Over the past few days, the dining area, which is outdoors, was refreshed with newly-painted columns.
Cast Members in general World Showcase outfits greeted us when we arrived. As a reminder, reservations are no longer accepted at Spice Road Table, and it operates on walk-ups only.
The artwork pays tribute to the spice markets of the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the napkins have been branded with the restaurant logo. But now it’s time to start sampling!
Spice Road Table – Specialty Cocktails
Moroccan Mule — $14.00
The mule is made with Figenza Fig Vodka, ginger beer, agave and lime. The vodka melds with the ginger beer really well, making it sweeter than standard mule. On the other hand, it also mellows out the ginger taste, which can usually be overpowering in most mules. We would have this again.
Iced Mint Tea — $13.00
Made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, this stands out against the other types of alcoholic drinks at EPCOT. This is so different from the beer and sweet cocktails that are usually available. It’s really refreshing, crisp, and not too sweet. The alcohol doesn’t ruin the drink, even though it’s a generous pour. (They also offer a frozen version at the stand.) We highly recommended it. This should be what you get when you stop in Morocco as you’re drinking around the world.
Medina Mixer — $14.00
As opposed to this other cocktails, this was trash, more like everything at EPCOT. Made with Starr African Rum, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur and cranberry juice, it’s very sweet. We got it because of the Starr African Rum, which is popular, but way too sweet. This is more like what you’d expect from Disney cocktails: very citrusy, but in a bad way. We didn’t taste the cranberry juice at all; it was mainly just there to add color.
Spice Road Table – Mediterranean Small Plates
Spice Road Table Sampler — $15.00
This sampler offers three selections from the menu, including lamb kefta with tzatziki, Tiropitakia, and spiced chicken, which can be ordered individually in larger portions.
The lamb kefta was amazing. Having a similar flavor profile to the lamb sliders from the old menu, these are a little more dense and less soft.
The chopped mint inside really enhances the taste. This is a winner.
The Tiropitakia was also excellent. It’s basically a warm cheese pastry with a very flaky, buttery crust.
The cheese was like a sharp Parmesan, but creamy, almost like a real New York calzone.
Sadly, with two standouts already, the spiced chicken gets lost in the shuffle. It’s executed well, but there’s nothing special about it. It’s basically tender chicken over naan with tzatziki, which was nicely spiced, but otherwise, unremarkable. We’d recommend just getting full-sized version of the lamb kefta and Tiropitakia instead.
Pomegranate-Chili Crispy Cauliflower — $11.00
Served with a red pepper Aleppo sauce, its only downfall is that it exists in the same world as the Gobi Manchurian from Tiffins, but it’s still very good.
It has a wonderfully crispy outside, while the inside remains well-cooked.
The sauce and chilis give it a little kick to round out the dish. We recommend this one.
Naan Spreads — $10.00
Look, nothing will ever replace Sanaa in our hearts… but this is still a great option. The accompaniments are incredible. The hummus was spectacular, while the za’atar is really good. The hummus was even better. It had lots of tahini in it, making it extra smooth and creamy.
The olives were a perfect compliment. This is a lighter dish, good for sharing. We wish the naan was a little better, but there’s really nothing wrong with it.
Dessert Platter — $9.00
We were told that this selection of assorted pastries is going to change over time. The Karithopita (Greek walnut & citrus cake) will be available every day, but the other two will vary depending on what’s at their pastry window.
The Karithopita was perfectly moist. It was almost too sweet thanks to an overabundance of honey, but it would probably be good with coffee.
The saragli, or rolled baklava, was the best we’ve had in our lives, even better than it was under the previous management.
It was perfectly flaky, and had just the right amount of nuts.
The almond crescent cookie was also fantastic. It’s a bit on the dry side, as Moroccan pastries tend to be, but the flavor is wonderful.
We loved everything on this platter, and would get it again in a heartbeat.
Spice Road Table – Overall
Obviously, our expectations were tempered since Disney’s taking over this pavilion that’s mostly done its own thing since 1984. We didn’t expect them to pull it off, but they have magnificently. This version of Spice Road Table is just as good, if not better, than it was before. The food feels authentic, and the restaurant offers a great drink menu. With the absence of of the Disney Dining Plan, Disney has gotten to do something different, and it’s really paid off. Spice Road Table first opened as a place for small plates, but people complained, and eventually, they started doing entrees. Disney’s going back to the lounge format and no-reservation model is a vast improvement. Having a sit-down that doesn’t take reservations that you can just walk up to is a nice change of pace, and the fact that it’s this good is a big win for guests, as there’s a viable walk-up location that isn’t counter service or a festival food booth. With this level of pastry being so great, the window should become a hot spot now. Luckily, the drinks are still available even if you can’t get a seat, so we suggest just walking up to a bar. As a sit-down experience, this was was very enjoyable. Ultimately, this has always been a great restaurant with great views.
However, despite the praise we’re giving the newly-reopened Spice Road Table, they definitely lose points for not hiring back the Moroccan Cast Members who already worked here before. They were sweet, knowledgeable Cast Members that did a great job, and Disney just filled in their roles with non-cultural people. This restaurant was already staffed and now all those people are jobless in a pandemic, and we think Disney should’ve kept or offered jobs to the people who were already there. They’ve done everything else right with this changeover, except that—and we hope these people manage to land on their feet elsewhere.
Would you give this newly-revamped place a chance? Sound off in the comments!