In an effort to get around to all the restaurants in Walt Disney World we figured it was about time to visit Restaurant Marrakesh. We had heard about the coffee at Tangierine Café and the fries at Spice Road Table but if you were toting family, and wanted a full meal, apparently Restaurant Marrakesh was the better place to try, so we took a chance.
Morocco in the World Showcase at Epcot
What we knew about the Morocco part of Epcot up until this meal was limited. A highlight of Morocco is that it’s home to the character meet and greet with Aladdin and Jasmine, the only couple to ever appear together, and featured a bunch of gorgeous Instagram worthy photo locations. Lively music and bartering at the gift shop highlighting the Habibi camel shirt were only a few of the things we actually knew about this country.
Some of those hidden corners in the back of Morocco really did seem to come straight out of Agrabah and we were reluctant to frequent these darkened spaces for too long. Yet, back in the corner of the country, all the way back, is where you can find Restaurant Marrakesh.
Let me start by saying we really didn’t know what to expect. It’s pretty. The promise of a sit down dinner, decent for a crowd with the promise of couscous is usually a pretty safe bet, no matter who is in your party. But “safe” is not necessarily the word we like to use when describing food. And while we were going for safe as in “I must have at least one substantial meal today” with vegetables and protein, we were caught off guard with what we actually got.
Restaurant Marrakesh Menu
My classic go-to at any sit down restaurant is to order a hot tea. Strange you may think for Florida, but those restaurants get pretty freezing when you’re used to the 90 degree weather outside, so a hot tea always works for me and as the Chinese say, it preps your body for digestion, so I go with it. It’s also a sort of measurement I use when it comes to restaurants at Disney. Sometimes I’ll get a pot of hot water and a selection of teas, sometimes I’ll get a cup with a teabag, sometimes I’ll have the best tea service ever, like at Sanaa. And we happily pay for high tea at the Grand Floridan. At Restaurant Marrakesh they only had green mint tea. Culturally appropriate, it came hot, already brewed, in a clear tall glass and they refilled it the whole time. Not amazing, but know you can request the same if you so choose.
Our meal started with bread and butter. We love the idea of food we don’t really know if we’re paying for just happily showing up at our table when we arrive. This is a major plus mainly because if we have a late reservation we can delay inhaling our food with this smaller portion appetizer.
We had an actual idea about the food at Restaurant Marrakesh because we had looked at the menu prior. And again how can you go wrong with couscous? We ordered the vegetable dish, the skewers and the roast. All with couscous.
Let me start this review by saying we are cooks. Thanks to our mom we’re a pretty extravagant cooking family, with secret family recipes, holiday menus a mile long and birthday cake flavors you’ve never heard of. We pity the restaurant that must mass produce loads of food for 100+ guests at a time and then have us at a table critiquing their work. And yet, here we are wanting to share why this may not be your family’s go-to restaurant. And why really Epcot is such a foodie wonderland that you should just go somewhere else to eat. Here’s why.
The food was in a word “bland”. Like “safe wedding catering” bland. For somewhere are flavorful as Morocco we had expected something more alive in terms of food. The band that sings outside Morocco is pretty alive. The shop seller trying to sell us the camel shirt is pretty alive. Even Aladdin and Jasmine, who have to perform for children share an alive vibe. Alas, this excitement doesn’t carry over into the food. We were fairly disappointed all around. The flavors of everything could have been stronger. The roast was too Americanized, the vegetables overcooked and not seasoned, and the skewers pretty but tough.
Restaurant Marrakesh Desserts
For dessert at Restaurant Marrakesh we got three different things, because we always feel like we need to sample out the menu in case we miss a hidden gem. The main dessert everyone was getting was the Marrakesh Delight; fruit in a citrus juice topped with a mint chocolate chip ice cream. Truthfully this was slightly acidic as a dessert. The juice had been steeped with mint, a lot of it, so the taste of the liquid was like mint water. Then the fruits, which don’t necessarily match the mint taste were added; melon, grapes, oranges and banana. Then a small scoop of ice cream, which also didn’t match the tastes overall.
Baklava of course was also a dessert option called Morrocan Symphony, and Bastilla with custard and almonds. The general take on the desserts after the mildly bland dinner was that these too were very *meh. In our opinion, we could have made the whole dinner and dessert lineup at home with better flavors.
Restaurant Marrakesh Atmosphere and Entertainment
The Restaurant Marrakesh atmosphere was a little tough to take. Given we were there during Food and Wine, on some very hot days, we were in desperate need of the typical sit down restaurant atmosphere. You know, the one that makes you feel calm, cool, and like you can take your time. But alas, Restaurant Marrakesh, keeping in line with the frantic atmosphere akin to a bustling marketplace, smashed our whole dinner experience into about 45 minutes. The host and waiters felt rushed, clearing tables at lighting speed. And within 15 minutes of being seated the belly dancer came out to dance. A short show, maybe 5-10 minutes of dancing with the kids was an interesting spectacle to watch. Because while, yes, we are technically experiencing someone else’s culture. And yes, Princess Jasmine does don a similar outfit. This harmless show seemed to cause more than a few parents writhe in their seats at entertainment that thrives on the “exploitation of women.” Frankly, more than a few kids appeared confused at the whole thing.
Restaurant Marrakesh Epcot Review
All in all, this probably won’t be a restaurant we frequent again. As mentioned earlier, Epcot and The Boardwalk have such top-notch restaurants vying for our attention that there really is no reason to settle for a sub-par dining experience. While we’re sure many guests have had a stellar experience here, it just wasn’t our cup of tea. Of course, we’re always apt to give things a second chance if the first time was just a fluke. For right now we’re leaving this restaurant on the “choose another restaurant instead” list.