Escape from the crowds at the Walt Disney World Resort to the Polynesian Islands for dinner. We review one of our favorite restaurants at Disney World called Ohana Restaurant.
Ohana Restaurant sits on the top floor of the Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
The word, Ohana, means “family,” so your meal will be served by your “cousins.” From the moment you arrive to check in to this restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, your “cousins” will take great care of you, greeting you with a cheery Aloha and a flower lei.
The Ohana Restaurant has large windows that surround most of the restaurant. You get an incredible view of the volcano pool, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, the Seven Seas Lagoon, and even Disney’s Grand Floridian. When you check in with the host/hostess, I always recommend asking for a window seat to get the best view.
As your “cousin” takes you to your table, you will walk by the serving counter for the kitchen. Sitting on the counter are the delicious ‘Ohana Welcome Bread. The smell is so sweet!
Your host will immediately grab a bread basket to take to your table. The other “cousins” pop over to your table to welcome you. In the distance, you can see the Chefs working over the 18 foot fire pit. You can even see the blazes of fire rise above the counter. The fire pit is where the Chefs cook your main entrees, the skewers.
The Ohana Restaurant is tropical with darks colors of green, brown, and burgundy. There are Polynesian touches throughout the restaurant including floor to ceiling tiki men, tropical plants, and animal carvings throughout the restaurant.
Even the music in the background is the fun music you would hear in Hawaii. I recently got back from a vacation in Hawaii, and dining at ‘Ohana brings me right back to this beautiful culture.
Your meal is served in a relaxing family style setting. The server brings the food right to your table and your family digs right in. The dinner is all-you-can-eat, so be sure to ask for seconds of your favorites.
Your starters kick off with the ‘Ohana Welcome Bread and Mixed Greens Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing. When you are ready for your appetizers, your “cousin” will bring you Pork Dumplings with Sweet and Sour Sauce and Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings.
My favorite part of the meal then begins with the skewers prepared by the chefs over the oak fire pit in the middle of the restaurant. The skewers include your choice of grilled chicken, Char-Sui Port Loin, marinated sirloin steak, or spicy grilled shrimp. You can try one or them all!
The servers bring the meat right to your table and pull them right off the skewer, onto your plate. Each skewer is specially prepared and served with tasty dipping sauces including peanut, ‘Ohana mustard, and sweet-n-sour sauces. Your entree of skewers is accompanied by noodles that are tossed in a Teriyaki Sauce with fresh vegetables and stir-fried vegetables.
Be sure to save room for dessert as you can enjoy real Kona Coffee with ‘Ohana Bread Pudding a La Mode with Bananas Caramel Sauce. We love the bread pudding and ice cream combination. A sweet treat not to be missed!
During your meal, you will enjoy live entertainment including singing, musicians, and even a story teller. For the children in your family, they will get to participate in an actual coconut race where they use broom sticks to push a coconut around the whole restaurant. Great entertainment for the little ones needing to get the wiggles out during a meal!
If you plan your meal around the Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park, you may even get the ultimate entertainment. Disney pipes show into the restaurant sound system, so you can enjoy it right from your table with a beautiful view over Cinderella Castle.
The Ohana Restaurant for dinner is an incredible value with or without the Disney Dining Plan. This table service restaurant does take Advanced Dining Reservations and it does book up early. Be sure to call 407-WDW-DINE or your travel agent to book your reservations for Ohana Restaurant. This is one of the most popular dinners at the Walt Disney World Resort.
This restaurant is most popular for dinner, but ‘Ohana also serves breakfast with Disney characters. This Best Friends Breakfast is served family style with menu items including Hua Paka (scrambled eggs), Uala Kahiki (fried potatoes), Pua’a (pork), Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, fresh fruit, and assorted breakfast breads. Breakfast is even more exciting at ‘Ohana with a few extra friends including Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch in this island feast.
We had a chance to talk with the Chef at the Ohana Restaurant and got a recipe for our Jones Family Travels family for the popular ‘Ohana Honey Coriander Wings. This is one of my favorite menu items at ‘Ohanas.
‘Ohana Honey Coriander Wings
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds chicken wings and drummettes
Honey Coriander Sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander, toasted
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
Method of Preparation
- Combine Kosher salt, ground paprika, granulated sugar, ground black pepper, turmeric, ground cinnamon, granulated garlic, and cayenne pepper together in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk helps break up clumps of dry powder.
- Take wing seasoning and combine with chicken wings and drummettes. Toss thoroughly to coat wings evenly.
- Line cookie tray with parchment paper. Place chicken on tray evenly spaced out. Let marinate for 1 hour in refrigeration.
- Preheat over to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook wings for 35-40 minutes or until the outside is crispy and the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While wings are cooking in oven, begin sauce with lime juice, soy sauce, and honey. Combine these ingredients in a non reactive pot.
- In a separate bowl combine chili powder, ground ginger, and toasted ground coriander.
- Lightly sprinkle dry ingredients in to wet and whisk constantly to avoid clumping.
- Heat over stovetop to a boil and let simmer for 1 minute.
- Combine water and cornstarch. As sauce is simmering add cornstarch and water solution. Continue to simmer until sauce is thick.
- Hold hot until wings are ready. When wings are done, be sure to drain and discard the fat that renders off. If not, the sauce will be runny and not coat well.
- Combine the wings and sauce in a clean mixing bowl and toss throughly to ensure even coating.
- Serve hot.
Chef’s Note: May garnish with sesame seeds. To do this, combine 50% black sesame seeds and 50% white sesame seeds.