spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_featured-color-corrected-6585000

REVIEW: Disney’s Morocco Takeover Turns Spice Road Table Into an EPCOT Dining Must

Following Disney’s takeover of the Morocco Pavilion in EPCOT, Spice Road Table has reopened with a revamped menu, so we had to see how things have changed.

spice-road-table-reopening-12-13-20-1-1795896
spice-road-table-reopening-12-13-20-2-4337856
spice-road-table-disney-ownership-dec-12-4-1400331

Over the past few days, the dining area, which is outdoors, was refreshed with newly-painted columns.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_79

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_81

The artwork pays tribute to the spice markets of the Middle East.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_80

Meanwhile, the napkins have been branded with the restaurant logo. But now it’s time to start sampling!

Spice Road Table – Specialty Cocktails

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_61

Moroccan Mule — $14.00

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_65

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

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_53

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

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_17

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

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_50

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_48

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_76

The chopped mint inside really enhances the taste. This is a winner.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_45

The Tiropitakia was also excellent. It’s basically a warm cheese pastry with a very flaky, buttery crust.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_74

The cheese was like a sharp Parmesan, but creamy, almost like a real New York calzone.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_47

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

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_43

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_39

It has a wonderfully crispy outside, while the inside remains well-cooked.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_73

The sauce and chilis give it a little kick to round out the dish. We recommend this one.

Naan Spreads — $10.00

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_10

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_6

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

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_38

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_37

The Karithopita was perfectly moist. It was almost too sweet thanks to an overabundance of honey, but it would probably be good with coffee.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_35

The saragli, or rolled baklava, was the best we’ve had in our lives, even better than it was under the previous management.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_26

It was perfectly flaky, and had just the right amount of nuts.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_25

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.

spice-road-table-small-plates-review-dec-2020_32

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!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

3.4 5 votes
Article Rating
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rachelle
Rachelle
5 months ago

Nothing about this sounds like an authentic Moroccan meal nor does it sound interesting. It also sounds unhealthy.

dawn L vasquez
dawn L vasquez
5 months ago

OH MY GOODNESS what to say…. Im a local and pre-covid visited Epcot about once a week. Morocco was my go to. Great out door seating and walk up bar. I hope my brie with almonds is still there, but i doubt it. It needed the paint but devastated that the staff is gone. Some of those guys we have known for years as they didn’t really turn over like the other countries but were long timers. The food here was always great and prices decent for Disney…. seems like they went up a bit. I assume the real Moroccan… Read more »

Brian C King
Brian C King
5 months ago

Can’t wait to try the new dishes. That lamb looks wonderful. The cast members that worked there previously should be hired back if it’s right to do so. There could have been visa requirements attached to the company that owned the Morracco pavilion and cannot transfer to Disney directly. Morracco is my wife’s favorite pavilion at Epcot and the food is so good.

Terminated Moroccan cast member
Terminated Moroccan cast member
5 months ago

Thank you very much for this nice article Jessica. You are the only person that finally mentioned the Moroccan cast members . we got betrayed and stubbed in our backs most of us have worked there at least 20 years , some were there since the opening (83-84).we lost our jobs with no notice or rights . The greed of big pockets stole our money and ppp loan money . Bankrupted the pavilion and put the future of more then 260 employees in danger. No warn act pay not even a word of apology!!!!!!. What a disgrace to our country… Read more »

Outraged
Outraged
5 months ago

This looks, frankly, like a particularly uninspired tourist bar in Casablanca. Getting rid of the actual *food* at this place and replacing it with an equivalent-priced array of tasting menu-sized finger foods is insulting. And that’s before you get to the heresy and direct negligence perpetuated on the original staff of the Spice Road. DURING A FREAKING PANDEMIC. Oh my *god*, Disney. You’ve destroyed this place. And for what. Making this….trendy? FFS. this has to be one of the worst things you could have done. About the only decent thing you did here was updating the decor. This whole thing… Read more »