Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Taste of Polynesia at 'Ohana


When asked to write a blog about my favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World, my first reaction was to write about ‘Ohana, located in the Great Ceremonial House of the Polynesian Resort.  I have to say, there are many, many fine dining establishments located throughout the Walt Disney World Property and picking a favorite is very hard.   


Aloha and welcome to ‘Ohana.  You’ve just entered the Polynesian-inspired restaurant with stone tikis, woodcarvings and South Seas d├ęcor.   ‘Ohana is the Hawaiian word for “family,” which is quite fitting since you will be served “family-style.”   If you are not hungry when you get there, you will be shortly after you start to smell the aroma of the meats being cooked over an open 18-foot oak fire pit.   Your server or “Cousin” will greet you like part of their family and bring you over to grab some delicious Hawaiian pineapple-coconut bread.  You’ll then be seated so that you can start your dining experience.  This is an “All-You-Care-To-Eat” family style restaurant, which means you can ask for any of the foods you want to enjoy more of.  Your appetizers/accompaniments will include mixed greens with mango-poppy seed dressing, coriander chicken wings, fried pork dumplings and noodles tossed in a peanut sauce and stir fried vegetables.   Your server will come around with the long skewers that the meat is cooked on and serve you tableside.  They offer oak grilled chicken, Asian barbecued pork loin, marinated sirloin steak and spicy marinated grilled peel and eat tiger shrimp.  Oh my, it’s a feast for all your senses.  


Don’t forget to save room for dessert.  This dessert has spoiled me so much that I can’t eat bread pudding anywhere else!  ‘Ohana bread pudding is served a la mode with bananas and caramel sauce.  It replaced the pineapple served with caramel sauce, which was a favorite of my family.


Now I’ve read that ‘Ohana can be a noisy environment.  I prefer to look at it as lively, entertaining and fun.  If you time your dinner right, the stage is even set for romance. That’s right, romance.  Is there anything more romantic than a dinner for 2, gazing out the windows to watch the fireworks that dazzle the skies over Cinderella’s Castle?  What about being serenaded by an Elvis song being played on the ukulele and everyone who is celebrating an anniversary being asked to get up and dance?  Now, how about the kiddies, they even get to participate in races where you push a coconut around the dining room with a broom.


When I ask my family to name their favorite Disney restaurant… you can see why they say “’Ohana, duh.“  About 2 years ago, I helped my friend plan out her dining reservations for her upcoming trip.  She had never been to ‘Ohana.  At my recommendation she made a reservation.  One of her sons told her that “Anna rocks” for suggesting that they eat at ‘Ohana.  I cannot wait for my next reservation at 'Ohana.


Anna

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