The only really sit-down dinner for my wife Jun and I during our trip in Maui happened on the last day. As mentioned in my previous review of Coconut’s Fish Café (see here https://kenscale.com/2019/01/31/coconuts-fish-cafe/), the secret to eating well in Maui is to look for counter-service shops, especially alongside strip malls. That doesn’t mean all full restaurants on the island are not impressive. For our last day of vacation, we spent the morning at the Maui Tropical Plantation (a must-visit place if you want to get away from the beach for a bit and enjoy the picturesque view of garden and orchard overlooking the mountain) doing a fun zip-lining activity. It was close to noon after we finished our last zip-lining course and conveniently, Mill House was located right inside the same location so why not sit down for a leisurely lunch? And, it turns out, the restaurant has some really good Hawaiian version of farm-to-table dishes.
Advertised as a farm-to-table restaurant using ingredients coming from Hawaii, the quality of ingredients at Mill House certainly shows. While I thought the seasoning with smoked avocado puree, cucumber juice and jalapeno pepper was slightly stronger than I had would have preferred, there is no denying that the fish crudo (kampachi was available on the day Jun and I dined) was very fresh with smooth texture. I absolutely loved the textural contrast between the soft miso eggplant and the crunchy grain and seaweed crumble on top even though Jun believed the flavor could have been slightly moderated. Mill House came up with a playful take on the classic Hawaiian dish musubi, replacing spam with mortadella ham for a more elevated experience. The lone entrée we had shared, pan seared kampachi with sweet corn cob and puree and zucchini, was quite delicious too, with a great balance of flavor and texture overall, and the zucchini giving a nice earthy feel to the expertly cooked fish. We finished our lunch with a dessert of sesame chocolate bob, matcha sabayon and macadamia nut crumble that was serviceable but not particularly memorable (although Jun seemed to like the chocolate a lot).
Getting a reservation at Mill House is recommended, especially if you want to sit outdoors overlooking the mountain next to the plantation. There is full bar with cocktails using seasonal ingredients as well as rather expansive beer lists. As noted already, the scenery from the restaurant is already a huge plus to your dining experience. Before or after your meal, stroll around the plantation for some sight seeing (there is a large flock of ducks playing near the pond next to the restaurant) or try the zip-lining (it’s not as scary as it looks). Mill House is a very solid New American restaurant in Maui that you definitely want to visit.
KenScale: 8.0/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.0/10)
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 1670 Honopi’ilani Highway, Waikapu, HI 96793
Telephone: (808) 270-0333