Merriman’s Kapalua Maui

-story and photos by Charles Racine
Merriman's Fire Pit at Sundown

Merriman's Fire Pit at Sundown

When I walked into Merriman’s last week it reminded me of a symphony orchestrated by the powers that be. How else would you be able to sit right at the mouth of God on the Kapalua Bay watching the sun go down? I missed the sunset, but grinning patrons all around me told us that a whale breached at the exact moment the sun, skinny-dipped into the distant sea. Everything from the drive down toward the entrance, and the complimentary valet parking, walking in and being greeted by a full wine room, and two nice hostesses, was all music in the making; even the glass breaking in the background was like two cymbals colliding together to begin the overture.

We sat at the edge of the lanai, over looking a number of attractions. First, of course are the stunning Ocean Views. Second, was the open air seating right on the water, lounges and a few fire pits makes it perfect for there wine bar, a perfect spot to un… I won’t say it, that’s too easy, but it is a nice place to relax.

We had a bird’s eye view, and the whiners seemed to be enjoying themselves, as will I next time. Speaking of birds, a few were enjoying the music of Maui as well and had front row seats in Merriman’s herb garden, right below us.

This was the first clue that we may be in for a treat, fresh herbs. Merriman’s product is all locally grown, picked and prepared here in Maui, you wont find a fresher meal unless you ate it right from the sea itself. Here’s the line up:

If you can’t decide on a appetizer, go with the Pupu Platter and try a little of each, you’ll enjoy all the special sauces, and the homemade Kimche, it come out on a plate separated in quarters and each quarter holds a few selections, very nice.

  • Kailua pork quesadillas
  • Goat cheese and strawberries with Kula onion wrapped in Philo dough
  • Ono Sashimi with crusted jasmine rice
  • Deep fried fritter macadamian nut shrimp with a pablamo sauce

Next was the Red Pepper Soup, at a glance this was deceiving, I never knew those little tomatoes on top held so much power over my taste buds! Red pepper soup with baby tomatoes topped with basil and oregano (put the last two in your mouth at once for a taste explosion)

They had a Special salad featuring again all the local herbs and accoutrements, and listening to our server explain it was reminiscent of a trumpet solo, it all sounded amazing, but I have know idea what was being played.

merrimans sevenThe Lamb is always a rare choice for me, literally? But again I was wooed by the description given. Sliced lamb on an eggplant and potato mash with a tomato chutney on top, and yes even the Lamb is Maui grown.

The Misoyaki butterfish melts in your mouth and I have only had one better which for now will remain a secret. Merriman’s is a spot you’ll definitely have to try a few times, because of the array of choices; you’ll never fit it into single seating. I for one can’t wait to go back and try there homemade Ginger Beer that they make on premise and goes great with a little Gin or Vodka, I stole a sip from my close friend.

Now the grand finally or crescendo, as usual, is dessert, and with a glance not wanting to miss a single note, I verbally lunged for the flaming pineapple, but my voice must have been lost in the laughter and conversation surrounding us. Our waitress was pulling the old Houdini, and seemed to disappear every time I wanted to order, was this one instrument out of tune? I pondered, and thought what a conductor might feel like if during his grand finale, the string section goes flat…

When she appeared she talked me out of the flaming pineapple extravaganza for apparently her favorite, Malasadas with dipping sauce. I thought to myself, “If she’s talking me out of the fiery fruit finale, these malasadas must be Xanadu.

Malasadas in Paper Sack

Malasadas in Paper Sack

Then out came a brown paper sack. My first thought was to eat it in the car or at home, but I looked around and saw that I wasn’t the only kid bringing his lunch to school. Everyone was ripping through the paper like it was Christmas morning, and the present, one of the best malasadas, I’ve ever tasted. Hold the pineapple, I’ll have a malasada.


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