This weekend marked the soft opening for Epcot‘s newest dining spot – Spice Road Table, located in World Showcase’s Morocco Pavilion. The restaurant is part of a brand new building along the shores of World Showcase Lagoon that houses Spice Road Table, the updated Gifts of Morocco and Art of Henna shops, and a new refreshment counter offering slushes, specialty drinks, and unique flavors of homemade ice cream called the Juice Bar.
Spice Road Table is described as featuring “Mediterranean small plates,” or tapas, and is neither a table service or a quick service restaurant. In addition to the tapas-style food offerings, the menu consists of a wide variety of wine, specialty Mediterranean beer, and signature cocktails only available here.
No reservations are accepted and both the outdoor and indoor seating areas are first come, first serve. The concept is very similar to the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge that opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few months ago. The Disney Dining Plan is not accepted, and no discounts are being accepted at this time, including Tables In Wonderland.
While no official date has been announced for the opening of Spice Road Table, we were told that the soft opening would continue until they feel they are ready to have their grand opening. Continue below to read about our experience and to see some of the food and drinks they are offering.
The majority of the Spice Road Table menu is devoted to its large selection of wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. Red and white wines, all relative to the Mediterranean theme, are available by the bottle or by the glass. A few sparking wines are also available, however only by the bottle. The beer selection also revolves around the Mediterranean theme and features beers from Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Lebanon. The specialty cocktails and aperitif collection is one of the highlights of the menu and really offers drinks that you will most likely not be able to get anywhere else in Epcot.
Spice Road Signature Sangria (Certified Organic) ($9.99)
The sangria is available in red, white, and sparkling versions. We got the red version and with it being the “Signature Sangria,” I really had high hopes for it. It was a little disappointing at first, but it definitely got better as you got to the bottom of the glass. I’m not sure if it just needed stirring, or I just got less discerning the more of it I drank!
Spice Road Aperitif Flight ($14.99)
The Aperitif Flight featured three different types of aperitifs (drinks that are to be enjoyed before dinner to awaken your palate). The Alvear Cream Sherry had an bitter taste initially, but a sweet sherry aftertaste left the drink pleasant. The Ruby Port wasn’t as sweet as most ports are, but a lot of flavor popped with each sip. The Lillet wasn’t astounding by any means and more or less tasted like old, weakened champagne.
All of the food on the Spice Road Table menu is inspired by the spices found in the Mediterranean region and a lot of the dishes are what some might consider ‘adventurous.’ Spices like cardamom, cassia, cinnamon, ginger, and cumin are used heavily. In addition to the mix of meat and seafood small plates, two vegetarian options are also available: Hummus and Imported Olives ($10) and Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves ($8).
Mogador Sampler ($16)
The Mogador Sampler features seafood from the Mediterranean in the form of Salted Cod Croquettes, Mussels Tagine and Fried Calamari. Of the two samplers, the Mogador is definitely more adventurous, but isn’t extremely impressive. The highlight of the sampler and one of the best menu items in general is the Fried Calamari. The calamari is lightly battered , but were perfectly fried to the point that there was no excess grease causing the batter to come off the squid. Seasoning on the calamari is light, allowing the flavor of the squid to really stand out. A big plus for the fried calamari is that it is served with a tiny fried octopus as well. The Salted Cod Croquettes look like fried hushpuppies until you cut into them exposing the white, flaky codfish. The best way to describe the croquettes’ flavor is a blend of fish sticks and crab cakes. The Mussels Tagine is the weakest of the three and one of the low points on the menu. Fans of mussels may enjoy this, but the taste is just as appealing as the dish looks which wasn’t great. The mussels were thrown on the plate as if it was part of a beef stew which would’ve been much needed improvement for the dish.
Tingis Sampler ($16)
The Tingis Sampler is probably going to end up being the most-ordered item on the menu at Spice Road Table. It offers the best dishes available (for meat eaters, at least), and is a good bang-for-your-buck to try multiple things. It includes the Lamb Slider, the Harissa Chicken Roll, and the Merguez Sausage. While small, the Lamb Slider was definitely delicious and was topped with a tzatziki sauce. The Harissa Chicken Roll, which has been a Food & Wine favorite the past few years, is similar to an egg roll but is filled with a delicious spicy chicken mixture. However, the Merguez Sausage was my clear favorite on the Tingis Sampler. It’s a North African lamb sausage that was the perfect amount of spicy and was complimented well with a tomato, red onion, and cilantro salad. All three of these dishes were winners and when you compare the prices of each individual dish ($7 – $9 a piece), I think it’s definitely worth being able to try all three even at slightly smaller portions of each.
Spicy Garlic Shrimp ($10)
The Spicy Garlic Shrimp weren’t spicy in the traditional sense, however the seemingly two dozen cloves of garlic that were used to prepare one single portion definitely gave it a kick. Let’s just say you definitely won’t want to be confronted by a close-talker after they’ve eaten this. In addition to the fried garlic, the shrimp are sautéed with dried chiles and then served with a brown bread that was good for soaking up the leftover butter in the bottom of the dish. While good, I’m not sure this dish was worth $10.
Hummus And Imported Olives ($10)
The hummus plate is one of two vegetarian items on the menu and those who enjoy hummus will be pleased by the dish. The “original” hummus is rather boring compared to the other hummus offered on the plate which has a spicy, tomato taste. The hummus is served with flatbread and a ton of olives. This might not be the best choice for those who are not fans of olives, but the dish in general doesn’t disappoint especially if you are looking for a light snack in the middle of the day.
There are three desserts ($7 each) offered at Spice Road Table, and we were told that all three are unique to the new restaurant. A Chocolate Pyramid served with almond ice cream, a Saffron and Lemon Custard, and an Almond and Rosewater Cake with blood orange sauce.
Chocolate Pyramid ($7)
The Chocolate Pyramid cake seemed to be the most popular dessert choice, but it wasn’t out-of-this-world by any means. The chocolate pyramid is a chocolate mousse that is shaped like a pyramid and dusted with cocoa. Disney sometimes overdoes it with chocolate mousse desserts, but it works well in this case due to a delicious filling inside the mousse. The pyramid is served with almond ice cream and drizzled with dark chocolate on top.
Spice Road Table Juice Bar
Located in the same building as Spice Road Table, the Gifts of Morocco shop and the Art of Henna have been updated, and a brand new food and beverage counter has been added, the Juice Bar. The Juice Bar offers specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, desserts, and a selection of five unique flavors of homemade ice cream: Pistachio Orange Blossom, Orange Honey Walnut, Chocolate Cinnamon, Green Tea, and Almond Rose Water.
Specialty Chef-Made Ice Cream ($4.99)
We tried the Orange Honey Walnut and the Chocolate Cinnamon flavors of the new ice cream and both were outstanding. The Orange Honey Walnut was the clear standout of the two, but I think that was mostly because it was such an unique flavor. All five looked great and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the more adventurous ones. This is a great addition to the pavilion and is going to become a favorite for guests to stop as they walk around World Showcase.
We had a great experience at Spice Road Table and I think that it will become a great place to stop and grab a drink, similar to the Italy Pavilion’s Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – with the bonus of great World Showcase views! I’m excited to hear more thoughts on the restaurant so if you’ve been, let us know what you thought in the comments below. If you haven’t, what are you most looking forward to? Stay tuned for more updates on Spice Road Table as they work toward their grand opening!