Sunday Brunch Dines
in the South Seas
July 10, 2011
Note: Though Winnie
the Pooh Week is this week, Sunday Brunch
will be ending the themed week on July 17
with a Pooh related article.
was such a tropical themed day for your Sunday Brunch author,
the topic of the day has been changed!
I know I haven�t spoken about my awesome new
job yet at Walt Disney World(!), and I still won�t be discussing
it (to an extent) as I signed a confidentiality agreement, but
there are some exciting things that happened at work that helped
bring you today�s Sunday Brunch. For those
amazing random readers who do not know me personally (thank you
for reading this blog on your own accord!), I work at the
BoardWalk Inn and Villas Resort near
their Bakery! While that is another story for
another time, we now return to today�s topic.
Today, one of my managers came to check up on us in the bakery
and she was wearing two fresh flower Hawaiian lays.
It turns out she is going to be going to Aulani, Disney�s
new Vacation Club resort in
help prepare the resort for opening! We are
all excited for her and look forward to her return for updates
about the resort.
With this news, I was inspired for some South
Seas cuisine, and what better place than Kona Caf� in Disney�s
Polynesian Resort? This dining adventure was
actually completely unplanned and the decision was made based on
my party�s current location. I was with
Hidden Mickey Monday�s Alex M at the Wilderness Lodge to pick up
our friend Kayleigh D, who had been staying with her family at
the Lodge that week. As we left to explore
the resort, Kayleigh mentioned she had two table service credits
left on her Disney Dining Plan that were going to go to waste if
not used before the night was through. We
were thinking of nearby table service restaurants we�d like to
try that would be easier to get into last minute and something
the missing members of our usual gang would not miss (too much).
tropics theme of my day just seemed to continue as the stars
lined up and led us to Kona Caf�, home of the original
(check out the recipe and story
Brunch�s March 27th,
The Kona Caf� can be found on the upstairs
restaurant and monorail level of the Polynesian Resort, between
the Sushi Bar and O�hana�s family restaurant.
It overlooks the scene setting, enormous waterfall and rock
formation display on the main floor of the hotel lobby.
We walked up to the front desk of the restaurant hoping
there was space and sure enough, a lovely cast member named
Tabby added our name to the list and we were set for dinner!
While waiting we checked out the menu to see how we could
best take advantage of these Disney Dining Plan credits that
magically were bestowed upon us by Kayleigh D.
The menu was A La Carte, but a Prix Fixe
option was available, with recommendations of appetizers,
entrees, and desserts picked by the chefs for the best Kona Caf�
culinary experience. We decided to all share
what the two credits allowed for. The Dining
Plan allowed us two entrees and two desserts, so we picked one
of the chefs� picks and one that would give us the most bang for
our Disney Dining Plan bucks: Coconut-Almond Chicken and the
York Strip. The latter cost more than
the cost for one person to dine for one day on the plan!
As with most restaurants, guests are treated
to a bread course prior to eating.
Polynesian�s Hawaiian Sweet Bread is always a favorite, and it
definitely satisfied our taste buds. The soft
light bread came served with a scoop of macadamia nut butter and
together, it was Hawaiian heaven in bread form.
My friend Jayne from high school described macadamia nuts
as �butter in nut form� and she�s absolutely right, but when
added to butter, macadamia nut butter is a sweet, nutty, buttery
spread I could eat by the spoonful all day long.
On the bread it reminded me a lot of really high quality
buttered popcorn with a hint of macadamia.
Using all our might to hold back on the
delicious bread, our entrees arrived promptly, and aside from
the fact that we were hungry, the food looked incredible.
I�ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
The New York Strip was a fine cut of meat,
tender and juicy, and cooked just right. I
ordered it medium well since I like my meat cooked a bit rather
than mostly raw (which I�ll never understand why people continue
to feed such a thing to themselves). The best
part was the Pineapple Teriyaki glaze that came drizzled and
pooled over the steak. The dish also came
with stir-fried brocolini (like broccoli, but more ini�) and
sticky rice. I wish they gave more rice to
soak up the leftover teriyaki pineapple glaze!
We all agreed the steak was really good and satisfying.
The Coconut-Almond Chicken was truly the star
entr�e of the night. Though the steak was
delicious, the south seas flavors shined through with this dish.
