'The Feast at Lele' celebrates Polynesian cuisine and culture

LAHAINA -- The partnership that produces the Old Lahaina Luau, a nightly Hawaiian event here, launched a new show called "The Feast at Lele" (Lahaina was once called Lele).

A more upscale product than the luau, the new show emphasizes the cuisine of Polynesia as much as the music and dance. With 20 dancers and musicians, it begins with Hawaiian chants, songs and the hula and is followed by the music of Tonga, Tahiti and Samoa.

While watching the show, patrons have dinner courses reflecting the food that goes with the music. "This is a new concept in dining and entertainment in which the food and show share the spotlight and take guests on a culinary and musical journey through four islands," said Michael Moore, a partner.

Once seated, visitors try such Polynesian staples as cassava, green banana, sweet potato and taro with a dipping sauce. Such dishes as kalua pig roasted in an imu, pohole ferns and hearts of palm, steamed moi (mullet), and poi accompany the show's Hawaiian portion.

With the Tongan dances come a lobster-octopus-seaweed dish, grilled steak and squash; with Tahiti, steamed chicken, taro leaf and scallops are served.

The Samoan show, which features a fire-knife dance, is accompanied by grilled fish in banana leaf, young taro leaf and coconut cream and shrimp. In total, there are 14 dishes in five courses, plus dessert.

The open-air show includes restaurant-style seating with table service, a flower lei greeting and an open bar.

"The Feast at Lele" takes place on oceanfront grounds that accommodate 150 people. It is located at 505 Front St., a restaurant and retail complex at Lahaina's south end. The Old Lahaina Luau was held there until May of last year, when it moved to larger oceanfront grounds at the north end of Lahaina, opposite the Lahaina Cannery shopping center.

"The Feast at Lele" is held Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to Moore, there are plans to increase frequency as demand increases.

The price is $89 per adult, $59 for children. In comparison, the Old Lahaina Luau, running for 13 years, holds 420 people and costs $65 ($30 for children).

Old Lahaina Luau/"The Feast at Lele"
Phone: (800) 248-5828

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