Situated about 1.5 miles from Piai on the way to Hana, and right on the beach at Maui’s North Shore, is Mama’s Fish House. It is easy to distinguish with a fishing boat bearing the restaurant’s name sited at the entrance to the parking lot. The name clearly states what type of eatery this is, and Mama’s Fish House is said to serve some of the best fish to be found on Maui. The establishment is owned by Floyd and Doris Christenson who lived on a boat for four years as they sailed from California to Maui, exploring old Polynesia and the island kingdoms in the Pacific. Traveling from Easter Island to New Zealand and on to Hawaii, they eventually settled in Maui where they opened their now-famous fish restaurant.
The décor within Mama’s Fish House reflects the Christenson’s travels and their interest in all things Polynesian. With a secluded white-sand beach and the majestic Pacific Ocean on its doorstep, the restaurant offers a unique dining experience. From a small group of loyal customers in the early days, the fish restaurant now has a large following. With a menu that is, of course, almost entirely focused on fish there are many varieties to choose from. Each day, fishermen go out in small boats to catch fish for the Christenson’s. Ahi, Lehi, Mahi-Mahi (in multiple colors), Moi, Onaga, tropical Ono, Opakapaka, Papio and Uku are all on the menu. Fishermen take the fish directly the Mama’s Fish House where it is processed and served within 24 hours. The fishermens’ names and where the fish were caught are listed on the daily menu. Tahitian fish salad and Hinano beer are also on the menu – in tribute to the time the Christenson’s spent in Tahiti during their sea voyage. A selection of desserts, wines and cocktails rounds off the dining experience at Mama’s Fish House.
Although it is thought to be a little pricey, a trip to Mama’s Fish House is considered well worthwhile. The restaurant is open seven days a week – Monday through to Sunday. Lunch is served from 11.00am until 3.00pm and dinner from 4.15pm until 9.00pm. Reservations are advisable at lunch time and are a requirement for dinner.