Saturday, 30 September 2017

Hawaii Day 7 - The drive to Hana

I had to take a picture of our leis before they withered away! We placed them on tables outside on the balcony in the shapes of hearts, and kept it like that for the rest of our stay.

We had breakfast at Duo's, with me having a ranch style breakfast with eggs (which I passed off to the kids) and hubby had poached eggs. My daughter had waffles and her brother ate our leftovers.

Our plans for the day were to head to Hana on the east coast of the island via the picturesque yet narrow and winding Hana highway. Many guides will tell you how it's a great drive, but it really is best enjoyed over a day or two, with an overnight stay in Hana, in my opinion. We drove there and back (to make it back for a dinner appointment) so we were a bit rushed.

Our first stop along the highway was at Twin waterfalls. A short hike to get to, and people were swimming in the clear pool.

Great views of the coastline abound along the highway.

Unfortunately the drive was not very relaxing due to the amount of people on the highway and being stuck behind slow drivers in this often one lane highway. There are 600 curves and 54 bridges, making it a slow drive and there aren't many places you can just pull over to take pictures. There are a few 2-3 car spots where you can stop but they were often full. There was also some kind of roadwork which caused a halt for about about half an hour (which is when I took the picture above). The queue of cars was long and we were getting hungry by then, eager to get to Hana to find some lunch.

We stopped at Bruddah Hutts Island BBQ and had the pulled pork and the chicken. The chicken was well enjoyed but we weren't that hungry (having brought snacks galore for the long drive) and so the pulled pork though nice wasn't able to be finished.

We drove down to O'heo gulch, which is part of the Halakalea national park (lucky we had our 3 park pass) to do a quick walk and see the seven sacred pools.

We were short on time so we elected not to do the 2 mile long Pipiwai trail, and just do the Kuloa point trail instead.

There were lots of Pandana trees around which pine like fruits which reminded me of Bunya nuts. The walk was quite easy to do and we made it back to the car and started the long drive back. If we had more time we would have liked to stop by Wai'anapanapa State park and the lava tube, as well as have a look at Hamoa beach.

We did stop at Wailua falls on the way back for a quick photo - it would be more impressive had I walked further in but it was crowded (there was even a little food stand there) and plenty of parking.

Some gorgeous sunset views of the volcanoes as we drove back to Wailea. Haleakala with the clouds descending was nice as well as the sunrays over the volcanoes behind us.

Dinner was at Morimoto's in the Andaz Wailea resort, and it was a bit hard trying to find the restaurant! Masaharu Morimoto, Iron Chef America, has a number of chains throughout the states, the original in Philadelphia. Maui's Morimoto restaurant opened in 2013.

Whist we had the 10 course degustation, the kids had their own menu and chose sushi tuna and avocado, and chicken teriyaki. Their meals came out quite quickly.

The good thing was it kept them quiet. The bad thing is that they finished before we were through our 4th dish!

Tom yum soup with mushroom and radish. Nothing super exciting about this dish, just a standard Tom Yum flavour.
Toro tartare with 6 condiments - nori, wasabi, cream cheese, guacamole, sweet onion, japanese crackers and dashi sauce. An interesting way to present toro (though in my opinion I prefer the flesh as a slice so I can savour the way the fatty tuna melts in your mouth) but it was interesting. Points for originality, not so keen on the flavour or having to dig it out with my flat paddle.
Amberjack carpaccio. I liked it, the condiments may have been a little overpowering.

Bagna Cauda with Anchovies and olive oil. This is an Italian dip which was different. Happy to have some green vegies!
Oyster with foie gras and uni with chawan mushi. I always like chawan mushi. Foie gras not super strong flavoured.
Palette cleanser - cucumber herb sorbet with gin pipette. I think the pipette is cute.
Sushi plate - maguro, aji, monk fish liver, striped jack and Hawaiian prawn. Monk fish liver is the foie gras of the sea. I actually like it a bit less seasoned - but apparently they put a lot of sauce on it to drown out the fishy flavour. 
Duck breast in Thai red curry sauce. I like duck. I do feel like I'm having an international meal with dishes representing many different countries.
Surf n turf - Grilled Haawaiian octopus with red miso and chickpea bakes, and Wagyu. The Wagyu has too  much sauce on it. I really like my wagyu plain, the flavour is in the meat. I didn't like this dish very much. 

Chiffon cake with white chocolate pearls, strawberry meringue, lychee jelly and grapefruit. Very sweet dessert. Americans love super sweet desserts.

Overall a nice experience, but I think I had a better time at Merrimans. Morimotos was good for a casual pricey dinner. Service was decent, but I wish the kids food lasted them a bit longer!

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