26 August 2019

Welcome to Our Tropical Hideaway

There are some places that, just by their very names, seem to insinuate that they are the best kept secret around Disney property. At the very least you would expect these locales to be slightly less crowded than your average sidewalk in one of the parks. For some of these locations, particularly the eateries, it would appear that the secret is out. Today’s review comes from a case in this delicious point, Disneyland’s Tropical Hideaway. I happened upon its tropical shores my first day in Disneyland on my last trip and it became a regular watering hole for me, only substitute the libations for soft-serve and bao buns.

Let’s start with the Adventureland staple, Dole Whip. While the regular Dole Whips haven’t gone anywhere, the Tropical Hideaway has added new swirl combinations, orange and pineapple along with pineapple and raspberry, but they have also loaded these whips up with all kinds of delicious additions to form a pair of loaded whips. The Orange-Pineapple Swirl Whip includes chunks of mandarin oranges, pineapple, shaved coconut, chocolate-covered Pocky sticks, and crystallized hibiscus. If it sounds as if they threw a good portion of the sweet aisle into a blender and then plopped it into the kitchen sink, you wouldn’t be wrong. However, that doesn’t make it any less pretty to look at or any less scrumptious to eat. Yes, it is super sweet and a lot of the flavors mingle together to make it hard to distinguish orange for hibiscus, but you’re on vacation it should be a little fun, right? I will say that the fruit pieces added a nice texture to the dish, and I swear that I didn’t order more than two or three the entire time I was in Disneyland.

Let’s move on towards something a bit more savory, the bao buns. These come in three varieties, Lime Chicken, Bulgogi Beef, and Spiced Vegetable. Over the course of my many excursions to Tropical Hideaway I managed to sample both the beef and chicken varieties, there was also ice cream to eat remember. The buns are steamed and served warm and, for a little extra, you can also have some spicy sauce on the side. The Lime-Chicken bun has a filling that also includes butternut squash and fresh herbs, giving it a mouth feel that reminded me of Thanksgiving, but with more of a citrusy punch. The Bulgogi Beef bun, meanwhile, has sweet chilies and potatoes and is perfect for those who favor the combination of sweet and savory. The bao buns have a ton of filling, but there is also a substantial portion of dough, which is where the spicy sauce shines. It’s not overly hot, but there is definitely an element of heat here which I welcomed, but that may not be pleasant for less adventurous eaters.

If you’re looking for something cooler and refreshing during the hot summer months, but aren’t looking to make a meal out of ice cream, let me also recommend the Chilled Ramen Shaker. This tumbler comes filled with ramen noodles, shredded carrots, and other vegetables, with side accompaniments that include Togarashi cashews and a cup of Asian vinaigrette dressing. I will tell you up front that I made the mistake of tossing the cashews into the shaker with the dressing and shaking everything up, when I should have kept the cashews separate and nibbled on them every couple of bites, instead of constantly trying to dig through the tumbler looking for the lost nuts. As I said before, this was cool and refreshing, with a lot of tangy flavors. The tumbler actually hides how much food is in the cup, but when paired with a bao bun, I was unable to finish the entire shaker.

The Tropical Hideway is tucked away behind the Enchanted Tiki Room, which means there is an influx of new possible diners at the conclusion of every show. However, if you catch a nice window of time when the masses aren’t overrunning this out of the way eatery, you can have a lovely meal or snack, in the shade, overlooking the Jungle cruise boats reentering civilization, with Rosita practicing her act of corny jokes on you. Whether you’re looking for a bao bun, a crisp shaker, or some refreshing soft serve, it’s no secret that you should definitely set a course of the Tropical Hideaway, you lucky people you!

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