A Hawaiian Luau - Part 1
Nelson: This is supposed to be the best place to experience a Hawaiian Luau, a traditional Hawaiian feast. It's located in a area once reserved for royalty on the western end of the island. This is a dinner, so we were treated to a beautiful sunset as the background to the traditional dancing. Amazing setting and atmosphere.
On our way in, they gave us a lei and offered a premade alcoholic drink. At the tables were some snack, a selection of Polynesian traditional starches, banana and sweet potato chips served with a tropical salsa with ogo seaweed. Although the salsa wasn't that good, having these snacks waiting was a nice touch.
The meal is divided into 4 themed sections, starting with Hawaii and Aotearoa New Zealean (where the Maori are from). My next post (2 days from now) will be the second half representing Tahiti and Samoa.
To start we had a Pohole fern, asparagus and heart of palm salad. Looking back, I don't see any Pohole ferm (they look like fiddlesticks according to Google), the heart of palm is the white vegetable. It wasn't a very memorable salad.
Next is the Kalu'a Pork, prepared in a traditional cooking style slow roasted in an imu (underground oven). I thought this was the best representation of the Hawaiian Kalu'a pork I had my entire stay. It was really tasty from the added salt, but really really tender with an excellent texture. Delicious!
The last Hawaiian dish is a seared island catch with mango sauce. The mango sauce was really good and made up for the mediocre fish that was a tad dry.
But surprisingly my favourite part about this meal was the Poi, a sauce made from the root of the taro plant. It had a creamy texture to it and a very delicate taste that present but not overpowering. It went well with the pork.
The next set are Maori foods starting with a country green duck salad with Poha berry dressing. Not too surprising, but to me the duck salad had a very Chinese taste to it.
The balls are something called Kuku Patties, fishcake with scallops and shrimp with the fish of the day. Kitty liked these so much she asked for a second serving! Yes, they were really that good. A lot of seafood and probably a lot of added fat, but still with the taste in a good balance. Yum!
Lastly is a plate of Harore Kumara, roasted mushrooms with sweet potato. This tasted exactly like a Chinese stew.
Lastly, it was all you can drink cocktails and they had some interesting ones. Starting on the left, the Mai Tai, light and ark rum with orange and pineapple juice wasn't very good to my tastes as it reminded me of cough medication. In the middle is a Pina Colada, light rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice (sweet!), and on the right is a Lava Flow, a pina colada with banana and strawberry swirl.
An excellent start, but only halfway and already starting to get full!
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