Maui Food and Dining

Show Mom You Love Her With a Buffet

May 9, 2013, 1:21 PM HST
* Updated May 9, 5:52 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

The Makena Beach and Golf Resort buffet.

The Makena Beach and Golf Resort buffet.

If you’re just now realizing that Sunday is Mother’s Day and you live here and your mother lives in, say, Alabama, then prepare to spin some tall tales about why her card is going to be so freaking late.

Or maybe go online and order some flowers. They have flowers in Alabama, right?

Or perhaps choose to focus on the times she really dropped the ball on that whole mothering  gig and maybe don’t worry about it so much. The card will get there when it gets there, provided you actually go buy and mail one already, you ungrateful child.

On the other hand, if you happen to live here and your mother does too, then the good news is you still have three days to pick up a card AND you can make it seem like you never actually forgot by taking her to one of these scrumptious-sounding buffets.


On Sunday – which is also Mother’s Day if that hasn’t yet been made clear – Makena Beach and Golf Resort is holding a brunch inspired by the dishes that somebody’s mom – not ours – made. This writer’s mother can’t cook her way out of a box. She’s been known to serve Top Ramen for breakfast… and burn it. For reals.


In a clever little twist, in addition to the usual Sunday Brunch favorites like a made-to-order omelet station, signature eggs Benedict and assorted dim sum, the chefs of Makena will be preparing dishes inspired by their own mothers. This causes the mind to boggle as to what we would serve if handed this challenge – mom’s infamous white fish and goopy cheese concoction? An applesauce sandwich? Steak-umm®? – but we digress.

At Makena, Chef Kamijo will be serving up his mother’s version of Nikujaga, a Japanese dish featuring thinly sliced beef, potatoes and onions simmered in light soy broth.

Sushi Chef Ivan will be honoring his Japanese mother’s cooking with some Okara, a stir-fried vegetables dish with tofu. Chef Larry will bring his family’s Mirin-glazed duck with a plum sauce and mu shu buns to the menu.


Executive Sous Chef Steve Avergonzado was clearly raised by somebody with a Betty Crocker cookbook, as he will be serving seared Hawaiian snapper with shrimp and scallops in a Newberg sauce, just like mom used to make.

Lastly, Nebraska-born Executive Chef Marc McDowell will be flagrantly bragging about his culinary roots when he prepares his mom’s specialty English Spring Pea Soup with crispy prosciutto.

The brunch is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday, May 12 and costs $60 for adults, $45 for children 9-12, and $30 for those 5-8. Call 808-875-5888 for reservations or more information.

The Grand Wailea. Photo courtesy Grand Wailea Resort

The Grand Wailea. Photo courtesy Grand Wailea Resort

The Westin Maui Resort and Spa in Ka’anapali will be holding their brunch in the beachfront Aloha Pavilion from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Offerings include a raw bar with shrimp, snow crab, and poke.  There will also be imported cheeses, house-smoked salmon, and fresh asparagus.

A variety of salads including Haiku greens, Kamuela tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella; Thai beef salad with hearts of palm and watercress; and smoked chicken with Kula corn will also be available.

If you’re looking for something heartier, you can plan to feast on prime rib, steamed island catch, pasta dishes, and giant vats filled with sausage and bacon.

Brunch is $85 adults and $60 for children 6 to 12. Call 808-661-2992 for reservations.

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. you can enjoy a Mother’s Day Brunch buffet with an ocean view at the Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant.

Choose from a varied selection of  breakfast breads, pastries and fruit, salads, appetizers, and entrees including Panko-Crusted Mahimahi, Asian Chicken with Pineapple, Mango-Hoisin BBQ Ribs and Carved Beef Wellington.

The buffet is $29.50 for adults and $15 for children 10 and younger.

Aquarium admission is not required to dine in the restaurant. Call 808-270-7068 for reservations

Lastly, the Grand Wailea may appeal to the late sleepers in the bunch with their 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mother’s Day buffet.

Along with live contemporary Hawaiian music and hula dancing, enjoy Mum’s Special Eggs Benedict made with shrimp and a bacon bread pudding muffin, or Belgian waffles and smoked salmon quiche.

Also available will be salads such as red and green leaf lettuce with candied macadamia nuts, crab meat and organic mango salad, Peking duck salad and an imported and domestic cheese display.

Seafood options include shrimp, snow crab claws, and oysters on the half shell and homemade gravelax with mini bagels, sour creams, and Maui onions.

The sushi rolls may cause a triple take with names and descriptions like “Da Five O” made with spicy ahi, mac nuts and a touch of coconut; “La Mama” featuring goat cheese in olive oil, grilled melon, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, arugula, basil & balsamic aioli; and the “Darth Vader” made with lobster salad & forbidden rice.

The buffet will also offer prime rib, macadamia nut-crusted pork loin, and poached Hawaiian catch.

The $58 price tag for adults includes sparkling wine and presumably the $29 for children 5 to 12 does not. For reservations call 875.1234 ext. 4900.

We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening, total menu overhauls, or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share. Have a restaurant you want reviewed (or re-reviewed)? Drop us a line – Vanessa(

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