fans of Kumu’s organic and sustainable farming methods, an Estate Farm which nurtures each papaya and lettuce leaf from seed to final munch and crunch. Chef Marc of course uses many of Kumu Farm’s products on his menu…and so it was that the farm to fork model unfolded across the table. With great delight I discovered that the other couple sitting at the end of the table are also fans Kumu Farms. Instead of on the plate, the duo from Moku Pua create body care and fragrances with Kumu’s fresh herbs and even crush their papaya seeds into lotions which act as a natural exfoliant. The Farm to Fork to Face Cream connection had revealed itself.

I had good fun chit chatting into the wee hours of the night while sipping on a trio of cocktails from the bar. The “resort grown rosemary pina rocks” was an interesting and earthy take on the traditional colada. True winners that evening were Chef Marc’s creative play on seafood: Hokkaido Scallop and Kampachi appeared as edible art under our nose, New Style Ahi Sashimi with south pacific splash melted in the mouth, Lobster fried in Molokai Potato offered a delightful crunch while Crispy Coconut Shrimp showcased a spicy zing paired with wasabi whipped potatoes.

Special thanks to Visit Maui for hosting me as their guest.

The Feast:

The True Blue Hawaii

bacardi superior, vikingfjord vodka, pineapple, sweet and sour, bols blue curacao

Resort Grown Rosemary Pina Rocks

bacardi superior, coconut cream, pineapple juice, rosemary, lime

57 Chevy with Hawaiian License Plates

vodka, rum, gin, orange liqueur, pineapple juice, pomegranate reduction


truffle egg custard, veal glace

Casino Oyster with Blue Cheese Strudel

Beet Martini

goat cheese and caraway vinaigrette

Taste of Hokkaido Scallop and Kampachi

sashimi grande, avocado, apple, pomelo, spanish ponzu

New Style Ahi Sashimi

fresh island tuna, avocado, lime, chef’s garden herbs, south pacific splash

Molokai Potato Fried Lobster Salad

blueberries, edamame, avocado, baby tomatoes, maui onion, baby mache, big island vanilla citrus vinaigrette

Crispy Coconut Shrimp

sweet coconut, baby vegetables, wasabi whipped potatoes, mango chili sauce

Prosciutto Wrapped Snapper

crispy asparagus, polenta, frisee, morel mushroom, butter broth

Calotte-Best Steak in the World

cap of ribeye seared and thinly sliced, royal trumpet mushrooms, savoy cabbage, banyuls demi

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molokini Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

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