A few months ago, we reported that menu changes were coming to the Jungle Cruise-themed Skipper Canteen Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom in an attempt to make establishment more desirable to more guests. Rather than rip the menu to shreds, Disney instead made reservations available to the restaurant just as they do any others and revamped the kids menu before taking a shot at the main menu. I’m happy to report while the menu was re-tooled, overall it was not a victim (at least yet) of unadventurous tourists and their refusal to dine here. With the menu changes in effect, I decided to go try out some of the new items… (also check out my original review)
New to appetizers is the Noodle Salad.
Several dishes in the entrees were retooled.
There is now a fried chicken option.
Yes, they have a whole fried fish.
The Egyptian-style macaroni and beef dish has a whole new look.
Don’t worry, the amazing bread with the honey dipping sauce remains.
S.E.A. Shu Mai ($10) – Hands down my favorite appetizer at Walt Disney World. Seriously, I dream about these about once a week. I like to let them sit in the auce for a few seconds before eating them, and with the sauce soaked in they are pretty much the most perfect way to start a meal. SCORE: 7 out of 7
While not new, they do come in a wood box rather than the old metal pot.
Shiriki Noodle Salad ($11) – New to the menu, this salad is fairly unique, but a little small (then again noodles can be pretty filling and this is an appetizer). It wasn’t bad, I thought the noodles were quite tasty in fact. A solid addition if you like this sort of thing. SCORE: 4 out of 7.
Skip’s Beefy Baked Pasta ($21) – A slight “reinvention” of the former bowled version (now often referred to as the meat square), this was pretty forgettable. It’s a far smaller serving and it just isn’t as good as I remember on my first visit opening day. It wasn’t awful, but after having tried more of the menu, this isn’t even near my top choices anymore. SCORE: 5 out of 7.
OK folks, shield your eyes…
Whole Fried Fish ($30) – This is another whole fried fish and it is Lion Fish. I have never had Lion Fish before, and honestly is was pretty spectacular. Unlike other whole fried fish, a fish fork wasn’t really necessary as the bones in this fish aren’t so brittle. The seasoning on the fish was fantastic, and the sides (rice, grilled scallions) blend perfectly with this plate as well. For the price, this is a great sized fish dish and a meal I would certainly order again. It’s unique, it’s delicious, and it’s perfect for this restaurant. SCORE: 7 out of 7.
I am overjoyed that Disney re-evaluated plans to “dumb-down” the menu and took the opportunity to make some dishes more inviting, while still leaving some (and even adding some) adventurous additions. The Noodle Salad and Whole Fried Fish are really good additions, and all-in-all I still believe this is the best table service restaurant at the Magic Kingdom, and price wise it gives Tiffins a run for its money as the best restaurant currently at Walt Disney World. The few misses on the menu are not enough for me to not score Skipper Canteen as highly as I can.
OVERALL SCORE FOR JUNGLE NAVIGATION COMPANY LTD. SKIPPER CANTEEN – 7 OUT OF 7.