*This dining experience took place in March 2015.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to the Polynesian Resort and Kona Cafe. The biggest reason has been the ongoing refurbishment/construction of the resort. The resort itself still has a fair amount of construction to be done, but on this visit, I got to see all the progress they’ve made. The lobby has been completely redone and has some gorgeous new lights and terrific looking new furniture. The one thing it’s missing is the old water fixture but I’m glad to see they have a small one, as an homage to the former lobby.
On this particular occasion, I visited Kona Cafe for lunch. After admiring the new lobby (and the soon to be opened Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto), I checked in for lunch at Kona. The staff noted my special dietary needs, though I was given a regular menu instead of the special diets menus that I’ve received in the past. When I server came to the table, she said she would need to get the chef because of having multiple dietary needs involved in my order. I’m not sure if the special diets menus are still at Kona, though I suspect they are and aren’t given out to guests who have multiple dietary needs, unless requested. I’ll have to check on this the next time I’m there.
I was greeted by Chef Johnny, who has been a chef at the Polynesian for sometime now. He was at Kona for a very long time but then moved to Ohana. However, I’m told he bounces back and forth between restaurants now.
For my lunch, I ordered my favorite lunch item – the Kona Island Chicken Sandwich with sweet potato fries and curry mango mayonnaise. The curry mango mayonnaise is the best and so delicious on the side as a dipping sauce with the sweet potato fries.
Overall, the entree was really good. The only real downfall for me was the GNI brand bun. It was really tiny for my sandwich, and it was also not heated very well (which meant it was beyond crumbly). I’d love to see the Local Oven bun or even the Udi’s Gluten Free bun as an alternative, as they are both much larger and also less apt to be crumbly. The bacon used for the sandwich is terrific thick-cut bacon, and it all combines together for a great sandwich.
I was pleased to see that my favorite curry mango mayonnaise was still at Kona, as was the Island Chicken Sandwich. I will definitely pop by again for lunch because this is consistently one of my favorite sandwiches on property.
Have you been to Kona Cafe? What do you like to order when you dine there?