Let’s travel to Disney’s Polynesian Resort for dinner at the Kona Café with guest author Katie Roth. We love the flavors from the south seas at this Walt Disney World restaurant!
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have stayed at the Polynesian multiple times and have never eaten at Kona Café! Until now, I always admired its colorful decorations and festive atmosphere from afar on my way to the monorail.
After eating here, we are THRILLED that we made the decision to try it. I’m pretty sure this restaurant is going to be a staple for our trips now.
Kona Café is located on the upper terrace of the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian resort. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to miss. The colors are vibrant and the decibel level is pretty high compared to other restaurants. (It didn’t seem as loud once we were inside the restaurant though; the sound from the lobby probably amplifies noise coming from the restaurant to any passerby.)
Once inside the restaurant, it’s even brighter and cheerier! Everything screams tropics here, from the carpets (see below) to the adorned ceilings. (Editor’s Note: Check out the Hidden Mickey in the carpet!)
Once our waitress took our order, we were treated to Kona Café’s complimentary Sweet Bread and Macadamia nut butter.
Admittedly, this bread looks very unassuming. (Be honest, its shape is beckoning you to chuck it like a football rather than to eat it.) But the bread was sweet and buttery and we thought it tasted more like a dessert than a starter.
The butter was very tasty with honey ribbons and huge macadamia chunks in it. My husband loved it so much that he wanted to stash the rest of the loaf in my purse for the parks after our meal!
Every time I have visited the Polynesian Resort, I have wanted to try the California Luau Roll. What’s special about this particular California roll is that it has fresh pineapple instead of cucumber in it.
We ordered it as an appetizer to our meal, even though this serving could have been a full meal. The ingredients were incredibly fresh and it tasted great. There was a lot more crab in this roll than I’m used to seeing in other California rolls.
In my opinion, the flavor of the pineapple did not come out as much as I thought it would. We weren’t able to finish all of this – it was just too big!
For his entrée, my husband ordered the Pan-Asian Noodles with Shrimp. Wow, this dish was absolutely gorgeous! It was almost as colorful as the restaurant.
These noodles are a great option for someone who is hesitant about Polynesian flavors; it wasn’t too strong. It was packed full of crispy steamed veggies, perfectly cooked shrimp, and a light sauce that had a great balance of garlic and ginger.
For my entrée, I decided to order the Sesame Seared Sea Scallops. Nowadays, any time there are scallops on the menu I have to order them!
To be frank, I was really disappointed that I only got 3 scallops. The minimal amount of scallops was served with rice, wakami salad, and tarragon-champagne beurre blanc. The scallops themselves were cooked per-fect-ly. The seasoning was peppery but still allowed the taste of the scallops to shine through.
I mixed all of the sides together to create a salad – the mixture wasn’t overly flavorful, but was a nice compliment to the scallops. I should be happy that my entrée was small since we had two desserts coming out!
One of our desserts was the chocolate fondue accompanied by fresh fruit, coconut macaroons, and peanut brittle. The fondue itself was super rich and reminded me of melted chocolate chips.
This dessert was good with all of its chocolate glory, but it wasn’t terribly interesting.
Our second dessert was the Banana Chocolate Crème Brulee. The presentation of this dessert was contemporary and fabulous. The taste, as odd as this will sound, reminded me of a burnt campfire marshmallow. (I love burnt campfire marshmallows.)
The only time that I tasted banana was when I took a bite of the crème brulee with some of the caramelized banana that it was served with. My husband didn’t really care for this, but I loved it!
Overall, we loved Kona Café! The atmosphere was fun, the service was friendly, and the food was amazing. We will definitely be returning. Next time, I’m ordering the Pan-Asian Noodles!!
Katie works full-time as an engineer in Ohio and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in mechanical engineering through Purdue University. Katie and her husband absolutely love everything Disney and try to work that special brand of magic into every aspect of their life including visiting Walt Disney World multiple times per year.