Te Moana Nui: An Unrivaled Luau ExperienceFeatures Inside Feature
August 24, 2014
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
While Pacific Beach Hotel’s Oceanarium restaurant has wowed multiple generations of diners for the last 35 years, a new dinner show experience at the property has quickly caught fire as Waikiki’s hottest indoor stage production.
In March, Pacific Beach Hotel introduced a must-see dinner production dubbed Te Moana Nui: Tales of the Pacific. Through a combination of song and dance, vibrant costuming and enchanting storytelling, ancient tales of the exotic South Pacific are brought to life — stories of unparalleled beauty, fierce savagery and adventure are woven throughout Te Moana Nui (the vast ocean). The stunning show even features a three-time world champion fire knife dancer that is sure to heat up the night.
The incredible Broadway-esque experience showcases the talented Polynesian performers from Tihati Productions on three stages throughout the hotel’s Grand Ballroom on the fifth floor of the Ocean Tower, which boasts a gigantic 140 square-foot LED screen to enhance the production. The show runs Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights (pre-show at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 and show starts at 7:30), and features a dinner package ($115 adults, $82 children) that takes the luau concept to new heights.
Cocktail packages ($68 for adults, including two drinks; $50 for children, including two non-alcoholic beverages) are available. Guests also may enjoy the show via the Royal Package ($145), which includes a carved-wood lei, mai tai, pre-show activities, dinner and two premium cocktails. Kamaaina are treated to stellar special rates available now through the end of September, including dinner packages for $69.95 and cocktail packages for just $30.
“It’s The Lion King of the Pacific. There are multiple characters and a storyline involved,” says Patrick Faas, director of food and beverage at Pacific Beach Hotel. “There’s always something going on near and around you throughout the entire show. We offer a banquet-style atmosphere and an upscale experience; and you don’t have to sit in traffic for two hours each way. It’s really convenient, and just the perfect experience.”
Before enjoying the memorable show, diners may delve into an alluring array of local favorites prepared fresh in house by executive chef Mariano Lalica and his culinary team. Featured items include prime rib, lau lau, kalua pig and cabbage, furikake mahi mahi, poi, chicken long rice, ahi poke, lomi lomi salmon, pickled Ewa onions and fresh sushi selections. Superb desserts also satisfy any sweet tooth, as diners may reach for pineapple upside down cake, macadamia nut tart, macaroons, guava chiffon cake, haupia and poi andagi. Faas also notes that diners with special diets or allergies may request vegetarian or gluten-free menu selections, if desired.
Lalica explains that the luau-style dishes incorporate locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Pacific Beach Hotel recently introduced an aeroponic garden on its roof, in which fresh lettuce and herbs are grown and then incorporated in line with the fresh concept of roof-to-table sustainability. The hotel also owns an organic farm on Hawaii island that supplies additional fresh produce to its restaurants.
“Although it’s a buffet, it’s a full-service experience — someone will come by and clear your plates, and it’s not like some other luaus where the food is reheated and you’re eating out of tin pans,” says Faas, who notes that Te Moana Nui has garnered five-star ratings across multiple travel and social media sites from audiences around the world. “The production value is so high, you feel like you’re going to a show on Broadway.”
“It’s a great time for you to come back to Waikiki, do something different and have a memorable night on the town,” Faas says. “The presentation is so uniquely different and engaging. It’s anything but your typical luau.”