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Sunday Toana’i: A Feast of Samoan Delights at Orator Hotel

In Samoa, Sundays are synonymous with toana’i, a traditional feast that brings families together after church service. Embracing this cherished tradition, Orator Hotel inTanumapua, offers a Sunday toana’i experience that blends traditional charm and modern comforts. Indulge in Samoan delights on offer which cater to both locals and Samoans living abroad, in search of an authentic taste of home.

Honoring Tradition

“Toana’i is a special day for Samoans—it is the end of the week and a day to catch up with all your families, it is like a fellowship,” says Fiaailetoa Charlotte Chan Mow-Brunt, the General Manager and co-owner of Orator Hotel. She explains that Orator Hotel recognizes the timeless importance of this cultural practice which is why it was introduced very early on when they opened their hotel in 2010. With the ever-increasing pace of life showing no signs of slowing down, places like Orator Hotel provide an opportunity for family and friends to enjoy a hassle-free feast without the need to cook themselves.

Authenticity and Variety

“We think about the guest’s appetite, we also listen and observe what people eat, I think that is the biggest success of our Sunday toana’i,” notes Fiaailetoa. With a buffet available from 11:30 am to 2 pm, guests can savor freshly made local delicacies and classic favorites. The menu is thoughtfully designed to cater to guests’ preferences while highlighting the abundant use of locally sourced ingredients.

A Culinary Journey

“For us, there are items of food that we keep but change it around every week,” Fiaailetoa explains. The Sunday toana’i at Orator Hotel celebrates the rich diversity of Samoan cuisine. From succulent size 2 (pork) and povi masima (salted beef) to the flavorful palusami and mouthwatering oka (fresh fish salad), the buffet showcases a rotating selection of signature dishes that keep the experience exciting and fresh each week. Guests can also indulge in traditional Samoan desserts like poi, made from ripe bananas and coconut cream, as well as pancakes with delectable coconut jam.

Embracing the Pacific Spirit

“We are keen to add more seafood but it can be quite expensive to maintain so we are trying to have our vendors support our promotions for local cuisine,” Fiaailetoa mentions. Building on the foundation of Samoan cuisine, Orator Hotel aims to enhance its offerings by fostering relationships with local suppliers. Additionally, the hotel’s commitment to organic food promotes the cultivation of their own vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients, further emphasizing their dedication to promoting local, fresh produce.

Pacific Fusion

“It is interesting to see how our Fijian chefs cook some of their dishes, it is similar but just different techniques in cooking or ingredients. They will add more Pacific Island cuisines,” Fiaailetoa highlights. Acknowledging the multicultural nature of the Pacific, Orator Hotel embraces the culinary diversity that comes from the inclusion of Fijian chefs in their kitchen. From Fijian-inspired delicacies to hints of oriental heritage like kimchi, the menu at Orator Hotel tells a story that appeals to both locals and international visitors.

Reservations and Future Plans

As an ode to Fiaailetoa’s Chinese ancestry and her husbands’ Korean heritage, the founders of Orator Hotel are looking to incorporate more authentic and popular Asian dishes from their childhood. “We are looking at adding like kimchi and asian barbeque dishes to our menu.  Our toana’i will not only tell the story of the people of Samoa but also of those who are hosting them,” Fiaailetoa elaborates. To ensure an unforgettable toana’i experience, guests are encouraged to make reservations in advance through various channels, including Facebook, email, or the landline. Orator Hotel aims to continuously improve its offerings by addressing challenges related to the availability and cost of local produce while exploring the inclusion of more international products to meet the evolving demands of their guests.

Orator Hotel’s Sunday toana’i embodies the essence of Samoan tradition and cuisine, providing a captivating culinary journey for locals and Samoans overseas. With a commitment to promoting local ingredients, cultivating organic produce, and embracing the diverse flavors of the Pacific, the toana’i experience at Orator Hotel is an invitation to immerse oneself in the vibrant food culture of Samoa, as Fiaailetoa’s passion for sharing Samoan traditions and flavors shines through every delectable dish.

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