Thanks again to Sarah Holodick for reporting and reviewing from one of our favorite spots, ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort!
Back in July I made a dinner reservation to go to ‘Ohana in January. It had been several years since Matt last went, and over 16 years for me! I don’t remember much, if anything, of what was served back then. Our reservation was for 7:15 p.m. and we arrived early to have a drink at Tambu Lounge.
We noticed that they’ve expanded their appetizer options since the last time we were there. They also have added a page dedicated to the Tambu Lounge specialty cocktails, which when I last saw it was simply the generic property-wide menu. We both highly recommend the Backscratcher! I checked in at the podium and had about a 15 minute wait until we were seated for dinner.
They led us to our table and, to start off, they serve sweet ‘Ohana bread. We dove in before the picture was taken, but I really don’t think you can blame us! It’s quite tasty.
Shortly after we sat down, our server, Trevor, took our drink orders. We were also brought a bowl of salad to start our meal. The salad is a mix of greens and some shredded carrot. Not exactly riveting, but the Honey Lime dressing they use is delicious! They use a decent amount of dressing too, and while I prefer a more lightly dressed salad, Matt thought it was just right.
Our next course arrived and consisted of Pork and Vegetable Dumplings and Honey Ginger Chicken Wings. The wings are the same ones they serve at Tambu Lounge, however those arrive with a mustard sauce drizzled over the top. We enjoyed the dumplings and they weren’t greasy, although I think they were a little heavy on the ginger.
The wings are a favorite of ours and we often order them at Tambu Lounge (along with the Crisp Breads and Dips!). They were very moist and were fairly large as well. I was a bit reserved the first time I’d ever tried them since too much ginger can be very astringent in flavor, but that’s not the case with these. While I taste the ginger, it’s certainly not overwhelming, and the flavor is well-balanced.
We then received Lo Mein noodles, vegetables and a trio of dipping sauces for the forthcoming skewered meats. The noodles were pretty standard and tasted fine, but I didn’t have more than a forkful. Matt enjoyed them, and said they were better than the alternatively greasy stuff from take-out.
We ate some of the snow peas out of the vegetable mixture and I thought they were cooked just right. The trio of sauces we were given were peanut, mustard, and sweet and sour. I personally didn’t use any of the sauces, although I did taste them and thought they all tasted good. The peanut sauce was thinner than we expected, and Matt didn’t expect it to drip off the fork like it did. He still thought it was awesome, though he would have preferred it to be thicker.
Next came what we thought would be the star of the show, the skewers! We were served Marinated Sirloin Steak, Spicy Grilled Peel and Eat Shrimp, Asian Barbecued Pork Loin, and Oak Grilled Chicken. Matt and I agreed that the steak was our top choice of the four proteins served. It was actually cooked rare! Look at the picture!
After the steak, we differed slightly regarding our favorites. My second favorite was the spicy shrimp, as they did actually have a little bit of heat to them.
Matt, who doesn’t go near shrimp, declined to taste any, but enjoyed the pork loin. I thought the pork was okay and had a good flavor, but was a little too dry for me. Maybe if I had used those sauces, it wouldn’t have been so noticeable.
Placing last was the chicken as it was just dry and rather flavorless.
Just as we were finishing our plates, Wishes! began at the Magic Kingdom. The lights dimmed and the music started, and we watched the fireworks from our table.
Now, do you remember how earlier we thought the skewers would be the star of the show? Well, we quickly changed our minds once dessert was served: Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster Sauce. Those of you who have read my reviews know I’m not big on sweets and desserts. If anything, some fresh fruit is more than enough to appease me.
Well, let me just say, bananas are fruit! This dessert was incredible. The slightly crisp edges of the bread pudding were softened as the vanilla bean ice cream melted from warm bananas foster sauce that was poured onto it by Trevor. Matt and I were already full, but we managed to eat the entire dessert.
While ‘Ohana may be hit or miss on the quality of the skewers, and old favorites sometimes disappear, I’m very glad we took the opportunity to try the restaurant again. Our experience was a very good one, and the dessert alone may just be enough to get us back there sooner rather than later!