Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort
200 Nohea Kai Drive,
Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761-1985
Tummy Points: 4.5/5
Notes: Spicy Buffalo Wings
$12, Umalu Nacho Grande $16,
Papaya Coconut $7
Umalu is one of the latest retaurants to open on Maui. Umalu sits pool side and has a beautiful view of the ocean as well as Lanai and Molokai islands. If you stay later in the day, you can even catch the sunset below the ocean.
As most other restaurants on Maui, Umalu is part of a resort which made it very convenient for us to visit since we were already staying at the wonderful Hyatt Regency Maui Resort. In contrast to the other restaurants at the Hyatt, Umalu is a casual eating affair and prices are very reasonable compared to the portion and food quality.
The spicy buffalo wings were lightly battered, tender, and so juicy. The wings had just the right amount of buffalo sauce to not overwhelm the chicken yet give it a good kick. The sauce was thick and sweet. Unlike most other buffalo wings I've had, the sauce was infused into the batter so it didn't taste like it was pre-fried then dipped into a glob of sauce. They actually cooked it in the sauce as its final step. It was just amazing.
Papaya Coconut and Mango Mango drinks were so thick and fruity. These smoothies were so refreshing and perfect for a summer under the sun.
The huge Umalu Nachos Grande came out hot and fresh with tortilla chips piled high with al pastor chicken, avocado salsa, pico de gallo, black beans, jalapeno, black olives, and sour cream. Unfortunately the nachos were not freshly fried but ones you get from a grocery store but it was fresh. Everything else in the bowl was fresh with handmade guacamole and pastor chicken. This was way too much for two people to finish.
The service we got in the afternoon was very friendly. She was helpful suggesting portion size, brought out water without us asking, and even offered to help us move tables if the sun got too hot for us. Umalu was so good that we returned that evening to try out their fried ice cream, which was really ice cream fried not merely battered in corn flakes on order, but sadly they didn't do desserts after 9pm. The scene was less exciting in the evening but perhaps it's better during the summer season.
I'd highly recommend visiting Umalu for a snack or lunch. It was one of the best restaurants on our Hawaii trip and I'd definitely come again.