Ohana is one of those restaurants that you always hear other people talk about, but until this trip, we had never been. We love so many Disney restaurants, and with the limited time we're there each trip, we want to try new places but still visit at least some of the place we really enjoy. One of the new restaurants we visited this trip was Ohana. We've read other reviews about this place, most recent ones have been saying you get rushed out, but the food is good. So, let's see for ourselves.
The Polynesian Village resort is a stunning hotel. We got there a little earlier to have some drinks, but Trader Sam's was packed so went to the bar upstairs where I had my first Lapu Lapu.
The theming of the restaurant is top notch. It has a really cool atmosphere and surroundings are incredible. There was a guy going around playing the Ukulele which was a nice touch.
On the way to being seated, the cast member grabs some Pineapple bread and seats us. The bread was delicious, no question. However, I'm not falling for the "fill up with bread before we get to the meats" ploy. So, let's move on.
Even though we were not sat right at the window, there was a great view.
Our server came over and gave us the "we're all cousins" speech along with how the meal was going to play out. He was very monotone and didn't seem all that interested when making this speech, he soon after took our drink order and left.
First came the salad with a Lilikoi dressing. Not the best salad on property, but it wasn't at all bad.
Then came the big fillet of food. I wasn't a huge fan of the chicken wings. The dumplings tasted like baby pasties, but as a Devonshire lad I like my pasties, and everything else was on the fillet was really good. However, the teriyaki noodles were FANTASTIC. I cannot stress that enough.
Then your server comes around with massive skewers of chicken, beef and shrimp. They're brought out one by one, not all at once. The chicken was really nice. It tasted like fresh chicken straight off the bbq. The beef was my favourite, because the sauce on it was just stunning. Sadly, I don't eat shrimp so I couldn't tell you if the shrimp was any good or not.
Then came dessert. I was so full, but managed a few bites of the bread pudding, and glad I did. Delicious! If you love caramel, you'll love this thing.
Other the boring chicken wings on the platter, the salad being nothing special, all the other food was fantastic. The beef in particular was so, so good.
What was a let down for us this meal was the service. As I stated earlier, the server seemed very monotone and uninterested. Our drinks got refilled relatively quickly after they were empty, however there were gaps of time where he was nowhere to be seen. There was 2 occasions where my plate was completely empty as I waited for him to bring around more beef. The guy who brought the food out to begin with just plonked it down on the table and walked off without saying a word - didn't even get a moment to say thank you, he was gone. The other thing that was a little off-putting, was he seemed really happy and cheery with other (larger) tables around us. A few readers after I posted photos of the meal did mention that could be because we're a British couple and not a large American party, so he's giving his energy where he thinks he'll get better tips. (I say thinks because we're good tippers, but even if he did give us a bit of a hump because we were a small group or he assumed we are British and bad tippers, ironically that attitude ended up hurting his tip. However, that's a conspiracy I'm not going to indulge here.)
Perhaps it would service Ohana better if it was a buffet you go and get yourself, rather than brought to your table if servers aren't going to be around to replenish your food. Although, I've never had an issue at Garden Grill, they're really on the ball over there.
Although the service wasn't up to scratch, I'm not going to write off the restaurant as the food is really good. We didn't at any point feel they were trying to rush us out either. We will go again next trip and hope for a better server which I think can earn this restaurant a top rating from anyone (even at $52 each with no characters).
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