First look and first taste of the food at Universal's Volcano Bay

April 5, 2017, 12:05 PM · ORLANDO — Universal Orlando is hosting reporters from around the country at the resort this week for the official opening of the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon experience, which happens tomorrow morning. Fallon is hosting NBC's Tonight Show from the resort all week and this morning hit the park with Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson, greeting fans for a bit I expect we'll see broadcast tonight.

But while the celebs were in the park, Universal gathered the invited press into one of its backstage event spaces for a preview of the food and drink offerings coming to its new Volcano Bay water theme park, which opens May 25.

Universal's Ric Florell talked about the development of the menu items at Volcano Bay.

And then we were invited into the next room to sample some of that food and drink for ourselves. Here's a quick video overview:

While we didn't get to try everything on the table there, Universal served up more food than I possibly could eat and comment upon reasonably. So I picked a couple of items to focus upon: the blackened ahi with boniato mash, black beans, and plantains, and the Hawaiian ribs, with the same accompaniments.

Both were excellent, with meaty (not fatty) ribs and tasty, firm mahi. The glaze on the ribs provided mild sweetness while the rub gave the mahi a nice little kick. Frankly, the flavors balanced well — this would be a great combo together.

I also tried the ani poke, which I found a little sweet side with its soy honey vinaigrette. The better appetizer was the conch fritters, accompanied with a spicy remoulade.

But I know that many of you care more for the drinks.

From left to right, we have Toasted Coconut Pineapple, with Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum, Sour Mix, and Pineapple Juice; Vol's Fire Punch, with Mt Gay, Falernum, Agave, Pineapple Juice, and Sprite; Guavaruma, with Mt Gay, Passoa, Guava Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Sprite, and non-alcoholic POG Juice, with Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava juices. Universal also poured frozen concoctions of various juices, with or without booze.

No prices were provided for anything at this point, nor specific menus for the five dining facilities coming to the park.

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