My expectations were very high for my first visit to 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort. It was a brief journey from the Magic Kingdom on the monorail.
It was Day 2 of our vacation; we were staying offsite, and this was a special celebration evening meal. Some of our party were celebrating 25 years since they first visited Walt Disney World.
This menu is served "family style," a new term to me. All of your food is brought to the table — and keeps getting brought as long as you want it. (Only downside is, you don't get the calorie burn to make more stomach room from a walk to the buffet!)
Family style - Freshly cooked skewers brought your to table
Although we were one of the first times available, 4 pm, there was a delay in getting our table. However, as soon as the bread arrived, all that was forgotten about! 'Ohana Pineapple Coconut Bread is sweet, but not too sweet. The server kindly brought us another one at the end which I took home to have as an awesome snack.
We were then delivered a bowl of goodness.
Pork Dumplings, Honey Corriander Chicken Wings with Teriyaki Sauced Noodles and vegetables - leave room for skewers and pudding!
I presume the vegetables were lovely, but was not going to "waste tummy room" when a meat feast was coming.
Point to note: The children we had with us enjoyed the bread, but not the bowl or the skewers. It was only halfway through the meal that we realized that the children could have gotten their own menu — standard Disney fare. (Ask your server)
Soon after the bowl was delivery, our server came round with the skewers:
Sweet-n-Sour Chicken prepared over an oak fire, served on Skewers with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces
Szechuan Sirloin Steak prepared over an oak fire, served on Skewers with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces
Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp prepared over an oak fire, served on Skewers with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces
You can see the open kitchen and the meat cooking — fascinating to watch.
The chicken was fine. I was a little disappointed in the toughness of the steak. It was beautifully flavoured, but not so easy to eat; it may have been the quality of cut they used — after all, it is a 1-credit restaurant where you can eat as much steak as you like.
The prawns, however, were beautiful. I was so glad they were shell-on, so I could pace myself somewhat and not give myself indigestion — I think I must have had 30 or so!
These prawns fresh from the skewer were fantastic
Apologies, this photo does not do the prawns justice, but being married into a "seafood family" in a famous Scottish fishing town, I have had a lot of quality seafood, and this is as good as anything I have had.
As well as the meal, we were treated to some excellent traditional Hawaiian music, sung and accompanied by the yukelele. Having been to Hawaii, and been introduced to the legend that was Israel Kamakawiwo 'ole (You may have heard his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", featured on the 50 Firsts Dates movie soundtrack), this brought back a lot of happy honeymoon memories. The singer hosted us all, and also led a race for the children.
Have you ever seen a gang of children race round a restaurant pushing a coconut with an old fashioned broom? You haven't?
Then another reason to go to 'Ohana — the kids loved it!
Back to the food. I was conscious, however, that the pudding was of high repute; I needed to save some room for this. This turned out to be a great decision.
I do not have a huge sweet tooth, but this "pudding" (which we call all desserts in Scotland) was excellent.
‘Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Banana- Caramel Sauce
To finish off, we had some " Anniversary Cake", which was organised as an extra beforehand (by calling the Disney Dining team at an extra cost of course).
I did not have room to enjoy it fully, but it was a nice cake. The design and personalized message was excellent, as you can see, and really capped off a great night.
As in all my reviews, I like to rate and come up with a percentage score, with 4 elements scored out of 5.
Welcome/Atmosphere - 4 - The delay was not ideal but not excessive. Atmosphere is excellent: busy and loud, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Service - 4 - Our server was attentive, and brought us everything in good time. It would have been helpful to check if the children needed an alternative and to cover what was available, as that did not seem clear. Apart from that, it was good.
Food and drink - 5 - Hard to imagine anything that could match this for 1 credit. I could mark down for the steak, but everything else was exceptional, and way exceeded expectations.
Value for money - 5 - At approx $45 dollar for an adult and $25 dollars for a child, this was not cheap. However, the quality and uniqueness of experience, the location and ease of access, the atmosphere and most importantly the awesome food means this is definitely a 5.
Total - 18/20 - 90%So, is this the best 1-credit restaurant on Disney Property?
Well, it is for me (so far), and I would love to go to 1-credit restaurants which are better!
Please comment below with what you think of 'Ohana, and what restaurant you would give the title of "Best 1-Credit Restaurant at Walt Disney World."
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