I’m fortunate to be a guest again at Napili Kai Resort which for 50 years has been a mecca for the discerning traveller who doesn’t want a massive hotel or chain hostelry. It sits just like pictured above between the islands of Lanai left and Molokai at right in a secluded bay right at a scenice point where Merriman’s Restaurant perches just 50 metres from my suit. Napili Kai has its own killer eatery in Sea House which is off photo to the right, so you can imagine the views.
Four comfy chairs on the large balcony with padded seats and a table make a perfect laptop office to make creative content happen caressed by breezes.
The living room has wall to wal sliding glass doors and windows for an uninterrupted view which today took in a pod of spinner dolphins passing by and in winter is a diorama of breaching humpback whales.
I’m easing out of here tonight to slide down the path to George Kahamoku’s Slack Key Guitar show which happens at the hotel every Wednesday night at 7:30 (www.slackkeyshow.com) and which tonight features ukulele master Herb Ohta Jr as well as weekly regulars Da Ukulele Boyz and guitarist Sterling Seaton. This is the must see concert on Maui in addition to the tasty shows offered at Stella Blue in Kihei and Charlie’s in Paia.
Though I’ll be having Kau Kau tonight at the Sea House, last night was a down the rabbit hole experience when I went to Merriman’s epic restaurant, only 50 metres from my front door. I’d been to his more modest house style place in Waimea on the Big Island, but this was bigger than huge! In a massive venue that used to be the fine dine for the Kapalua Bay Resort next door, he’s taken it and added a culinary extravaganza to the mix along with fabulous staff which complete the package. I wasn’t prepared for the short walk which took me into the long meal, the best I’ve had this year, anywhere.
Starting with an amuse bouche of spicy hommous with bleedingly fresh vegetables slices and popping-fresh tomatoes, accompanied by two pina coladas, I melted into the beginning of what would be a dreamy sunset watching a wedding on the far lawn, kids cavorting on the patio and couples canoodling in the restaurant which was wide open to the skies and sea.
First course was an easy choice–ahi sashimi paired with ahi Poke (a marinated raw fish dish that is the ceviche of Alohaland. It was accompanied by the same purple sweet potato chips that skirted the hommous but with a sparkling fresh guacamole that blended perfectly.
Perfection continued with four diver scallops, sauteed to a crisp brown skin but still soft and supple inside, on a bed of creamed shoepeg white corn and topped with a mango tomato salsa. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect combination.
It would have been one of the Top 100 meals of my life, elevated up the scale with the magnitude of the sunset that just enveloped the room and energised the diners who were rapt and silent in their awe. That’s the magic of Maui, here at Merriman’s for all to see.