Nick’s Fishmarket – The Hot Tip for Dining on Maui

There are myriad seafood places to dine on Maui. What you really want is fresh, sufficiently creative and enjoyable. We found all of the above at Nick’s Fishmarket.

We arrived in Wailea, on the south end of Maui and found our way to the restaurant, tucked into a corner of the lovely Fairmont Hotel. Gone are the days of avoiding hotel restaurants.

Looking over the lush gardens and out to the ocean beyond, Nick’s Fishmarket offers the classic indoor / outdoor design.

The Wine Spectator has awarded Nick’s “Best Award of Excellence” for the last five years, which joins myriad other accolades for the restaurant.

We settled in with a couple Mai Tais and Wailea Sunsets, while watching exactly the latter in real time. Our gaze returned to the menu, and we started the delightful challenge of figuring out where to start.

Calamari, long a family favorite did not disappoint. Crispy and flavorful, it was accented with wasabi cocktail sauce and chipotle aioli. We also enjoyed Black and Blue Ahi, comprised of blackened yellowfin tuna, seared rare with a tangy sake-mustard beurre blanc and mango papaya avocado relish.

For the mains, we wanted to see how the chef prepared the ubiquitous mahi mahi. Here, the presentation includes crusted macadamia nuts, lemongrass jasmine rice, coconut-chili-lime vinaigrette, blue crab slaw offset with a crispy won ton. It was fresh and sufficiently creative…in other words, exactly what we were looking for.

The Scallop & Pork “Adobo” was an ambitious combination. The surf and turf pairing featured seared diver scallops with braised pork belly, accompanied by creamy risotto, baby bok choy and a clever adobo sauce.

We left room for dessert, and went for the signature Liliko’i Panna Cotta, comprised of Hawaiian passion fruit custard, fresh berries, macadamia nut biscotti and a cleansing fruit sorbet.

Nick’s Fishmarket is quite a catch.

Reservations (808) 879-7224

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.