Set on the second floor of the Polynesian Hotel (along the monorail from Magic Kingdom) is the Kona Cafe. This was our first visit to this restaurant, but I’d read many good things about allergies here. It’s open to the walkway and overlooks the Polynesian foyer. To me this makes it look like a lunch sandwich style place, not fast food but not a normal sit-down dinner place either, but they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a sit down meal (non-quick service). We dined for lunch.
They are trying out a special gluten free menu, which gave me a starting list of options. However, once I spoke to the chef and we removed the pork, peanut, and soy options…almost no options were left. Chef Amber was very kind and knowledgeable, she offered to make me a salad for the appetizer. The salad was good but be warned, their almond pieces are chopped and spread throughout the salad, which I did not enjoy but were too small and plentiful to pick out. The greens were great, the citrus vinegrette was yummy, and the pear pieces were delightful.
The entree was to be plain chicken and white rice for the entree. She served the chicken with a delicious mango puree (not pictured unfortunately!), but I thought being served absolutely plain chicken with rice was a restaurant fail. Could they not have cooked it in the mango puree or added cheese or something? The rice was also hard and dry :-(. The mango puree was heavenly!
We had a reminder here that you must always be diligent for yourself, even with the best chef. I always bring a list of my allergens, since I have several, but the chef still almost missed the chorizo in the soup as pork! She may have realized it in the kitchen, but luckily I stopped her before that. My side was just fruit.
For dessert, I had already discovered when the chefs came out with no real offering to suit my needs (they usually offered just fruit or sorbet), I would ask for ice cream and enjoy life cookies. For some reason, this wasn’t usually offered, but was always available when I asked! So here I had vanilla ice cream and Enjoy Life soft baked brownie cookies!
Overall, I appreciated another safe meal but was disappointed with having no real choice and very limited flavor. I had bigger expectations, but I would order the salad again without the almonds and perhaps return for the mango puree if it could be worked into the chicken/rice as it was cooked.