Mala an Ocean Tavern: Eggs Benedict

“Kai will be right with you,” our hostess informed us as she guided us to the outside lanai. My son chose a nice table and selected the seat with an unobscured view of the water. Our seats were shady and cool. The gentle sea breeze and the sound of the waves were a great way to start our breakfast. Everything had that fresh clean ocean smell.

This was my second visit to Mala; my first was for dinner a few weeks earlier. This time we were there for breakfast. Mala only serves breakfast on weekends, so this was a special treat. I’ve heard many great things about breakfast at Mala and have more than a few friends who come here every weekend. They have talked about many of the featured dishes and all have their personal favorites. I was here for the Eggs Benedict and to include Mala in the Best of Maui – Eggs Benedict series of articles. My son was along for the ride. Father / son time is very important in my family.

Kai came by and greeted us with a friendly “Aloha” and asked if he could bring anything for us to drink. My six year old son asked if there was POG. Kai explained they did not have passion fruit juice for the POG, but he would be happy to bring pineapple, orange, and guava as an alternative. He also described several of the other options that were available. My son considered the information and decided to order fruit punch instead. I ordered orange juice and coffee, no cream. I was pleased to see packets of Sugar in the Raw at the table. There was also Heinz Organic Ketchup on the table along with Tabasco Sauce. Kai excused himself to retrieve our drinks and my son and I had some time to consider his breakfast options.

There was no Keiki Menu for breakfast, so my son ordered from the grown up menu. He was thrilled by this (remember, he is only six) and quickly decided on the French Toast. The French Toast was highly recommended by Kai who described the breakfast selection as four pieces of French Toast topped with caramel, powdered sugar, blueberries, pineapple, and syrup.

Since I was dining at Mala specifically to try the Eggs Benedict, my decision was easy. . . or so I thought. Mala prepares their Eggs Benedict in a variety of ways. Some of which I had never heard of, much less experienced. All the Eggs Benedict are served with two fresh cooked eggs on multi-grain Health Bread with Hollandaise and Hash Brown Potatoes. According to the menu the options include: Lamb Sausage, Prosciutto, and Alii Mushrooms. Another option was also available on the morning my son and I dined at Mala: Smoked Bacon.

After considering all the possibilities, I decided to ask Kai if I could try two different styles rather than just one. This way, I reasoned, I could write a single review and include more informations. Kai assured me that would be fine, so I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Prosciutto and Smoked Bacon. I envisioned one half of my plate would be filled with Prosciutto Benedict and the other would have the Smoked Bacon Benedict. Two pieces of toast, I reasoned would be ample space for eggs, the selected breakfast meat, and Hollandaise Sauce. To my surprise and delight, the chef had something different in mind.

When Kai brought our breakfast to the table, my son had been looking out at the incredible view from our table, watching the water, and smiling. I asked him why he was smiling. He responded, “We have two beautiful views,” and he continued smiling as if this was something so obvious to everyone. I asked him what he meant and in a very matter-of-fact manner explained, “We have two views.” He pointed outside and said, “We have the view outside.” He then waved his hand across the table and pointed out, “And we have the view of deliciousness.” I love it when he comes up with stuff like this. Kai placed our plates before us and left us to enjoy our repast.

The Eggs Benedict had both types of breakfast meats combined into one incredible combination. The toasted bread was covered with Smoked Bacon and Prosciutto, topped with two perfectly poached eggs, then coated with a healthy dose of Hollandaise Sauce. The toasted Health Bread brought a very nice flavor to the breakfast experience. It had a wholesome rich flavor. A nice welcome from the vitamin-like flavor imparted by some healthy breads, the taste of which can sometimes be less than favorable. The Health Bread was toasted just right, crunchy, not burnt. The meats and eggs were cooked to perfection. The Hollandaise Sauce was rich, not too rich and hinted at lemon. All in all, a very nice presentation. The flavors, especially the breakfast meats, were very powerful for so early in the morning and provided a nice balance for the coffee and orange juice that accompanied the meal.

While the Eggs Benedict was very good and I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast, my son’s French Toast was absolutely amazing. The most fantastic French Toast I ever tasted. It was easily, and by far, the best French Toast I have ever had. Crisp on the outside; custard on the inside. Sweet creamy custard smothered with blueberries and pineapple chunks and topped off with caramel and powdered sugar. OMG. It was so good.

My son grabbed his knife and fork and began digging into his food. In his excited frenzy to cut his French Toast, he dropped his knife while he was cutting his food. Within seconds, our hostess was at the table with a new knife. My son and I thanked her for bringing a new knife so quickly. I was very glad she didn’t make a big deal out of it. The last thing a child needs is to feel self-conscious about eating out. I asked if I could help him cut his French Toast, but my son declined and began cutting his breakfast by himself.

When he dropped his knife for the second time, I requested he pass me his plate so I could cut his French Toast into manageable pieces. He made a gallant effort for a six year old, but French Toast can be pretty tricky to cut into bit size pieces. As I was cutting the French Toast, and there was a very healthy portion to cut, I asked my son if it would be OK for me to try it. That’s when the “deliciousness” of the view at our table became even more beautiful.

My son raised his hands to meet mine as I handed the plate of French Toast pieces back to him. He eagerly placed a French Toast piece, dripping with syrup, into his mouth and his smile grew even bigger. When he finished the bite, he told me, “ This is the best breakfast I’ve had since we moved here.” I told him that it was certainly the best French Toast.

He was enjoying his French Toast so much that he declined to even try my Eggs Benedict. While I usually encourage my children to try different foods, this time I was fine with his decision and for two reasons. One, I was really enjoying my Eggs Benedict; and two, I knew he was really enjoying his French Toast.

Kai came by to check on us and see if we need anything. We requested drink refills and assured him that the food was excellent. My son stopped eating long enough to make sure he could send “compliments to the chef” and resumed enjoying his French Toast. I also let Kai know that the Eggs Benedict was delicious.

He returned quickly with more coffee and juice. The juice was so good and the coffee so fresh, we hadn’t had much water. We had, however, eaten a great deal of good food for breakfast. And yet, there was still so much left on our plates.
The next time Kai came over to check on things and asked if we wanted a “to go” box. My son agreed quickly since he wanted to share the rest of his French Toast with his siblings and his Mom. There was barely enough room in the box once I added the last few bites of Eggs Benedict.

My son and I got up from the table and prepared to leave the table of a wonderful dining experience. We thanked everyone we had encountered during the course of our meal and expressed how much we enjoyed the hospitality we were shown. I assured them we would be back and, next time, I would probably order a combination of the French Toast and the Eggs Benedict.

808 Reviews’ Visitors Tip: Mala also serve their Eggs Benedict with lamb sausage or mushrooms. If you’re looking for a different type of Eggs Benedict, you can’t go wrong with any of the varieties. Of course, if you’re looking for the best French Toast that Maui has to offer, you must order the French Toast from Mala.

Mala an Ocean Tavern
1307 Front Street
Lahaina, HI 96761
808.667.9394
www.malaoceantavern.com

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About Maury Hoffman |Things to Do on Maui | Restaurant and Activity Reviews

Senior Editor of 808 Reviews and freelance travel writer, Maury Hoffman lives on Maui with his familiy, iPad, iPhone, and other gadgets. His writing proficiency is directly related to the quality of his morning coffee. He prefers Peet's Coffee, but also enjoys Living Java.

Tiny Bubbles Scuba