You're in Hawaii, so you need to go to a Lu'au. We went to the one at the Royal Kona Resort. You experience a Hawaiian feast under the tiki torches and stars just off the ocean's edge. After feasting on the expansive Hawaiian buffet you are treated to a Polynesian revue that takes you through the customs and dances of the Pacific Islands. Throughout the performance you can enjoy Mai Tais and other drinks from the open bar.
The feast starts with a picture with two of the performers in local dress. (You can purchase this after the show for a nominal fee.) You can then get a drink, listen and admire the crashing surf, find a seat at the table, and get to know your neighbors for the show. The stage is nicely set overlooking the ocean, however the seating is card tables and plastic chairs.
Once the feast begins, a somewhat cheesy but enjoyable emcee explains the history of the lu'au and you get to experience the Imu ceremony. The emcee continues to entertain throughout the buffet, and takes the time to recognize those on their honeymoon or anniversary. The show itself is very enjoyable as you travel through the Pacific Islands.
The dinner is served buffet style and is composed of various Hawaiian dishes like roasted pig, salmon, poi and terriaki steak. There are also numerous salads and side dishes to satisfy almost any taste. The food is fair quality. For dessert there was pineapple cake or coconut cream pie. The bar is open from the beginning of the Lu'au through the first half hour of the show. It consists of Mai Tais, fruit punch, Bud, Bud Light, wine and highball drinks. The Mai Tais and fruit punch were served in punch bowls, and you didn't need to worry about drinking too much as they were very watered down.
Overall the Lu'au was a fun night out. That said, don't be afraid to try one of the other Lu'aus around the Island. The cost is $55 per person and $1 for parking. You can also buy leis for $3, premium pina coladas served in a pineapple for $8, and pictures of you with the performers for $15. Normally they are Monday, Friday and Saturday, although the Saturday one was cancelled when we were there. Call (808) 329-3111 for information.
October 11, 2001
From journal The Big Island of Hawaii