As a sushi fanatic, it seems as though I have tasted just about every sashimi-grade menu item available; from completely bizarre concepts that may or may not call to me again, to absolutely stunning presentations of sea food that I find myself craving over and over. One thing that almost always makes an appearance on the menus of the finest seafood restaurants (and on my plate), is Ahi. During a recent trip to Maui, I had the pleasure of eating fresh-caught Ahi prepared in innovative and edgy ways, and I was NOT disappointed.
The Ahi Sandwich at Aloha Mixed Plate in Downtown Lahaina (http://www.alohamixedplate.com/), was served quite simply with pineapple slaw, french fries, and the best Mai Tai on the island, in my humble opinion. A perfect seer on both sides of the tender fish allowed for a stunningly rare center. It melted in my mouth! If you have the pleasure of visiting Maui, Aloha Mixed Plate is an absolute MUST. And don’t let the super-casual outdoor atmosphere fool you; this sandwich was hands-down the BEST sandwich I have ever had on the island.
My husband and I also experienced the upscale and renowned Mala Ocean Tavern (http://www.malaoceantavern.com/), where organic ingredients, whole grains, and small plates have become a fierce theme. We both ordered Ahi, and we both raved for days about our dishes.
I had the Ahi Tartare, which was dressed in citrus and wasabi, and accompanied by fresh local tomatoes, mangos, herbs, and caviar. Locally grown lettuce leaves became the wrappers for the delectable tartare. It was a flavor explosion, but did not distract from the purity and freshness of the Ahi, which had been caught that day, right there in town.
My better half ordered the Seared Ahi Bruschetta, which was served on house-made flax seed toast with a spread of Edamame puree. I fell in love with this sophisticated dish and vowed to attempt to recreate it. Although I had my mouth QUITE full (ahem) with my amazing Ahi dish, I will admit that I coveted his last toast, and made a fighting effort to obtain it. I lost. Maybe I let him win 😉
Seared, grilled, or tartare…chopped, sliced, or sandwiched. Ahi is Ahhhhhmazing! I am so excited to try my hand at a couple of these incredible dishes.