The Polynesian Cultural Center serves authentic modern Hawaiian food at its Ali'i Luau, some based on ancient recipes, including several specialties offered in sampler sized portions:
Poi, the traditional Hawaiian staple. It is a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixing with water until it reaches a smooth consistency. "Taro is one of the most nutritious starches on the planet," says Ambassador of Aloha Cousin Benny. Some Hawaiians eat their poi with salt, some with sugar, even soy sauce. Some like it thicker or thinner. Others like it several days old for a little extra tang; and malahini, or newcomers, might find it more to their liking at first if they eat it with a bite of the other meat dishes.
For those willing to try anything once, we offer Poke, or raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice with other condiments and a little coconut cream. Normally offered in the Hawaiian-style of raw fish with sea salt, seaweed and onions, we've chosen the more pleasing Tahitan preparation to introduce you to this island favorite. If you want the more Hawaiian-style version, you'll need to go a mom-and-pop local store, backyard luau or small Hawaiian restaurant to get a taste.
Lomi lomi salmon. In Hawaiian, lomilomi means to massage, or in this case to break the salmon into small pieces, which are then mixed with tomatoes, onions, and other small condiments, giving it a delicious tangy taste that goes great with poi.This style of fish preparation was introduced to Hawaii by early western sailors.
Pipi kaula, or a seasoned beef jerky, harks back to the earliest days of western sailors who brought their salt beef aboard ship in barrels. In fact, on some of the South Pacific islands, you can still buy a barrel of salt beef.
Other favorite Hawaiian dishes served at the Ali'i Luau include:
Kalua pua'a, or roast pork, as its prepared in the Hawaiian imu or underground steam oven. Kalua pig is usually seasoned with sea salt and sometimes green onions.
Though ancient Polynesians brought moa, or chickens, with them from the South Pacific a thousand years ago, Asian influences have livened up the taste with teriyaki chicken.
Asian tastes have also contributed another luau favorite: Chicken long rice. Sometimes called thread or bean noodles, they are boiled and served hot with pieces of chicken. Try it over a little white rice.
Filets of tasty, flakey white meat island fish that is deep-fried.
Dark purple Hawaiian sweet potatoes that have been mixed into a cold salad.
Taro rolls that have a distinctive purple color, derived from the taro flour used in the recipe. They are baked fresh daily at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Other items on the Ali'i Luau menu include:
A variety of salads: tossed greens with carrots and cherry tomatoes, spinach salad, sweet potato salad, Ambrosia, and cucumber-carrot salad...with ranch, papaya seed, and thousand island dressings.
Cold fruits: ripe pineapple spears, of course; watermelon (in season) and other fruits.
Beverages (all decaffeinated): Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Root Beer, Sprite, Fruit Punch, Passion-Orange-Guava, Coffee, Herbal Teas.
Even the dessert table offers delightful Hawaiian treats, including:
Haupia (sweet custard cubes made with rich coconut cream), Guava Cake, Coconut Cake, Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake.
Of course, in true Hawaiian luau fashion, you can go back for more as many times as you can stagger through the line. Enjoy!
Toll Free 1.800.367.7060 | Contact Us | © 2008 Polynesian Cultural Center. All rights reserved.