A plump, juicy chicken breast was breaded and then baked
with a crust of coconut almond. It was served
with a mixed salad of Asian greens, pineapple cubes, and almond
slivers. The salad was pretty standard, with
an interesting twist of pineapple and almond.
The flavors together packed with the freshness of the pineapple
made this salad definitely stand out from the salads of my past
dining experiences. The chicken was probably
the best thing I ate all night. I�m not a fan
of coconut, but in this pairing, it was delicious!
The unique, naturally sweet coconut with the hearty
nuttiness of the almonds made for delectable crusty complement
for the chicken. Paired with the freshness of
the Asian salad, it truly made for a delightful dinner.
Just as we were ready to explode, our server
came by for our dessert order. We had
previously explored the magnificent display of desserts right
after we were seated. As a special treat, you
can explore some of it too!
The pastry plating station
was open for all guests to see. Here, the
pastry chef plates a Kona Kone dessert.
enter Kona Caf� you are greeted by Lilo and
Stitch in chocolate form at the pastry
We decided on the
Chocolate fondue and the Pineapple Upside
Down Cake. The Pineapple
cake was delicious and served poppin� fresh and warm from the
oven. The chocolate fondue was definitely the
better of the two, with the most interesting components.
The dessert arrived with a deep ramekin of warm chocolate
fondue, accompanied with fresh fruit and treats for dipping:
strawberry, pineapple, macadamia nut brittle, coconut macaroons.
As a last minute dining experience brought
to us by the magic of Kayleigh, the Kona
Caf� was a magnificent way to end the day of
tropical settings. I
usually try to be as critical and honest as
I can be with these reviews, but it�s just
so difficult to find something bad with
Disney. I guess the one
complaint we have was that Alex was in need
of a lemonade refill and it came later than
expected�though I guess we were spoiled with
our previous culinary adventure at Boma,
where the servers were always walking by for
refills and plate clearing.
At the Kona Caf�, the food was
incredible, the service impeccable, and all
I can say is mahalo (thank you) to my
Disney ohana for treating me to a
great evening on the South Seas.
Author�s note: Sunday Brunchies and Crunchies is
a new version of Sunday Brunch that explores a single item in WDW.
Rather than dedicate a post to one whole restaurant, we�ll be
taking a critical look at some delicious Disney treats and dining
This week we�ll be zooming down to the Wolfgang Puck
Express in the Downtown Disney Marketplace for a quick taste of
Wolfgang Puck�s Chinois Chicken Salad. This quick
service restaurant is rather unique and on a higher level than many
other quick service locations in Walt Disney World, though that
discussion is for another time. Get ready, because
this salad has both great and unsatisfactory elements.
The salad is made up of sliced pan-roasted chicken, cashews,
red cabbage and other Asian vegetables (hence the name �Chinois�
meaning �Chinese� in French), crispy wonton noodles, and a honey
Wolfgang Puck�s Chinois Chicken Salad
My plate arrived at our table piled high with a
colorful array of shredded lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, and other
vegetables. There was also about 1 cup of crispy
wonton noodles sprinkled on top with a handful of cashew nuts and
some chicken. The portion size was quite generous and
I knew it would definitely fill me up.
The first forkful of salad arrived with satisfaction
as I could taste the tangy, yet light honey mustard dressing and the
crisp freshness of all the vegetables. My first bite
was made complete with a satisfying crunch of the lightly salted,
After a few more bites, I have to admit, the salad
got a bit�tiring. The more I ate it, the more I
realized this salad was a lot more like an Asian coleslaw.
Not to say it�s a bad salad, it�s just the portion size as a
full serving salad was too much. Served along some
Beef teriyaki or with a Hibachi meal, this would be a great
accompaniment. By itself as a single meal it was just
too much. I applaud Wolfgang Puck for creating an
Asian themed salad, though for me it was too much to have as a
single meal. I think it would work better with more
greens rather than shreds of lettuce and cabbage.
Perhaps some spinach, lettuce, and bok choy could work.
When one thinks of salad, a nice poofy bed of greens comes to
mind, though these Chinese Chickens were out of bed and stuck in a
nest of coleslaw.
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