I’ve always heard wonderful things about Kona Café for dinner, but had only visited the restaurant for breakfast. I mean who can pass up Tonga Toast?! Well I decided to get a group together to try it out and I wasn’t disappointed!
I originally had a 6:50 reservation for 4 people that I made a few weeks in advance, but as our party grew I made a second reservation for 4 more at the closest available time of 7:05. When we arrived at Kona Café, our party ended up being a wonderful group of 7 adults and 1 child. I was joined by an amazing group of people: my awesome hubs Barry Luka (@krazieeyes), John Donahue (@johncdonahue & @wdwparkhoppers), Rick Howard (@RickKMV), Andrew Harris (@travelingharris), Ricardo Rodriguez (@rjrrodriguez) and his son Jackson. I told the hostess that I wanted to combine the reservations and they were happy to oblige. This is a great tip if your party size increases. Always check with the podium at the restaurant and more often then not, they can accommodate you.
We were seated after several long minutes and promptly ordered our drinks while we devoured the scrumptious sweet pineapple bread served with macadamia nut butter and looked over the menus. The bread went really fast with this group and the waitress had to bring out a couple of these.
A few of us decided on appetizers to share with the table, some of which were mediocre and some that were phenomenal. I ordered the Lump Crab Cakes, which was the one thing about this meal I found disappointing. The outside was a bit crispy, but the inside of the cakes were mushy and seemed under cooked. The jalapeño lime cream sauce was very good and was the saving grace for the dish.
When dining at Kona Café, remember to ask for the sushi menu if they don’t give it to you. You can usually order from the sushi bar next door. My pal Rick ordered the Volcano Roll, which is spicy tuna, shrimp salad and tempura crunch drizzles with a spicy sauce. The presentation was fantastic with the rolls stacked on top of itself to look like an actual volcano. The sushi was very fresh and had a nice kick to it.
The highlight of the appetizers was far and away the Sticky Wings for Two. Both John & Barry ordered these so we had plenty to go around. They were both sweet and smoky, insanely messy, and just all around delicious. There is a tangy mustard sauce drizzled over the wings that was a nice balance to the sweetness.
After a quick breather to recoup from our insane amount of appetizers, the entrees were brought out. Rick, Andrew and I ordered the Kona Coffee-rubbed Pork Chop, which I really enjoyed. The chop was cooked perfectly and very juicy. The Kona Coffee added an interesting flavor to the pork and the accompanying mashed sweet potatoes and broccolini were fantastic. This is definitely one of my new favorite dishes in Walt Disney World.
John and Barry had the Teriyaki-style New York Strip that was also very good. The steak was cooked perfectly to medium rare and was very tender. The Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze was subtle and not overly sweet. It gave an ordinary steak and interesting twist. The sticky rice and broccolini were nice accompaniments to offset the glaze.
Ricardo had the Pan-Asian Noodles with Shrimp. I didn’t try this dish, but it looked very good and was full of vegetables. The portion size was very large and Ricardo described it as having great Asian flavors from the Ginger-Garlic Sauce.
And Jackson, well he had ice cream and he LOVED it.
Aside from a slight appetizer snafu, our dinner at Kona Café was wonderful. The service was great, the food was something a little different from the usual, and the company (as always) was unparalleled. So try Kona Café for dinner, you won’t be disappointed.
Written by WDWParkhopper Contributor Sarah McGovern
Sarah McGovern is married to Disney newbie Barry and mom to 2 kitties, Cleo and Neala. She has been visiting Walt Disney World for over 25 years and loves visiting with her family and friends. While at the World, you can usually find her either checking in to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, wandering World Showcase, or grabbing some sushi at California Grill.
Follow Sarah on TWITTER.