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What to Order at The Mala and MiGRANT Restaurants at the Marriott in Wailea

Where: 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr [map], Maui, HI, United States, 96753
July 22, 2014 at 6:59 PM | by | ()

Yesterday, we gave you the Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're giving you a Must-Eat spot. Conveniently, it's in a hotel. Mahalo!

Chef Sheldon Simeon has done pretty well for himself after finishing in the top three of Season 10 of "Top Chef" and winning the "Fan Favorite" award. The Hawaiian native, who previously helmed Star Noodle in Maui not only opened his own restaurant, MiGRANT, at the Wailea Beach Marriott, he's also taken over the kitchen at the hotel's Mala restaurant.

So with the same chef overseeing both restaurants, what's the different? The Mala restaurant has a more formal restaurant set-up with a somewhat traditional menu while MiGRANT has a casual setting with a more creative menu. Ok. So which one should you choose? Allow us....

We stayed at the Marriott in May while celebrating a family member's big milestone, and when a dinner at Mala ended up being fraught with service issues, we were invited back to try it again, this time with Chef Simeon himself guiding us along his excellent culinary adventure.

The dishes that we had were a mixture of Mala and MiGRANT items but all were Simeon's creations, heavily influenced by local traditions and his own Filipino heritage. Here's what we sampled, and ultimately fell in love with:

· Kumu Farms Organic Kale Salad ($15): From the MiGRANT side served with pumpkin seeds, Calimyrna figs and tossed with a shire miso dressing.
· Organic Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese ($15): From the Mala restaurant, made with Maui's Surfing Goat Dairy Farm goat cheese.
· KFC: Korean Fried Chicken Wings ($19): A MiGRANT dish made with a thick kare kare peanut sauce that we wanted to bottle up and take home. When we asked Chef for the recipe, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "I just bought it at Costco." #love.
· Pancit Noodles: ($16) Also from the MiGRANT side and made with Oahu noodles, roasted pork belly, black tiger shrimp and topped with garlic chives.
· Ahi Avo ($22 and $24): This is on the menu at both restaurants, but we were served a jazzed up ahi avo rendition on a "pizza crust." Delish.

We were also treated to some bacon and cheese beef sliders, along with a steamed snapper dish and a hibachi hangar steak from the MiGRANT menu, all finished off with sweet potato ice cream. As if you couldn't already tell, the answer here is clear. Hit up MiGRANT to get more of Chef Simeon's inventive tasty goodness.

Mala is open for breakfast from 6:30am to 11am and again for dinner from 5pm to 9:30pm. MiGRANT is open from 5pm to 10pm.

[PHOTO: HotelChatter]

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