Travel Blog #154 – Germaines Famous Luau

Jun 17, 2022 | Activity Information

My friend Doug came over to visit us when we were staying on Oahu recently. I thought it would be fun to take him to a luau during his visit so so I made some reservations for Germaine’s luau. The luau is located out towards the west side of the island, but round trip bus transportation was included in our package so we opted to avoid the drive and get picked up in Waikiki.

The bus arrived a few minutes after we did. We stopped to pick up passengers at a few other locations before we eventually got onto the freeway and began heading out towards the Luau. Our luau representative who was riding the bus kept us all entertained on the way out there. Soon enough our bus was getting of the freeway and a few minutes later we arrived at the luau grounds.

When we got off the bus I was kind of amazed at how nice the Luau grounds were. The luau representative on our bus explained that when the luau was initially opened it was completely surrounded by sugar cane fields. Eventually, the sugar cane company went out of business and the land was repurposed for the construction of an industrial park. The luau grounds were located on beach front property that had an amazing view of the sun going down over the waves that were breaking right off shore.

We found our table where I put my camera bag down before we got back up to finish exploring the luau grounds. We went up to the bar to get a drink and then make our way over to the gift shop and then down to the imu pit where we could see a crowd of spectators beginning to form.

The way that the pork is prepared at a luau is unique. Instead of grilling it or baking it over a fire (which can leave the meat dry) it is slow roasted in a special underground Hawaiian oven called a imu. The theory of how an imu works is simple. Basically you dig a big hole in the ground. When you’re done digging the hole you make a big fire next to it, and you place river rocks in the fire to warm up. Once the rocks are sufficiently heated you then thrown them into the hole. Then wrap the food items you would like to cook and place them in the pit with the rocks. The next step is to actually fill back in the hole completely, insulating the heat of the rocks in with the food. Leave the items to cook for about 8-10 hours then dig it all back up………. Buried in the pit you will find some of the most tender meat you’ve ever eaten in your life.

We got to watch the Luau workers dig the imu back up and take the pig out. As soon as the leaves were removed the smell of the food made it’s way into the crowed, it smelled delicious! Within a few minutes we began to make our way over to the buffet where we piled our plates high with the various Hawaiian delicacies.

After everyone had made it through the buffet the show began. I was impressed with the size of the cast and the liveliness of the dancers. During the show there was all kinds of polynesian entertainment. We saw dancers from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga and even Fiji. It was nice to see that on a few occasions they even got the audience up on the stage to participate on a few of the acts. Doug and I definitely enjoyed ourselves at the Luau and judging by the expressions I saw on the faces of other members of the audience…….I think they were having a good time too.