So, apparently there are more reasons to visit Universal Orlando other than just donuts… who knew? The Wok Experience is a dinner option at the Islands Dining Room located at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort.
The Islands Dining Room is a casual but pleasant setting located on the ground floor near the pool at Royal Pacific. The resort as a whole is themed to the the South Pacific making it very similar in feel to Disney’s Polynesian resort.
The Wok Experience is an all you can eat feast of Polynesian food, making it most comparable to dinner at Ohana. With dinner at Ohana being one of our very favorite experiences at Walt Disney World, its incredibly high praise when we say that the Wok Experience belongs in the same league.
The overall experience at Ohana is superior; it feels like a special event when you visit the restaurant with wonderful service and live entertainment. When it comes to food alone however, the Wok Experience is arguably just as good and roughly half the cost per person. The only thing that really separates Ohana food wise is the heavenly bread pudding dessert!
We were heading back to the park this evening so we dined right as the restaurant opened at 6 pm. By the time we finished the restaurant was far busier than in the photos seen here.
Let’s get the Wok Experience itself. The meal cost $25 per person and includes unlimited soup, salad, stir fry and dessert. I don’t think fountain beverages are supposed to be included but our server did not charge us extra for them.
While the experience is advertised as being offered on select nights, our server informed us that its available pretty much all the time during the summer, maybe only cutting a few nights per week during the slowest times of the year. Still, it doesn’t hurt to call and check ahead of time.
Bread service starts things off. It didn’t photograph particularly well but the delicious coconut bread was served fresh and hot.
A salad bar is also available as part of the package.
Two soups were offered: A traditional hot and sour soup along with a spicy curry soup. Both were very good, although it was a bit surprising that a milder option was offered as both were too spicy for my niece. These soups will vary by night but its worth noting that neither of these are offered on the regular menu.
The entree is where things get fun. You first approach this station and pack all the veggies you want into a bowl.
Options included peppers, onions, broccoli, baby corn, carrots and snap peas.
You next choose a sauce.
The sauces are arranged in a clockwise order from most mild (teriyaki) to most spicy (szechuan).
You then choose either rice or noodles, and any combination of proteins you wish to add. Protein choices include chicken, beef, shrimp and tofu.
Once all your choices are made, the chef throws it all into a wok and cooks it in front of you. He will offer additional options like if you want more ginger, garlic, etc…
After a couple minute cook time, you can pick any garnishes you would like. Options include peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, chives and cilantro.
The results are delicious. We tried four different combinations during our meal and every one was great.
The meat is cut into thin, smaller pieces (allowing it to cook faster) more akin to what you would see at a high end Chinese restaurant. It was all fresh, quality meat.
Above we have noodles with steak, chicken, peppers and broccoli in a spicy szechuan sauce.
My niece Bella went with chicken teriyaki tossed with peppers, carrots and baby corn.
The steak was so good I went back for more; this time adding shrimp and peanuts along with some veggies in the Thai peanut sauce.
While we didn’t leave much room for dessert, we did want to at least give it a sampling for review purposes.
Three different little desserts are offered. The little cheesecake bit was fantastic while I found the other two to be just okay.
Overall, for $25 per adult ($13 per child), the Wok Experience offers really great food at a tremendous value! The create-your-own aspect adds a bit of fun to the whole thing and this turned out to be the best meal of trip.
Is the overall experience better than Ohana? No…. it’s not. But it is a way better value! I can definitely see us deciding to save some cash from time to time by choosing to eat here rather the Polynesian’s signature restaurant. We will still be back to Ohana, but the Wok Experience will definitely be in the mix from now on as well!