This past Sunday my daughter and I dug out on the hubby and baby to spend some quality time together at The Waikapu Grill at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Open for lunch every day, the Grill offers the perfect balance of gorgeous and kid-friendly surroundings.
We sat by an open window peppered with colorful foliage that allowed us to feel the cool breeze coming down from the West Maui’s. The ambience was awesome: a fountain spraying plumes of water into the air from the middle of the gigantic duck pond right in front of our seats.
While the kid began to color the hula dancer on her keiki menu, I scanned the dining room, wondering why we appeared to be the only local people there. Between the beautiful surroundings and the affordable menu, it seemed like the perfect place for a Maui family to do lunch.
Ordering was difficult. I couldn’t decide between the Makai Gardner Salad (a pineapple or half an avocado filled with crab or tuna salad, then served on mixed greens and dressing), the Maui Outrigger (half of a Maui Gold pineapple filled with fresh island fruit, some which came directly from the Maui Tropical Plantation and then served with banana bread and either cottage cheese or triple fruit sherbet) or the stuffed Mahi Mahi (curry crab and spinach filling, broiled and served with fresh fruit salsa, steamed rice and sautéed veggies).
The menu also offered yummy burgers and sandwiches. There was even a tempting vegetarian option—the “Garden Delight,” filled with lettuce, cucumbers, avocado, sprouts and tomato served on a focaccia roll with pesto.
In the end, my daughter went with the keiki pizza and I went chose the Pupu Sampler, which contained calamari steaks, kalua pork quesadillas and spring rolls.
The keiki pizza came with Pog—adorned with a fancy pineapple wedge—which my daughter chose to have blended with ice, turning it into slush. Both of our meals were plated beautifully. They even had real fresh orchids on them that we promptly put in our hair.
The calamari was yummy and came with sweet chili sauce. The veggie spring rolls were also really tasty. But my favorite pupu was the kalua pork quesadilla, made with slow cooked pork and cabbage, poblano peppers, onion, cilantro and cheeses, served with a fresh and light cilantro-lime sauce.
For dessert we ordered the home-made Macadamia Nut Cream Pie and, at the suggestion of our friendly and awesome server Kristen, the Fruit & Stuff.
The pie was good, though loaded with a few too many mac nuts for my daughter’s liking (after all, it is a grown-up dessert). But the Fruit & Stuff was absolutely amazing: banana bread, ice cream, sherbet, fresh fruit, whipped cream and mac nuts served up in a big banana split bowl. It was delightful and gargantuan. Between the two of us, we couldn’t finish it and we can put away some serious sweets.
After our lunch we walked the property, made fun of the monkeys and fed the ducks by the pond. Where else on Maui can you do that? MTW