I traveled to the end of the world today, otherwise known as Ko’Olina resorts. You drive out heading Ewa, and then you drive some more until the landscape changes from a normal highway into an overly manicured tropical metropolis. You have now arrived at Disney’s first Hawaiian outpost, Aulani at Ko’Olina.
Since I don’t have children, I’m not really into Disney anything, so I was prepared to be thoroughly unimpressed. But, as soon as you step onto the property and you receive the first “Aloha!” from a crew member, you know they’ve set the bar pretty high. Need to know how to get somewhere? A staff member doesn’t just point the way, they walk you half-way there!
I was not staying overnight at the resort but was invited for lunch by my Aunty. There are only a couple of options on the property for lunch since the buffet is open for breakfast and dinner only.
We chose to dine at Ama Ama which offers a limited menu but Chef Patrick came out and offered to veganize the Kahuku Corn Chowder and Lomi Tomato for me. They don’t have any salads ( except chicken salad-eww) on the menu, so again, Chef whipped up the prettiest “side salad” I have ever seen! Well, it probably looked better before I piled some sweet potato fries on the side. The watermelon radishes, sea asparagus, shaved papaya, green apple slices and heirloom tomatoes were delish with a splash of the papaya seed dressing. I was thrilled to learn that Disney is so accommodating for all sorts of dietary requests and noticed that you can send a note about special requests when you make table reservations online. If you forget to make reservations for dining, you will have to wait at least 10-15 minutes for a table.
It is possible to eat better than what’s on the menu, rather than settling for a boring meal to fit your plant based needs. Be brave and ask (nicely) for exactly what you want, without feeling like it’s a chore for the kitchen. Super bonus is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really amazing and talented chefs this way…and sometimes the Chef is pretty easy on the eyes!
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