On my last trip to Disney (January 2016) I decided that I wanted to try at least one new restaurant every time I went to Disney. Tomorrow evening I’ll be heading to the happiest place on earth for my birthday (the 8th) and I’m delighted to have made reservations for multiple restaurants that I’ve never tried before.
Today, I’m rambling about Kona Cafe, a new place I tried in January. Located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Kona Cafe is a nice change of pace (AKA it’s quiet and calm), especially if you’ve been in the parks and need some quiet for a few minutes. Kona is a good choice if you’re spending the day at Magic Kingdom, since the Polynesian is just a boat ride or Monorail ride away from the front gate.
*Panoramic view from my booth at Kona. The far left is the Polynesian Resort Lobby, of which Kona Cafe is on the second story.*
There’s not necessarily much in the way of unique theming at Kona. Of course, you’re in the lobby of the Polynesian, so there’s that theme, but it’s a pretty straight forward little cafe.
*The incredibly interesting front of the menu shot. I pretty much look this excited (and tired) the entire time I’m at Disney World.*
I think one of the big draws of Kona is their sushi (and Tonga Toast, alas, I didn’t go at Breakfast. Next time!). I am not a sushi person, so this wasn’t really a draw for me. I do, however, really enjoy sweet flavors, so all of the coconut/mango sauces and such sounded delicious to me.
*Main entrees section of the menu*
One of the reasons I went to Kona for lunch was the generally lower prices. $15-$20 for a meal may seem expensive (I’m not saying it’s not) but that’s pretty decent for a meal at Disney that isn’t a hamburger and fries. I ended up ordering the Pan Fried Chicken with Coconut and Mango Sauces.
It was certainly different than I was expecting. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten true Polynesian inspired cuisine, so this was a new experience for me. It was very sweet, with a bit of an odd tang in the sauce. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with rice, so that was a safe bet. The pasta salad was an another interesting dish that I’d never tried before. Of course, looking at it, I was almost expecting it to taste like traditional mac and cheese (I knew it wouldn’t) and of course, it didn’t, but it wasn’t bad. I’m not a fan of the crunch of onions in foods that are generally soft, so that put me off a bit, but the flavor was good.
All in all, Kona Cafe is a quick, quiet place to grab lunch, and is especially great if you are already a fan of sushi or Polynesian inspired food. It’s not necessarily an exciting place to eat (if you’re looking for a fun kid-centric restaurant, this isn’t it), and the food, while better than most of the quick service I’ve eaten, was definitely a step down from most of the table service restaurants I’ve visited. The service, of course, was wonderful, as it always is at Disney. Passholders do get a discount at Kona (yay!), which is a nice added bonus. It gets a low rating from me, mostly because there are so many great restaurants that just do Disney better on property. Not that every restaurant has to be “Be Our Guest”. Still stop by Kona Cafe, especially if you love sushi or Polynesian. I’ll certainly be heading back at some point for breakfast to get the legendary Tonga Toast!
Next up on the Bucket List for The Polynesian Resort: Dinner at ‘Ohana.
2.5 out of 5 Stars