Born in Egypt, graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, and with over two decades of culinary influence, Michael Mina is a much-loved, award-winning celebrity chef across the United States (and beyond). He is also a restaurateur and cookbook author. His company, Mina Group, is a restaurant management company that currently manages more than 30 concepts around the world.
What I admire about Michael Mina as a chef, is not only his aspiration to bring food to life, but also in his seeking for BALANCE. Him and his team believe in the beautiful art of balance in flavors. Their four key ingredients?
Acidity, Sweetness, Spice, and Fat.
The balance of these four is what creates Mina’s bold dishes.
With that being said, I cannot speak highly enough about the flavors that I experienced while dining recently at one of his restaurants. Actually, this beautiful spot is Michael Mina’s first and only Fish House!
If you travel to Hawaii (or live in Hawaii), and want that FRESH line-to-table inspired seafood experience, then Mina’s Fish House is the spot that you need to visit!
The menu features pupus, small plates, a signature Hawaiian seafood tower, whole Hawaiian-style grilled and baked fish dishes, and so much more.
Altogether, service was phenomenal and the warm, handmade flat bread that was brought to our table after being greeted was so tasty it could make your eyes roll back! It was super fresh and also served with complementary spread toppings including a tzatziki sauce, olive tapenade, and homemade hummus – all equally incredible.
Okay, now on to the drinks: Mina’s Fish House features cocktails that are inspired by the Hawaiian beaches and fresh tropical fruits that are grown here on the island. Many also have a Tiki theme to them while utilizing flavors like papaya, lilikoi, kiwi, and coconut.
The bar is at the heart of the Fish House with an acid-washed zinc and custom glazed ‘fish scale’ tiled bar face. Though we admired the design from a far, the drinks served to our table were both strong, tasty, and unique – like the “Run Home Jack” in a ceramic pineapple and the “If Can, Can” served in a SPAM container:
Mina’s Fish House offers a unique beachside dining experience with a seamless connection of the interior bar area with the outside open-air dining room. The decor is slightly rustic, yet with a calming island vibe.
Beyond the main dining area, there are also multiple exterior decks that ultimately end at the beachside “feet in the sand” dining option.
It’s a definite one-of-a-kind restaurant, even in Hawaii.
Now there are classic fish dishes from Chef Mina’s repertoire offered, but also a daily “Market Catch” menu portion.
Seeing that our favorite fresh fish is ahi, we had to try the Ahi Tuna Tartare. Though this plate is a definite signature of Mina’s, it has been reimagined here at his Fish House as a contemporary poke, and it did. not. disappoint!
In the spirit of balance, we also ordered a salad. The “Marinated Hass Avocado” was a perfected match of creamy fat (avocado) and tangy acid (pickled veggies/mushrooms). I actually want to visit again specifically for this salad and wouldn’t be mad at an extra pound or two of whatever that magical jalapeño dressing that this salad is served on top of…. ohhhh, so dreamy!
I want to thank Mina’s Fish House for having us, as well as for the sweet birthday surprise dessert in honor of my 28th birthday. I cannot wait until we visit again!
My Sincerest Aloha,