Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ama Ama at Disney's Aulani

Lunch and Dinner at Disney's Ama Ama at Aulani

We had both lunch and dinner at Ama Ama.  Over our three night stay, we actually had lunch here twice and it was not only much better than our dinner meal, but also probably one of the smartest options for lunch.  Compared to the counter service restaurants, a meal here was only a few dollars more for lunch and you didn't have the crowds, plastic silverware, etc... Instead, you get this amazing view! 

View to the left looking from the restaurant's patio.

View to the right looking from the restaurant's patio.

For our first lunch, I had the pasta primavera with chicken.  Amazingly, you don't find a whole lot of vegetables on the menus throughout Hawaii, so, this was refreshing.  It was also delicious.  I think it was $16, but $21 with chicken.  It was a very hearty portion and definitely worth the price considering the options.

My husband had the cheeseburger on the first trip for lunch and I repeated his choice for our second lunch there.  This was one really good cheeseburger and it was huge!  It had a red onion jam on it that was simply delicious.  On top of that, the fries were excellent.  They were crisp, but tender and seasoned perfectly.

For lunch on the second day, he chose the parmesan panko pork loin sandwich on Japanese white bread with Tonkatsu sauce.  Having traveled often to Japan for work over the past few years, this was reminiscent of some of the dishes he had while over there.  Although, he enjoyed it, I found him ogling that cheeseburger that was on my plate!  He knew how good it was from the day before.

For some reason, I can't put my finger on the pictures from our dinner.  I had the filet and he had a vegetarian option.  Both of these meals were less than exciting and less impressive than lunch at a much higher price tag.  I had specifically made a reservation for Friday night because it was the night before we were leaving, but also because there was supposed to be live music.  By the time we were seated shortly after 8 PM, the band was roaming and wrapped up with one or two songs.  So, there was not only no live music really, but also, the view kind of disappears at night.  The live music in the bar area closer to the main building was much better too from what we heard.  So, given the choice, lunch was a much smarter choice here!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mama's Fish House - Maui

It was over fifteen years since our last visit to this restaurant.  We almost cancelled the reservation because we weren't feeling the drive from Ka'anapali as we had done the drive to Hana the day before and well, we didn't know that if the dinner could ever live up to what was in our memories.  You know the experience... You visit somewhere, have a good meal, and over the years, the memory changes... The memory gets greater and greater and the food tastes better and better.  After doing so much traveling and eating around the world, we began to think our standards might have been different back then as this was one of our first truly fine dining experiences.  Well, we didn't cancel the reservation.  We made the drive.  I ordered the same thing I had so long ago and my husband decided to get the same as me.  He will tell you that he has never tasted lobster so sweet.  That although the restaurant has undergone a number of changes, the food remains impeccable.  The feeling is casual as it is in Hawaii.  However, we weren't disappointed in anything. The service was great and not rushed despite the restaurant being booked solid.  Now that we've been here on both of our visits to Maui, we can officially consider dining at Mama's a tradition.  This is one tradition we hope to keep for many years to come.  Oh, and don't forget to get the chocolate pearl!!

Amuse Bouche- Asparagus bisque

Fresh Hawaiian Bread

Won Ton Shrimp with Macademia Nut Dipping Sauce
Wasabi Calamari

Macadamia Nut encrusted Mahi Mahi stuffed with crab and lobster. 

Chocolate Pearl

Rainy, but still peaceful and beautiful.

The beach outside the restaurant.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Some Aulani Treats & Duffy and Shellie May Merchandise

One of my favorite treats on a Disney cruise is the Mickey ice cream bar.  Although they have these in the parks, I rarely get one there because they melt too fast in the heat.  However, when I found them in the gift shop, I had to have one.  You can find these both in the main gift shop off of the lobby and in the Ulu Cafe.  There may be another spot, but these were the only two spots that I found them easily.  Ulu Cafe also has the Mickey shaped cake/cookies as well as the Rice Krispy treats you find at Disney World.  I didn't try the Rice Krispy treats, so, I can't vouch that they are the same, but they looked the same if not just a smidge smaller.

Here is a sampling of some of the gift shop offerings if you are a fan of Duffy or Shellie May.  I'll have to take some pictures of all the Duffy and Shellie May loot I had shipped home, but I was a very happy girl!  Shellie May apparently just recently made her debut at Aulani and I couldn't have been happier.  She is slightly different than the one I have from Japan and her tag is different, but she is the same size.  There are some really cute Aulani outfits for both Duffy and Shellie May.  My Shellie May came back with a dress or two and one of the Aulani robes in her size.  I'm regretting not brining one of those luscious robes home with me in my size!

Some of the Shellie May merchandise.
Duffy phone case

Duffy and Shellie May mugs

A wall full of Duffy bears and Shellie May! I got one of each! 

Mickey & Minnie cookies/cakes

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Disney Characters Abound at Aulani

This was the first character I encountered at Aulani.  I was so thankful to get my picture with him because I never saw him again the rest of the trip.  He also wasn't one of the ones with scheduled photo ops while we were there.
Finding Disney characters at Aulani is easy.  If you compare this to the experience in the parks or even on the cruise, you will be pleasantly surprised.  Not only do the characters regularly wander the grounds, but you can call a certain number from your room phone to get the list of scheduled character photo opportunities.  The only time I used the phone to find a character was to find Stitch.  Unfortunately, my Stitch pictures are still on another memory card, but we found him just as he was about to leave and there wasn't one person waiting to take a picture.  I have to admit that I found the characters at Aulani much more friendly than in the parks or cruise.  Perhaps this is because the lines weren't as long, but they all spent time with people and took plenty of pictures.  Duffy also gave especially good hugs!

I don't know that I ever saw Mickey wandering the grounds like Donald, Minnie, Goofy, Duffy and Chip and Dale.  We got our Mickey pictures at the character breakfast at Makahiki.  Before getting seated for breakfast, they had you line up for pictures with Mickey.  They took pictures that they sold, but they also were more than willing to use your camera(s).  During breakfast, the other characters that came around were Goofy and Minnie.  

Other opportunities to see the characters were at the Starlit Hui as well as the pool party.  Having a waterproof camera at Aulani is pretty important if you want to catch the characters in action because you never know when you might be on the lazy river and a character might appear along one of the bridges.

A wooden Stitch


Goofy at breakfast with my little Sully

Pool party anyone?

Minnie wants to party too! 

and Goofy of course! 

Taking a stroll

Mickey waiting for breakfast pictures.