by Charles Racine
Settled high on the Kapalua hillside at the Plantation Golf Course sits the aptly named Plantation House, one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast. Overlooking the famed 18th hole you can practically feel the excitement of every pro who ever made this approach then putted out to win.
The beautiful setting, both inside and out, makes a trip to the Plantation House a great way to reward friends, family and yourself for traveling all this way to enjoy the glories of the tropical paradise we are fortunate to experience every day. Enjoy it all, the views, the grinds and price tag that won’t leave you eating coconuts the rest of the week.
As you drive up through the hills of Kapalua, toward the eatery and pro shop, you feel a world away from the sunny hustle and bustle of Lahaina and Kaanapali. Visiting last week with my mom, the morning sky above the hills had the hue of a Champagne Bellini as we rounded the corner into the entrance. Walking in, past the golf memorabilia, the pictures of past champions add a rich sense of history to the legendary golf course above which you will dine. One right turn down the hallway, you’ll be among golf fanatics looking through the pro shop, but make the left turn and you’ll be greeted kindly by the host or hostess eager to seat you for an amazing breakfast experience.
As you take in the views and feel the breezes of North Maui, I recommend ordering the:
Maui Gold Pineapple
Cinnamon sour cream sauce 5.50
Local Papaya Half
Lime wedge 4.50
Locally grown is a healthy way to start your day and the sweetness of the fruit will give you an insight on why some of us who came here once on vacation, never left. The Plantation House menu has something for everyone, even hard to please, finicky eaters (aka mom). I love their Eggs Benedict menu with options from the classic to the nouvelle:
Classic Eggs Benedict
With hollandaise sauce 10
Eggs Mediterranean Benedict
Roasted vegetables 10
Eggs Blackstone Benedict
Country sausage patty 10
Crab Cake Benedict
Roasted pepper hollandaise 12.50
Salmon Lox Benedict
Capers and hollandaise 12.50
Cajun Sashimi Ahi Benedict
Wasabi hollandaise 15
An Ahi Benedict with wasabi hollandaise is as close as you can get to sushi in the morning. My mom stuck with the safe option, as always, and ordered the spinach omelet prepared with three eggs, cheese, onions and spinach. I’ve never had it personally but I know it’s good, because my mom, who only eats one or two bites of any meal before pushing the plate away from her, was half way into that omelet before the waitress brought our second Bloody Mary – another plantation staple. Plantation House Bloody Mary’s are well-known as the perfect hair of the dog after a big night of dancing in Lahaina. In fact, Plantation House brunch is well-known as one of the best, acknowledged regularly by local press and readers’ polls.
Granted, breakfast isn’t the most challenging or exotic of meals, but if you’ve ever had dry eggs, soggy toast, sour pineapple, or blah bloodies, you know it’s harder than it looks to make simple ingredients taste excellent.
Besides doing a superb job in the kitchen, Plantation House has the added wow factor of beautiful views of Molokai off in the distance and the sight of an occasional whale breach. Then there is the unique spectacle of golfers hitting their second or third shot onto the eighteenth green, perhaps imagining what it would be like if the grandstands were filled with cheering crowds as they tip their cap, and walk in the footprints of the masters before them.
To recap, my favorite breakfast repertoire:
Sliced pineapple with cinnamon
Papaya with lime
Half order of Blackstone Benedict paired with the other half as the ahi Benedict with wasabi hollandaise
And also remember to eat your veggies by indulging in one of Plantation’s renowned Bloody Mary’s — or Fore!