Come along for a trip to a pineapple farm in Maui! Located in Central Maui, the Tropical Express Tour, sometimes called the Mill House Plantation Tour, is a fun train ride tour around a pineapple farm. After touring the Maui Tropical Plantation, there’s a delicious meal to be had at the Mill House Restaurant. This post includes a video of one of the best attractions for foodies on Maui, plus a full tour of the Mill House lunch menu.
Special thanks to the Maui Tropical Plantation for inviting Sip Bite Go to experience and share their pineapple farm tour and the Mill House Restaurant this feature.
The Maui Tropical Plantation Tour
One of the most memorable days from a recent Maui Hawaii trip was a day at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Located in Central Maui, in the Wailuku Valley, this tourist hot-spot is a fun Hawaii excursion. First we toured the pineapple farm on the 45-minute Tropical Express Tour. Then I sat down with Executive Chef Jeff Scheer for an interview about the Mill House Restaurant.
Watch the Maui Tropical Plantation Tour video…
The Tropical Express Tour at the Maui Tropical Plantation
During a train ride tour of the Maui Tropical Plantation, a super-personable tour guide explained the fruits and flora found on the Maui Tropical Plantation.
Along the way, we stopped for a coconut husking demonstration which is really fun to see in person. It’s way more labor intensive than I ever imagined – but our tour guide was a pro. At the end of the Tropical Express Tour, we sampled fresh cut pineapple and mango samples from the farm. They were de-lish!
After the farm tour… lunch at the Mill House Restaurant
Lunch at the Mill House Restaurant is delicious. And the food is just as beautiful as the backdrop of mountainous Central Maui landscape.
So let’s get to the tasty part… the food feature!
Since this trip fell during our baby moon, I stuck to zero-proof drinks. Babe indulged in a citrus bourbon cocktail while I tried a variety of fruity mocktails.
Part of my Maui Tour de Mocktails included a drink shaped like a pineapple. I can go on record saying the best place to get fresh squeezed pineapple juice is on a pineapple farm.
We began lunch at The Mill House with Swiss chard fritters with parmesan and garlic aioli.
Admittedly, I had no idea what Swiss chard fritters would be like.
To this point, I’d only tried apple fritters as far as fritter-trying goes.
But when I spotted the dish on the menu I *had to have them*. My thought process: if it’s a vegetable in fried dough form, I’m pretty sure I’ll love it. Yup. Love at first site with these fritters.
Now I have a new rule: always get fritters if you see them on a menu. They’re essentially the doughnut version of veggies. The way god intended people to eat veggies, obviously.
Next on my must-try list: beets.
I rarely pass up a beet salad. As a beet connoisseur, I’ve tried so many beet dishes, and rarely find myself surprised by them. But this one blew my mind.
The puffed grains (like puffed rice cereal you’d eat as a kid) brought a crispy texture to the beats, which are soft. The unexpected crunch plus the tahini yogurt dressing made the dish exciting. I’ll be dreaming of this dish until I make it back to Maui!
Say yes to the chef’s board.
The Mill House menu features a daily chef’s board. On this day it included a plethora of house-made goodies… Pork and beef rillette over crostini, chickpea cakes, cabbage coleslaw and a generous serving of pork pate served with hazelnut crackers, fennel jam, and mustard. Yes, please!
My favorite from the chef’s board: chickpea cakes with harissa cream. I expected a rough chick pea texture, like hummus or falafel. But I was completely wrong. The chick pea cakes were very light and fluffy. Each bite was a new experience as we tried them with various pickled veg and dipping sauces on the chef’s board.
Wow. I love chicken bao.
The chicken bao buns with kimchi + Korean aioli were totally unexpected as well. Served “taco style” in delicate, soft bao buns, these are not to be missed.
Gotta get some greens!
Broccolini is on the same wave-length as kale for me. Love it when it’s prepped and served just-right. Hate it when it tastes like bitter green veg. This feature of both broccolini + kale hit the mark just-right. The greens come charred and served with local macadamia nuts, a generous pile of parmesan, red chili flakes, and a drizzle of lemon.
Then a fish sandwich. Grilled lemon is the bomb. It’s great with fish and chicken, and was a perfect accompaniment to the fish sandwich of the day. The fish sandwich comes with macadamia nut pesto, tomato, frisée, and shallot. Seems so simple, yet so gourmet.
(ppssst… if you love fish, check out this barramundi recipe)
Were our faces completely stuffed? Yes.
Did we find room for dessert? Yes. Yes. Yes.
First on our dessert list: malasadas with a citrus dipping sauce.
The Mill House Restaurant’s take on fried dough, malasadas, are delightful AF!
They come dusted with a coating of lime sugar and a pineapple orange custard dipping sauce. De-vine!
Then the panna cotta with fresh toasted coconut and a pineapple compote.
Holy panna cotta – where have you been my whole life? Now I’m going to ALWAYS order the panna cotta when I see it on menus. The Mill House Restaurant’s buttermilk panna cotta is so memorable.
It’s a creamy, gelatin dessert that’s almost like a chilled version of crème brûlée. This one came topped with toasted coconut and a pineapple compote. Of coarse, the toppings were from the Maui Tropical Plantation.
After lunch, we checked out the plantation gift stores and farmer-market type store. I have a love/hate relationship with farmers markets while traveling. Being a foodie traveler, I love trying local produce. But so often, I can’t bring fresh goodies home. I was happy to learn that fresh fruit from the farm can be ordered and shipped to the mainland.
So don’t miss a visit to the Maui Tropical Plantation!
I had the best-time-ever touring the Maui Tropical Plantation and getting to eat a super indulgent and tasty meal at The Mill House Restaurant. It was one of my favorite days of my babymoon in Maui, Hawaii. Get more information about touring the pineapple farm here. I know I can’t wait to go back!
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about trip planning to Maui! Tag me @sipbitego on Instagram so I can see how much fun you have on your trip. Plus, sign up for the Sip Bite Go newsletter for future tips and giveaway announcements.