Food Review: Maui Nui Luau
Sheraton Maui Resort
I love to eat – and I love local food. So when my family from out of town invited me to join them at the Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton on Kaʻanapali Beach, I said you betcha.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Maui Nui Luau. I’ve been to a few luaus recently in Wailea, and they were all a bit “white glove.” Picture table service, craft cocktails, and a hefty price tag. The Sheraton Luau – while still expensive – is about $60-$80 cheaper than the luxe luaus I attended in Wailea.
So, how did the food, service, and drinks stack up? Let’s break it down.
The food was served buffet style. I’ve noticed buffets at luaus are disappearing. If you’re a fan of buffets, then bookmark the Sheraton Luau.
While I really enjoyed table service at the Wailea luaus, the biggest perk to the Sheraton buffet was the sheer number of food options. There were plenty of dishes to choose from.
Appetizers alone featured about ten dishes. Most of the appetizers were traditional or contemporary Hawaiian food. There was a spread of poke, potato mac salad, green salad, pohole fern salad (it’s good, don’t skip it!), cucumber namasu, pineapple with li hing mui, lomi lomi salmon, taro rolls, and poi. Everything was good, no complaints!
For mains, there was kalua pork, teriyaki beef, steamed fish, P.O.G. chicken, Molokai sweet potatoes, fried rice, and vegetable chow mein – all standard luau fare. I was really happy to see the fried rice and chow mein because those are some of my favorite foods. I went back for seconds of both! The steamed fish and P.O.G. chicken were my favorite protein options.
For dessert, we were offered coconut haupia bars, mochi pineapple upside-down cake (yum!), and ube cheesecake. Before attending, I had read reviews that said the desserts were terrible, but I didn’t think so at all. The mochi pineapple upside-down cake was excellent.
Overall, no one dish really blew my mind, but I didn’t think anything tasted bad, either. Is there better food on Maui? Yes, probably. But it’s a luau buffet meant to serve hundreds of people, and I didn’t expect Mama’s Fish House quality. I was certainly not disappointed by the quality or taste, and there was more than enough to go around.
However, I did notice that there are few options for vegetarians or vegans. Only a few dishes are meat-free (mostly cold apps), and even fewer are dairy-free or egg-free. Although, this luau may be able to accommodate you with advance notice. One person at our table had a shellfish allergy, and a staff member came by to inform them what they could and could not eat and delivered a separate plate of white rice. If you have dietary restrictions, be sure to alert the luau after booking.
As for beverages, everything was tasty – and free, so no complaints there! Again, nothing blew my mind, but nothing left a bad taste in my mouth. All I could taste was a yummy mai tai. The liquor was not top shelf – but I expected that.
While the Sheraton luau didn’t offer table service, all the staff members were sweet and friendly. The host greeted everyone with a smile and a lei, the bartenders were working hard, and the performers were immensely talented. All in all, the staff cultivated a great vibe!
My family and I left happy. While I’ll admit the food isn’t as curated or the service as personalized, it’s still a great experience. And I still left stuffed! If you’re staying in West Maui, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Maui Nui Luau.
Maui Nui Luau
Sheraton Maui Resort
2605 Kaanapali Pkwy.
Lahaina, HI 96761
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