*This dining experience took place in November 2015.
Ohana means family, and this restaurant, located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a favorite among my family and friends. It’s one we repeatedly go to for special occasions and big get-togethers or when my friends come into town for a visit. There’s just something about the family style meal and tropical atmosphere that makes Ohana fun for everyone.
On this particular occasion, I had dinner with my friend who was in for a visit to Disney World. Both he and I love Ohana and having dined at Boma on a previous visit, knew we wanted another all-you-care-to-eat meal (yep, we’re totally foodies for life!). Both of us dined gluten free and dairy free, so our food was easily shared among us — something that rarely happens when I dine out, so it was nice to have a “normal” meal experience.
Ohana does not have an allergy friendly menu currently, but the chef will still come out and speak with you. The chef let us know that he would bring us safe rice, chicken wings, sauteed vegetables, and sauces, and that the grilled meats and salad were all safe for us to eat as is.
First up, he brought out GNI brand rolls for us with Earth Balance vegan margarine. The rolls weren’t as well heated as they could be and were a bit crumbly, so neither of us really ate much of the rolls. And let’s face it; we were there for the grilled meats that Ohana is famous for!
The Lilikoi Salad has been at Ohana for a bit now. It replaced my beloved house salad with honey lime dressing (oh, how I miss it!). I will say that I do like this salad a lot. It’s got a bit of a sweet and sour taste and the addition of the edamame, red onions, and shredded vegetables is nice. It’s not my favorite part of any meal at Ohana, but I do often go back for seconds on it, which is saying something for a family style salad.
After our salad, the chef brought out a plate filled with heaping amounts of white rice, sauteed vegetables, and chicken wings. We were also given gluten free sweet and sour sauce and teriyaki sauce. The teriyaki is definitely my favorite of the two, but both are really good and great for adding to your rice and veggies.
The piece de resistance of Ohana are the grilled meats prepared over an oak wood open flame found directly in the center of the restaurant. In years past, only some of the meats were safe but now, the shrimp, beef, and chicken are all gluten free and dairy free. Of the three, my hands down favorite is the shrimp. Grilled to perfection and smothered in a sweet and slightly spicy chili sauce, these peel and eat shrimp are worth every bit of effort you have to give in peeling them. Don’t worry, you’ll be given a warm washcloth to help with any messiness from the shrimp.
The steak and chicken were both also delicious. The chicken probably being my second favorite meat. I love the marinade on the beef but find that the beef can be either perfect for my tastes or too underdone. It’s hit or miss for me when I dine there. But the flavor is great on the steak for those who are steak lovers.
By the time dessert came, my friend and I had already indulged in several rounds of meat skewers and oh too many chicken wings to count. Suffice it to say, we were stuffed. The chef did bring out some Rice Dream, fresh fruit, Enjoy Life cookies and Hershey’s chocolate syrup as a dessert option, but both of us had a hard time eating it. We were just too full! This is one of those restaurants where I really don’t feel badly skipping dessert.
Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at Ohana. We both left completely stuffed, which is exactly what I expect every time I dine there. It continues to be a favorite.
Have you been to Ohana? What did you think of your meal experience there?