In 2011, when Hawai’i made it’s debut at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Matt and I were both excited for the offerings. The Kalua Pork Slider definitely caught his attention back then, and the same rings true to this day. The Tuna Poke pleased us both by its presentation and flavor, so revisiting the dishes this year would be a must.
The Kalua Pork Slider is topped with Sweet-and-Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. Our slider this year had a lot more pork on it, but seemed a bit light on the chutney. The spicy mayonnaise didn’t seem to have as much heat as I recall, but it’s also been a while since I’ve tried it. Matt loved this slider nonetheless.
While I enjoyed the few bites I had, I’m very particular with pulled pork (and I get bored with it quickly). I will say that the meat was tender, but I would have liked some more seasoning to the pork itself. While the accoutrements are a great addition, I would have liked some more. On the other hand, Matt had no problem eating every last bite of this. It’s just our difference in preferences!
The Tuna Poke was once again very good, with four fairly sizable pieces of tuna sitting atop Seaweed Salad and garnished with Lotus Root Chips. The tuna wasn’t as vibrant as a couple years ago, which is what really caught my eye when I last had it, but the fish melted away nicely.
The lotus chips lost a bit of the crispness in the humidity, but still added a needed crunch as we worked through the dish. We both enjoy the seaweed salad, which was snappy and with a vinegary bite and a touch of heat. While eating it, Matt recalled the appetizer that used to be served at Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios, but unfortunately is no longer on the menu.
We while we both enjoyed each dish, I would say that Matt would go for the Kalua Pork Slider while I would go for the Tuna Poke if we each had to choose one. It all depends on your personal preferences, and depending on where you leave (meat or fish?), you’re sure to like the offerings at Hawai’i. If the kiosk returns next year, I wonder if or how the menu will change. Hopefully we see an addition as a new food offering is always appreciated, but I’d hate for either of us to be disappointed with a removal!
Are you like us and like to order both items and share, or does one item from Hawai’i stick out to you? Let us know in the comments!