The 'Bounty of the Island' Buffet Dinner at Makahiki: An Aulani Dining Review - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

The 'Bounty of the Island' Buffet Dinner at Makahiki: An Aulani Dining Review

U.S. Travel photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 07-10-2014
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > U.S. Travel > Dining  

Want to sample a traditional Hawaiian buffet during your stay at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa at Ko Olina, Hawaii?


Then dinner is the time to head to Makahiki, which also plays host to a character breakfast.

Makahiki is a beautiful restaurant, and well worth a visit to admire the setting alone. As you walk in, there’s a striking mural of Pele, the goddess of fire. She certainly keeps an eye on everyone there; trust me, it feels as if her eyes follow you around the room! Opposite is a unique wall, created with small squares cut from coconut shells. I was so glad I’d learned that before our visit there, as it gave me an even greater appreciation of what I was seeing.

When you walk into the dining room there are yet more striking, vividly-colored murals on the wall behind the buffet, relating to the food you’re about to enjoy. That theme is continued with the ceiling decorations, with various foods dangling temptingly down. I have to be honest, I sat at our table for quite some time just taking that in, as there’s so much detail in this.

You can be seated either indoors or outside, and we were lucky enough to sample both options during our two dinners there. When I say the tables are outside, parts are open to the sky, and others are roofed-over, so if you’re unlucky and the weather is bad, there’s a good chance you will get wet here. The sides are also open to the elements, but when we ate there, there were blinds covering them up. Even if your table is inside, you still get to sample the outdoor atmosphere, as there are large floor-to-ceiling openings between the two sections.



Aulani - Makahiki photo
Aulani - Makahiki

Inside Makahiki. - photo by chezp

The buffet, known as the Bounty of the Island, features a range of local products, and the menu is certainly wide ranging. During our stay, the selection of appetizers featured a market-fresh salad bar with house-made dressing, lomilomi salmon, poi, sushi, and minestrone soup. Immediately, you can probably spot a far Eastern feel to the food here, and that’s very much the case, given the large proportion of Japanese visitors that Aulani receives.

You then move on to my favorite part of the meal, a selection of seafood on ice, including snow crab legs, shrimp, poke, sashimi, and oysters on the half shell. I wasn’t brave enough to sample the oysters, but I can vouch for the quality of the crab, which was absolutely superb. Sadly, the shrimp couldn’t match that quality, and were lacking in taste, which was a great shame.

The selection of entrées was very comprehensive, with something for everyone’s tastes. There was teriyaki chicken, barbecue beef brisket, grilled mahi mahi with tropical salsa, pizza, vegetable chow mein, miso-glazed salmon, pizza, and rigatonia carbonara among the offerings during our stay. I found the items I sampled to be a bit hit or miss. For example, the salmon was absolutely beautiful, while the mahi mahi didn’t impress me, as it had been overcooked. There was also a carving station for meat eaters, which I didn’t sample, but my husband had no issues with the quality of meat he got from there.

To go with this, we could choose from a range of seasonal vegetables, including some unusual options, which I always enjoy seeing on the menu, such as roasted squash with eggplant and bell peppers, stir-fried long beans, and sautéed broccoli.

This line-up of food is enough for most people, and I have to confess on our first visit to Makahiki, I did suffer from that buffet-diner's problem, with very little room left for dessert. Having managed to force myself to sample a few (for research purposes of course!), I made sure that on our return visit to the restaurant, I was a little more restrained, as the desserts here are definitely worth saving room for.

Again, there’s plenty to pick from, although I found a couple of firm favorites during our meals. The first was the guava cake, very unusual, and full of flavor. I absolutely adored it! A close runner-up was the tropical coconut panna cotta, which was just beautiful. The molten chocolate cake was divine, but also exceptionally rich, and try as I might, I couldn’t manage much of it as a result. Other options included the more traditional chocolate brownies, bread pudding, cookies, and Rice Krispie treats, just in case you were thinking that all the desserts were on the unusual side.

The service here was, a bit like some of the food, a bit hit and miss. We weren’t there at the busiest time, and Makahiki was pretty deserted, and yet we didn’t get the attentive service we'd hoped for.

Dinner here doesn’t come cheaply, although having said that, this is a Disney resort, with associated pricing. On our stay, dinner cost $43/adults, and $23/children. It’s hard to compare the price to anything at a Disney park, as most buffets there come with characters, but Epcot's Biergarten is only a few dollars less. However, to charge this much, they really do need to work on ensuring that all of the food at the buffet is spot on, along with the service. I’d certainly go back to Makahiki on a return visit, as it’s a good way to load up for the night, and it is a beautiful setting, but it is an expensive meal, and I’m not sure whether, for us, it would warrant more than one visit per stay.


Aulani - Makahiki photo
Aulani - Makahiki

Some of the options at the dinner buffet. - photo by chezp




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Veggie Dining At Disney - Table Service Locations last updated 12/11/2008
Veggie Dining At Disney - Counter Service Locations last updated 12/04/2008
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World - A Guide last updated 02/05/2009
Dining at Walt Disney World - An Introduction last updated 2/5/2009
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View - A Dining Review last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


We went to Aulani Jan. 2013. I agree with this review.

The buffet and service were hit and miss. The service could be great or just plain. Sometimes the staff seems to be on target and other time acting as if they were paid to talk to each other about off work topics.



The food was wonderful to plain. Fresh seafood was great. Some of the cooked dishes seemed like a filler.



Price is high but so is the whole state. The themeing is lovely and very restful to just sit there.



Susan

     Suzy Q'Disney on July 13, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 07-10-2014 - Article #1094 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


Italy advice
by Huntermom
30 Jul 2014 at 7:44pm
I a hoping to do a ten day trip to Italy in the spring. The only ust do for e right now is Naples becuase it's where my family is from. I am...
(click title above to view replies)

good food on the road
by Tracy Lilly
22 Jul 2014 at 12:54pm
My wife and I are planning a Disney cruise and we're both foodies. We're looking for some good restaurants and/or burger joints to sample on the way...
(click title above to view replies)

What to pack for 11 days to Catalonia Royal Tulum
by ksimas
14 Jul 2014 at 4:10pm
I hope I can get some suggestions because we are 59 days away from our trip. And I'm giving myself a headache trying to think of what to pack for 11...
(click title above to view replies)

Cox's Bazar
by arifgph
12 Jul 2014 at 3:03am
Some people may well not realize that epoxy is usually an inexpensive as well as resilient floors choice. You've got most likely observed epoxy...
(click title above to view replies)

Teresa-Pops concert rescheduled
by Huntermom
2 Jul 2014 at 7:09pm
Teresa, I don't know if you were planning to try to go into Boston, but the 4th of July concert and fireworks have been rescheduled from Friday to...
(click title above to view replies)

I survived driving in around Boston common!
by Canada Amy
1 Jul 2014 at 9:32pm
And the best part was getting to eat at earl of sandwich yesterday! Parking after 4pm under the commons was perfect. Also pulled off swan boat ride...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 253


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.