KIHEI, MAUI: Chez Mēmē

UPDATE: Chez Mēmē has ceased operations and is closed for business.

A self-described breakfast snob, I am always on the hunt for a great morning meal. During my most recent trip to Maui, I found one at Chez Mēmē Bistro & Bakery.

Open only about two years at the time of my visit, the restaurant didn’t show up on any social media radar when my wife and I visited Maui about 18 months prior. Now, though, the word is out and I am about to add my praise to the list.

Lemon curd turnover
Located in an industrial area about a quarter mile off S. Kihei Rd., right across from a Goodyear Tire Center, it would be easy to miss, which would be unfortunate.

Greeted by the server as I was perusing the menu posted on the lanai, I was invited to take a seat wherever I was comfortable, either at one of a handful of outdoor tables or inside the restaurant. I chose to eat indoors but quickly realized the large picture windows were actually screens, not glass, allowing the trade breezes into the room but keeping the bugs and birds at bay.

My server brought coffee as I weighed my options. To my delight, the coffee was dark and rich, not like the lighter Kona coffee that is served in so many places on the islands. He then told me that house-made turnovers had just come out of the oven and listed the various fruit fillings available. I chose the lemon curd, and found the crust incredibly delicate and flaky, with a great sweet-tart filling. Topped with a drizzle of sugar glaze, the turnover was absolutely spot on!

Breakfast entree
I had been eying the Brioche French toast served with pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh whipped cream, powdered sugar, and my choice of pineapple, caramelized apples and raisins, or bananas. However, combined with the turnover, that would have been a fairly carb-heavy breakfast, so I decided on the breakfast of two eggs, Portuguese sausage, sautéed potatoes, and homemade toast and jam.

The eggs were perfectly scrambled: neither too dry nor too moist. The sausage was better than many I’ve had, with a bit more spice than others I'd had, which seemed little more than coarsely ground hot dogs. House-made rye toast and three-berry jam topped things off. Portion size was perfect as well: not so large that my choices were either to stuff myself or waste food, but large enough that I left feeling satisfied.

Exterior of Chez Mēmē
The breakfast menu contained other items including the restaurant's take on the loco moco. While breakfast is served any time the place is open salads, sandwiches and soups are also on offer for lunch. Chez Mēmē is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., seven days a week. I am sure I’ll be back.

GETTING THERE: Take S. Kihei Rd., to Halekuai St., the “T” intersection with Maui Dive Shop on the corner. Turn east and go about a quarter mile. Chez Mēmē sits amidst shade trees on the right. Park on the street or in the lot, which can be accessed at the rear of the building.

Bon appétit!

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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