We finally had a chance to head over to the soft-opening of the new Spice Road Table restaurant in Morocco at Epcot. It has been in soft-opening for a bit now, and should be officially opened soon, but with all of the end-of-year hustle and bustle flowing into 2014, we had to wait until now for the opportunity.
The decor is certainly authentic and presents a welcoming presence, albeit a small one; I thought the indoor seating area would have been a bit bigger, but it could easily be described as cozy.
The menu is not extensive and is based around small plates for sharing. The main menu items are:
- Mussels Tagine with cilantro, garlic, lemon confit and tomato sauce, for $10.0
- Spicy Shrimp – sauteed shrimp with dried chilis and fried garlic, for $10.00
- Mediterranean Omelet with potato, red peppers and caramelized onions, for $7.00
- Moroccan Merguez Sausage – North African lamb sausage served with tomato, red onion and cilantro salad, for $9.00
- Fried Calamari with spicy harissa and remoulade sauces, for $12.00
- Hummus and Imported Olives with cornichons and za’atar flat bread, for $10.00
- Salted Cod Croquettes – sundried tomato aioli and black olive tapenade, for $10.00
- Lamb Slider – brioche, cucumber dill and mint tzatzikiki sauce, for $9.00
- Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves – fried capers, raisins and fresh nutmeg, for $8.00
- Harissa Chicken Roll with harissa ketchup, for $8.00
The small plates quickly pressed the boundaries of our small table, since we ordered quite a few items for our first dining experience.
The Moroccan Merguez Sausage offered a nice flavor, but was a bit dry. I would suppose that would have to do with the tomato, red onion and cilantro salad offers a bit of moisture and the chef might be compensating so as not to present a mushy mess. There is a bit of heat to this sausage that has a cumulative effect, so be forewarned if you do not like spicy foods. It is not too hot, but something to be aware of for those with more delicate digestive systems.
Next up was the Fried Calamari. A lot of restaurants offer calarmari, but do not flour it properly and you get a lot of fried bits on the plate and none on the calarmari, but this was not the case with the Spice Road Table. The calamari was cooked to perfection and offer with two sauces; one hot and one not.
The Hummus and Olives were a family favorite. The olives were some of the best I have eaten in a long while and the two flavors of humus were outstanding. The pita, served alongside, however, had an olive oil and herb seasoning that made the meal much messier than usually and didn’t really offer anything extra to the dish.
The last plate for our meal were the Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves. These were exceptional. During the Food and Wine Festival, we always look forward to the Greek dolmadas, and having a similar dish offered throughout the year is a plus for us.
The drinks we tried were the Watermelon Delight and the Moroccan Sunrise. The Watermelon Delight is watermelon, cranberry juice and orange water, served with a lime wedge over ice. The Moroccan Sunrise is pineapple juice, strawberry and orange water served over ice. Both drinks were good, but the Moroccan Sunrise was a bit too sweet for my taste.
The menu offers indoor and outdoor seating in a prime location for the nighttime IllumiNations show and will certainly fill up quickly as that magic hour approaches; take note, the restaurant does not take reservations so better get there early if you want to have a great seat for the show.
Overall, it was fun to check out a new restaurant but I don’t think the food was much better what you can get in the Tangierine Café. If you are walking through the park during the day I would recommend the Tangierine Café, but can see the attraction of the Spice Road Table as a place to enjoy some food, drinks and watch the fireworks, for a premium.