maui: feast at lele
Planning a food trip to Hawaii should include a luau, but which one?
My research and tips from friends pointed me to the Feast at Lele in Maui. I winced at the price ($176 per person at time of writing) but told myself to think of it as “dinner and a show” which helped me to push the button and order four tickets. It was worth it.
Another plus, Feast at Lele is held outside with a great view of West Maui at sunset. You can hear the waves and see the beach while you are dining. We were told the area where the luau takes place is where Hawaiian royalty entertained and that Lahaina was once called Lele.
Feast at Lele tells the history of Hawaii through food, dance, songs and music. The pacing of the show and the food was just right, with a dancing and music to represent parts of Hawaii’s cultural history and an accompanying food course to serve alongside. We learned about New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Hawaii and left very full after five courses.
TIP: Book your luau as early as possible. They really do sell out. We booked about five months ahead of our trip and were rewarded with front row tickets!
At Feast at Lele, we were greeted with fragrant and beautiful fresh flower leis and a drink menu and although there are 300 people with you for dinner, service was fast and attentive. You are sitting right on the beach, so feel free to dig your toes into the sand during dinner.
An open bar is included and if you like sweet drinks, get a lava flow – basically a piña colada with a boozy strawberry syrup representing lava (shown above with a Blue Hawaii cocktail). The food was surprisingly good for such a large production dinner. Our favorites were the Kalua Pua’a (roasted pork), the fragrant gardenia jasmine rice garnished with hibiscus soy puree, the Pani Popo, a soft taro roll with coconut and the Tahitian Vanilla baked shrimp with Ogo (seaweed) dust. I asked ahead for no beef and they remembered and generously substituted another helping of my favorite dish when the beef dish was served to my family. The food kept coming and none of us left hungry. See the whole menu
The dancers and storytelling was interesting and well-paced with the dinner courses. Just like Broadway, there are lots of costume changes, dances and beautiful singing voices. Our front row seats turned out to be so close that when the fire dancer performed, we could feel the heat from his torches!
I am happy to report that two teens enjoyed this experience—the food and the performance. And they gracefully drove their parents back to our rental afterward…don’t drink lava flows and drive.
Feast at Lele is a don’t miss if you are going to Maui!
Feast at Lele, Lahaina Town
505 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii