Not sure where to eat in Poipu, Kauai? Merriman's Fish House serves fresh, delicious Hawaii Regional Cuisine in a beautiful, breezy plantation-style setting.
If you love seafood, Hawaii will satisfy all of your seafood-loving foodie dreams.
Growing up the in the Pacific Northwest, I've always been a huge fan of seafood. Shrimp, oysters, salmon, clams, Dungeness crab, lobster... if it's from the sea (and it's humane and safe to eat), I will eat it!
When visiting the island of Kauai, I dined at many incredible restaurants, food trucks, and bars. Of those, Merriman's Fish House went above and beyond satisfying my deep love of fresh seafood. While I included it in my Where to Eat in Kauai article, Merriman's Poipu warrants a post of its own.
If you love seafood too, and you're visiting the Hawaiian island of Kauai, you simply MUST dine at Merriman's Poipu!
Don't let Merriman's Poipu location in the center of an outdoor shopping center fool you: this is no average mall restaurant.
The restaurant is located in a beautiful plantation-style building and once you walk up the steps and into the main dining area, you'll feel miles away from a mall.
The space is light, bright, and welcoming, with walls of windows that open up and allow you to enjoy gentle Hawaiian breezes as you take in views of the neighboring green space.
Chef Peter Merriman owns four Merriman's locations - this Poipu Beach location in Kauai, one in Maui, one in the Big Island, and a more casual pizza & burgers joint also located on Poipu in Kauai.
At each of the main three Merriman's Fish House locations, you'll enjoy carefully crafted cocktails and a nice beer and wine list. The dishes at Merriman's are touted as Hawaii Regional Cuisine; at least 90 percent of the food you will enjoy is either grown or caught on the islands, using sustainable methods.
Since it is a fish house, the menu at Merriman's Poipu is heavy on seafood. However, there are some wonderful vegetarian options available as well.
Here's a look at what our group enjoyed during our recent dining experience at Merriman's Poipu.
You could make a meal out of the delicious variety of appetizers served at Merriman's. Since we were a large group, we shared several starters.
Ono Ceviche ($16) - This gluten free dish is made with AI Farms Tahitian lime, shaved young coconut, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro. It's served with a side of sweet potato chips and sliced avocado. Light and refreshing!
Kalua Pig & Sweet Onion Quesadilla ($13) - Four triangles are packed with tender kalua pork, house-made kimchee, and served with a mango sweet chili sauce. These are hearty bites!
My favorite starter was the Sauteed Kauai Shrimp ($17). The shrimp was prepared with full shell and head on, making the shrimp meat succulent and juicy, full of flavor. This was served on a bed of greens, cucumber kimchee, and tossed with Korean spiced citrus vinaigrette.
My favorite presentation was the Ahi Ginger Poke ($19). This gluten free appetizer is served with one heaping spoonful of crushed avocado, a center serving of ahi ginger poke topped with kahuku sea asparagus, ogo, sweet onion, and then a side of Grove farm sweet potato chips.
You can't go wrong with an order of the Kona Lobster and Crab Cakes ($21). The mix of lobster and crab meat makes for a tasty combination, with local orange slices and served with a tangy avocado, watercress, salsa verde.
Now, while you could make a meal out of the starters alone here at Merriman's, you can't leave here without ordering one of their amazing entrees.
A couple of my fellow diners ordered the Macadamia Nut Crusted Kampachi ($41) and the Seafood Linguine ($32).
...the Jumbo Fresh Lobster ($49). This is what I ordered, because: LOBSTER. I can't turn down jumbo fresh lobster at a fish house!
The lobster is raised in cold Keahole waters, butter poached (because everything good is poached in butter, right??), then served with marinated tomato, basil butter, and sweet corn–jalapeño whipped potatoes. This is THE dish to order at Merriman's, folks. You get a hearty amount of lobster meat, and it's poached beautifully in butter which makes it so tender and flavorful.
Dining at Merriman's was one of my favorite dining experiences when visiting Kauai. The views were amazing, the service was friendly and accommodating, and the food was absolutely delicious. I loved every single bite I took during this dinner.
As you can tell from the entree prices, dining here is on the more expensive side compared to other dining options. But while the prices reflect the freshness and high quality of the ingredients, they don't reflect on the ambience.
It's upscale elegance in a casual, warm, open and family-friendly atmosphere. Because of the location, I also think diners were more casual here than in other restaurants of similar quality. Because of the open windows and live music, it's a great place for jovial conversations with friends and hearty laughter.
I highly recommend you dine at Merriman's and enjoy the experience for yourself!
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Street #G-149
Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii 96756
More Kauai Travel Bliss
- Travel Bliss: Ziplining, Kayaking, and Snorkeling in Kauai
- Where to Eat in Kauai Hawaii
- Where to Stay in Kauai: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Disclosure: This meal was complementary thanks to the Kauai Visitors Bureau, as part of a press trip. Many thanks to Merriman's for sharing their delicious food and drinks with us - I highly recommend a visit here! As always, all opinions and photos are my own.