By now you’ve heard the news that Spice Road Table is open in Epcot’s World Showcase, but in case you missed it: The absolutely gorgeous Morocco Pavilion’s Lagoon-side eatery serves a small menu of tapas-style dishes and killer drinks.
I was super duper lucky to enjoy lunch there a couple of weeks ago with At Disney Again and Disney Dweller—not only were my surroundings choice, but you can’t ask for two better dining companions. They dug into everything with me AND At Disney Again took some amazing photos.
(In fact, all of the photos in this post are his, and if you want to see more photos from Spice Road Table, check out his full photo set.)
The building is HUGE. If you’re facing the Lagoon, on your far right is a Dessert and Juice Bar. It serves soda, water, Coke and alcohol … there’s no juice. But there are killer desserts. There’s also a gift shop and a henna tattoo artist. On the far left is covered open-air seating for the restaurant and bar. And right in the center … that’s where you want to go.
Here, you’ll find the check-in desk, where you can get a table for foods. Or if you don’t want to sit at a proper table, breeze right by the check in desk and hit the interior bar, which offers a full array of drinks in addition to the specialty sips on the Juice Bar menu and the standard menu. Also? It’s beautiful.
But on this day, we had empty bellies and eyes as big as pie plates, and we were prepared to taste the foods, so we asked for a table. Here, there are three levels of table awesomeness:
At the lowest tier, you have the exterior seating. Yea, it’s covered, but the seats are basically café tables and chairs. They’d be right at home at a quick service spot. And the tables are a little small.
At the second tier, you head inside to the intimate, 73-person dining space. This is where we were seated: in heavy, high-backed chairs at small square tables, exquisitely inlaid with hammered bronze. The four-tops are pressed against knee-to-ceiling windows with amazing views of the Lagoon. Two-tops are in a row down the middle—they’re not quite as close to the action, but they have great views.
At the top tier, what At Disney Again and I call the baller status, are the booths. They’re amazing, curved banquet affairs, and just about every seat faces those big, huge windows. They look so amazingly cozy, and I can imagine sitting here with a group of five or six friends, drinking the evening away.
So, now that you’re seated, let’s eat!
First up, we ordered a round of drinks.
On the left there, you have my top pick of the day: the Cyprus Sun, a frozen mixture of almond liqueur, cream de coco and orange juice and coconut milk. Big, super big yums. It was creamy and not too sweet. I’d order this again and again.
The second drink we ordered was their non-alcoholic specialty, the Moroccan Sunrise. This is another one that’s right up my alley, with pineapple juice, strawberry juice and orange water. Wonderfully sweet and hydrating!
Finally, you see At Disney Again’s pick: Tangier’s Breeze. A mix of peach vodka, midori and pineapple juice, he said it was light, fruity and refreshing (like him!), and it reminded him of the Tropical Macaw, a drink served at the Poly and other places on property. For me, it was too sweet.
For starters, we ordered a Tingis Sampler: a trio of lamb slider, harissa chicken roll and Merguez sausage. The lamb slider was moist and delicious—it wasn’t too spicy, and the bread was soft and perfect. It was served with high-quality olives. The chicken roll is a returning guest star from Food and Wine. I found it to be pretty spicy, and At Disney Again compared it to a spicy Chili’s southwest eggroll. Not exactly high marks, although we both enjoyed the curried ketchup. The lightly spiced lamb sausage was served on chopped tomatoes and red onions, and it was At Disney Again’s favorite dish of the day.
Up next, the Salted Cod Croquettes. Alone, they were perfectly fried: crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and they were served along with sundried tomato aioli and a very finely pureed black olive tapenade. They really didn’t need the sauce, and we all agreed that the sauces were pretty unremarkable. At Disney Again put it best when he said, “Perfect. Expensive but perfect.” At $3 a pop, they’re quite pricey little balls of bliss.
We also added on the hummus plate, which was served with flat bread and a delicious sampling of olives. We loved the plain hummus–it was mild and creamy–but we didn’t have so much love for the tomato-flavored hummus. The bread accompanying the dish was light and delish, and even though none of us are big olive eaters, we were totally won over by the mild, salty flavor and almost buttery texture. We’d totally order this one again.
Finally! It was time for dessert. My favorite thing. There was a mix up in the kitchen, and we ended up with three desserts for the price of two, which totally made my day. We got to try them all!
I actually didn’t try this one–I was chocolated out from dessert the night before (although I am kicking myself for missing out on the almond ice cream served with it)–but Disney Dweller said that it reminded him a lot of the Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse served at Sanaa (and just as good). Inside, the architectural dessert was full of creamy, liquid white chocolate, which put it over the top for Cameron.
Next up was Almond and Rose Water Cake with Blood Orange Sauce. I expected to like this best, but the cake was a little dry and the top was thick with almonds. The light, sweet sauce helped it along immensely, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.
The saffron and lemon custard was absolutely amazing, and it easily qualified as my stand out of the day. I’ve seen a lot of photos of this crème brûlée-ish dish looking slightly congealed and crusty–sometimes even served in a pastry crust. Mine wasn’t like that–it was super silky with a great crunch on top. No crust. No crumbly bits. Just silky delicious sweetness. Two thumbs up. And if I had more, I’d offer more.
That’s where we rolled out of the place, perfectly sated and much lighter in the wallet region. The price? It isn’t cheap. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it is considerably overpriced.
I understand that the high prices are, in part, due to the fact that the plates are small but the space is designed for lengthy sitting and enjoying. Their whole plan is to serve LESS food at a SLOWER pace. So of course that food would have to be priced higher. But that kind of sucks.
So even though I understand why it has to be that way, I think the portions are too small and the price is too high for me to make this a regular stop on my walks around the Promenade. I can see myself coming back, as I said earlier, for drinks with friends. And maybe desserts, but unless they offer more substantial fare, it just won’t hit my list.
That said, I highly recommend you check it out. Even if you just walk through the space because the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. (To see more interior shots, head over to At Disney Again‘s photo post with more than 100 full-color shots of Spice Road details.)
Have you eaten at Spice Road Table? Tell us what you thought? If you haven’t, is it on your To-Dis list?