Dinner at ‘Ohana

ohana-sign

It’s been several years since Matt and I visited ‘Ohana. Our last visit was in January 2011, a few months prior to the start of this blog, to celebrate Matt’s birthday. He got a craving for the dinner a few months ago, and managed to snag an early dinner reservation for the two of us. As you probably saw yesterday, we stopped in for some pre-dinner cocktails at the Tambu Lounge before we made our way in. Normally you are taken by a counter (behind the cast member to the left below) where the ‘Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread is being served. Since I was trying to cash out at Tambu, it started getting hectic at ‘Ohana’s entrance, so Cousin Debbie (the Cast Member serving us), took us to our table “the back way” past Tambu’s bar (and the Tiki butt).

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From our table (we requested a window seat at check-in, which was noted but not guaranteed), you can see the chef’s cooking the meat over the fire to the left and seating in the middle and to the right. I joked that we very slowly eat until the fireworks started.

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At the start of the meal, the skies were overcast. As our meal progressed, the storms started rolling in.

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I love the way Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain look against a dark sky.

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A look at the table settings:

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Matt realized partway through our meal that we were never served the ‘Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread, so we requested a loaf.

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The bread is good. It’s a little sweet from the pineapple, but I didn’t get much coconut flavor. We both would have enjoyed it more if it was served with butter, as it needs a little something more than just itself. I actually ended up dipping it into some of the Honey-Coriander sauce from the tray the wings were served on.

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Our first course was the Mixed Greens Salad with a Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Dressing. Matt’s favorite part of this was the fried wonton strips on top (they were good). The salad had shredded carrot, sliced red pepper, edamame, one huge mushroom, and some red onion. I enjoyed the salad, and they brought out more than enough for the two of us. We managed to eat most of the “good stuff” though.

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Next, we were brought Noodles tossed in a Teriyaki Sauce along with Fresh Vegetables. This was what Matt was waiting for. Well, the noodles side, at least.

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They were sweet thanks to the Teriyaki Sauce, which Matt loves, and of which I’m not really a fan. However, the flavor was more subtle here, and was more aromatic than something you’d pour from a bottle. They were cooked al dente, and I enjoyed them more than I anticipated I would. Matt wishes we could have taken what we didn’t eat home.

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The broccoli was a bit underdone for my preference, but the smaller pieces fared better. I mostly focused on the mushrooms and some of the red onion.

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We were brought out two dipping sauces for our next courses. On the left is the Peanut Sauce and on the right is Sweet and Sour Sauce. The peanut sauce was a bit grainy (and no, it wasn’t from the sesame seeds), and the sweet and sour sauce was about what one would expect. Matt used some of the sauces on his food to try them, but ultimately found he didn’t really need them.

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We were then brought Pork Dumplings tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce and Honey-Coriander Chicken Wing. In addition to noodles, Matt likes dumplings (potstickers, dim sum items, etc.) in general. These were no exception. I ate one, and had my general “too heavy on the ginger” reaction.

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The skin had a bit of chew to it, and the texture of the filling was fine. They’re just not really my cup of tea when I get that antiseptic ginger flavor (yet I’m down with a Moscow Mule. Go figure.).

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The Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings are the same as you’ll find on the Tambu Lounge menu (if Tambu still offers Spicy as an option, you might be able to request that here, but I’m not making any promises). They might also be the same flavor as those served at Kona Cafe, however, they are topped with a “Tangy Mustard Drizzle.” In retrospect, when the server offered another plate of the dumplings and wings, I should have said yes, as the wings, though a bit cooler in temperature than I prefer, were my favorite protein of the evening.

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The Sweet and Sour Chicken had a decent flavor (hey, it’s chicken), but the pieces I received were mostly dry with some inedible fatty bits. If you’re wanting chicken, stick to the wings.

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The steak, though it is Szechuan, is a far cry from being spicy. The pieces I received were cooked rare (yay!) and were tender, but that was only once you cut away the unrendered fat with a butter knife.

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Matt doesn’t eat shrimp, but I was happy to try a few pieces of the Spicy Grilled Peel and Eat Shrimp. As for “spicy,” if you can handle black pepper, you’ll be fine with these. Of the three skewered proteins, these were by far the best prepared. They shrimp I received were cooked perfectly and had a nice overall flavor.

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ohana-dinner-entertainmentPlay Tiptoe Through the Tulips!

Finally, we were brought the Bread Pudding a la Mode with Bananas Caramel Sauce. The sauce is brought out on the side, but as soon as the plate was put down, it was poured on top before I could get a “before” shot. Matt loves this dessert, and since we don’t normally have sweets in the house, he was a happy camper. I wish I could have snagged some of the bread pudding before the sauce was poured onto it, but I was able to get some less-doused, crispy-edged pieces to enjoy.

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Here is a look at some previous menus. The first is from September 13, 2014. At that time, Vegetable Lettuce Wraps were also an appetizer (perhaps in place of the salad?). Stir Fried Vegetables, which, as of this post, are still listed on WDW website menu as an accompaniment in addition to the noodles with fresh vegetables. Grilled chicken isn’t on the menu and pork loin takes its place.

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On our last visit in January 2011, they still offered the pork in addition to chicken as seen in the July 2011 menu below. Honey-Lime dressed topped the salad. They also note the noodles are served with fresh vegetables in addition to the stir-fried vegetables.

Ohana-Dinner

Overall, we very much enjoyed this visit to ‘Ohana. I recall Matt said that the cost was $37.99 per person, prior to our Tables in Wonderland discount. Considering the amount and variety of food, we thought it was a reasonable price for an all-you-care-to-enjoy table service dinner (a steak entree alone will easily run you $30+ on property). We both had our fill of our favorite dishes from the meal, enjoyed some ukulele music, and left full and content. Now the only thing left to do is not wait four and a half years until our next visit. šŸ™‚

Have you visited ‘Ohana for dinner? What are your favorite dishes they serve?

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8 responses to “Dinner at ‘Ohana

  1. I went in November and we did indeed get lettuce cups instead of salad. I wasn’t a fan so I’m glad salad is back.

    ALWAYS BREAD PUDDING!!!!

  2. We finally got the opportunity to try Ohana for the first time and it quickly become my husband’s favorite restaurant in all of Disney World which is a big feat. He requested a repeat affair for our next trip, so it’s on the books!

  3. Jenn – The Lettuce Cups do seem like they would be underwhelming.

    wdwmelissa – That’s great to hear! I hope he enjoys it just as much, if not more, next time around!

  4. When we were there in 2014 we were told the lettuce cups were a trial, personally did not care for them and gave them the thumbs down, Im guessing that was the consensus. šŸ™‚

  5. Lee – So far it sounds that way! Thanks for the info! šŸ˜„

  6. I tried ‘Ohana for the first time last September. Loved it!! They had the lettuce wraps at that time and my family actually enjoyed them. I’ll miss them on our next visit.

  7. Erica – Sounds like mixed reviews between you and some other readers! The salad is really good, though. šŸ™‚

  8. Though filled with fun and games, dinner is a non-Character Dining experience. Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.