Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coral Reef, Epcot, Orlando FL

Dinner Adventures is back from Disney! We had a lot of fun on our trip and got to see and do some pretty cool things. For one thing it was the first of four Star Wars Weekend held at Disney's Hollywood Studios, which is great for anyone who likes Star Wars or movies, and it's always nice to get away with family and friends. On our last day at the parks, we had the opportunity to review the Coral Reef restaurant at Epcot during lunch time. Their Lunch and Dinner menu's have a decent selection of "Surf and Turf" meal choices.

To start with, the ambiance is quite amazing, Almost the entire far wall of the restaurant is part of the huge 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium in The Seas with Nemo attraction. Throughout the meal, you could watch as Sea Turtles, Sharks, Rays and many different types of fish swim by the windows. The lighting is very subdued and with the view of the "seascape" it leads to a very relaxing atmosphere, although with the glass wall, it does seem to be a bit louder than you'd might expect. The ambiance was done quite well, as you might expect from Disney, and both my Wife and I enjoyed how relaxing they were able to make it.

We started our meal with the "Appetizer for Two" which came with 2 smaller sized crab cakes, that I thought had a little bit of kick to them, but were enjoyable. It also came with 4 pieces of fried shrimp, that quite frankly were average, there wasn't really anything special to them, but there wasn't anything wrong with the shrimp either. The last part of the appetizer was an amazing Creamy Lobster soup. I can't begin to describe how great the soup tasted, it was rich and creamy with just the right amount of lobster flavor and tarragon. The server was able to provide a recipe card for the soup that we could take home with us. One thing that I was unaware of before today is that Disney has many of their recipes available on a post card sized paper that they will give out upon request. For recipes that they don't have printed out they will give you a recipe request form, that you can either put down a mailing or email address and Disney will send you the recipe.

For the main course, my wife ordered the Grilled Mahi Mahi with the coconut-lime sauce and was able to switch out the Jasmine rice for some "smashed potatoes". I ordered the Seared Scottish Salmon on a Lemon and Pea Risotto with Bay Scallops. The Mahi Mahi was cooked perfectly, and the coconut-lime flavor went great with the potatoes. The wife was very satisfied with her meal. My meal didn't go quite as well as my wife's. The salmon was over seared on the bottom portion, almost to the point of being burnt, and a big portion of the Risotto tasted almost underdone. I was able to cut off the over cooked portion, and enjoy the rest of it. The risotto I wasn't able to finish, it had a great flavor and sauce and the scallops were cooked wonderfully, but the actually risotto part was just not that good. I pointed out these things to the server, and she made several offers to replace the salmon, or even get me a different entree which I declined to do, mostly because it had been a long day at the parks and we were ready to go back home. I should also add that her management also offered to comp us a dessert, but again we declined because of fatigue. However, that they had even made the offer went a very long way in our book. But in the future, if we chose to dine here again, I probably won't be ordering the salmon. I also can't recommend that anyone else order it either. The Mahi Mahi on the other hand, would definitely be on an "order again" list.

The last thing I want to talk about, is the service at the Coral Reef, overall I was impressed with the staff. We had our lunch reservations set for just after 2pm. We happened to show up a bit early, and they were able to seat us around 1:45, and we had a booth almost right next to the aquarium window. The service started out a bit slower. We felt we were waiting longer than necessary for our drinks and food orders. Despite the overall initial speed, our server was very friendly and made a great impression on us by offering to help "fix" our meal.

All in all, we were happy with our choice to eat at the Coral Reef, and we would defiantly go back, and we would recommend it to others. Just get something other than the Salmon.

Mine: C-

Wife's: A+

Overall: B+

Portion Size: A
Service: B+


  1. Must say this is one Disney restaurant I have wanted to try. Sounds like the Mahi would be my choice, it sounds Delish! I really want to experience the atmosphere! The last time I was at Epcot a couple of years ago they were able to accomadate my needs reference a no gluten diet. The waitress was very helpful and they brought me my own fresh made gluten free bread! That was great service in France!

  2. Most of the Disney restaurants and a couple of their "quick service" locations have Special Dietary Request options. You can go to this link to see more information