Waikoloa Marriott Royal Luau is one of the most authentic Luau’s on the island and are held twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. The beautiful sunset on Anaehoomalu Bay provides the backdrop for this Hawaiian Luau that features traditional Hawaiian foods.
The menu includes “kalua” pig; this is pig that is cooked in an authentic underground “imu” (oven). The buffet also has, fresh mahi mahi, grilled streak, and much more. No meal is complete without dessert bar and an open bar that serves beer, wine and mixed drinks.After dinner, you can just sit back and relax as Polynesian dancers take you to the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Tahiti. You will also be entertained by a Samoan fire dance
GATHERING OF THE KINGS
The Gathering of the Kings is held on Saturday evenings. Located at the Fairmont Orchid resort, which is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Kona. This is a Polynesian Feast of royal proportions that is combined with a spectacular Polynesian performance. The award-winning chef of the Fairmont Orchid prepares the buffet in traditional Polynesian style. Included in the buffet is papaya ginger chicken, kalua pork, lomi lomi salmon, seafood luau, jasmine rice, plus much more. There is a full open bar that serves beer, wine, and tropical mixed drinks that can be enjoyed with a wide selection of desserts.
The Gathering of the Kings, blends traditional Polynesian dance, with current day choreography. Through this exciting program the story of how the Hawaiian Islands were settled is told.
SHERATON KEAUHOU RESORT
Sheraton Keauhou Resort Luau Haleo is one of the most popular luaus on the island and is suitable for the entire family. This luau breaks away from the same old stories and dance routines that many others follow. Real stories are told of traditional Hawaiian lore and mythology, traditional songs, music, and dance. This luau is unique because of its mythical and spectacular performances.
The Luau takes place on the grounds that feature the original temples of worship, the punawai springs, and the water pools that were once reserved as the royal bathing pools.
The menu includes starters like fern shoot salad, Sweet Potato Salad, or how about a sliced fruit platter. Entrée’s feature Teriyaki Strip Sirloin, Seared Mahi Mahi, and of course Roasted Suckling Pig and Taro Rolls. There are so many items that they are to numerous to list.
KONA RESORT LUAU
Has been on the Big Island for many years, and is considered by many as the mainstay Luau of the Island. As the name suggests it’s located in Kona. This is a 3-hour event with up to four hundred people. The all-you-can-eat buffet is always spectacular with traditional island fare and delicacies. The open bar serves beer, wine, and mixed cocktails.
The after diner shows celebrates the legends and lore of Polynesia, and feature a spectacular fire dance finale.
This luau is by reservation only.
Website: www. konaresortluau
The History of the Luau
There was a time in Hawaii when men and women were separated at mealtime. This was to do with ancient religious practices and taboos.
In 1819 King Kamehameha II abolished these practices. A feast was held in which the king ate with the women as a symbolic act that ended the religious taboos. This was the beginning of what is now the time honored Luau.
The name “Luau” comes from the favorite meal at the feast. The tender, young leaves of the Taro plant, and chicken were combined then baked in coconut milk. This meal was called luau.
The luau is traditionally eaten seated on a Lauhala Mat that is placed on the ground. The center area of the mat is decorated with a centerpiece that is made up of Ti leaves, native flowers and ferns. The traditional luau also has many bowls of poi. This is made from taro root that is pounded into mash. Poi is a staple food of the traditional Hawaiian diet. Along with the poi, platters of meat along with dried fish and vegetables were served as well.
Cutlery was never used at the luau, everything was eaten by hand. Poi for example comes in three consistencies, three finger, two finger, and the thickest is one finger.
Luaus tend to be large, and in 1847 King Kamehameha III held one of the largest ever, to celebrate his 50th birthday. The guest list included 1500 people. The menu was extraordinary, and included 271 hogs, 482 bottle gourds (Calabash) of poi, 1820 fresh fish, 3,125 salt fish, 2,245 coconuts, and 4,000 taro plants. There were numerous other appetizers served as well.
The luaus of the 21st century are not that large, but 400-500 people is not uncommon. Cutlery has been added, so you do not have to worry about eating with your hands.
The main course of any luau is “Kalua Pork”. “Kalua” means literally to cook underground. Early in the day the preparations are made for the feast. An “imu” which means pit, is dug into the ground. Kiawe wood, which is similar to North America mesquite, is placed in the bottom of the pit and then covered with round river rocks. The wood is lit and burns for several hours. What’s left is on the bottom are hot coals, and some extremely hot rocks. The rocks are then spread evenly on the bottom of the pit, and covered with fresh cut banana stalks. On top of that is placed a layer of fresh cut banana leaves that provides the bed for the pig.
The pig is then place on the bed and covered with more banana leaves, as well as Ti leaves and sometimes burlap, which helps retain the heat. Cooking time is usually 6 to 8 hours. The pig is then uncovered. All the moisture from the leaves and banana stalks plus the pig itself, help to steam cook the pig to the degree that the meat is so tendered that it literally falls away from the bone.
You will also enjoy other delicacies will include lomi lomi salmon, roast chicken, fresh fish, vegetables, and a variety of specialty items that are selected by the chef. There is usually an array of desserts to choose from. Most luaus also provide an open bar as well, that will serve beer, wine, and mixed tropical drinks.
Keep in mind that you will probably find many unfamiliar foods at the table, but be rest assured there will be plenty of North American items that you will recognize, nobody goes hungry at a luau.
The entertainment provided is different from luau to luau, and vary few are in traditional Hawaiian style. Most of the entertainment is in the form of song and dance, and the hula, which is specific to Hawaii. Other cultures of the Pacific Rim are represented as well, and will usually include Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, and New Zealand.