Coral Reef is located in The Seas in Future World at Epcot. It is a restaurant we’ve been to many times before and always make a point of visiting on each trip. Despite there being lots of really good restaurants in Epcot, it really is one of our favourites. (Apologies for the awful photos in this review!)
The restaurant is unique as one entire stretch of very large wall is glass, looking out onto the Seas aquarium. We weren’t so lucky this time, but on our last trip we were seated right next to the tank and it really was incredible having the fish float right by you as you ate. Although I must say, I find it a little odd eating fish (which is the main focus of the menu) with some of their friends swimming happily next to you. Its like eating a hamburger next to a field of cows, it just doesn’t seem quite right!
The restaurant is one quite large room, with tables at different levels so everyone has a view of the tank. Sitting next to the tank is definitely very cool. This time round we were two levels back and still had a good view – we could see more of it as a whole, but less of the fishes up close. We’ve not sat on the level at the back, but I imagine the experience of sitting with the fish is somewhat diminished if you don’t get in the front half of the room. Due to the size of the room, it is pretty noisy and there is no real way to get away from that – but it does give it atmosphere.
On our last trip, hubby and I were on the dining plan, so we skipped appetisers and went straight to the main course. Our waitress was gave us some detailed information about what was good on the menu. I don’t really eat fish that often and she answered all my questions, letting me know which fish was more meaty, which would be similar to fish I’d already tried etc. and then didn’t mind in the slightest when after all of that, I decided to order the steak instead!
So I ordered the New York strip steak, which was what I’d also ordered the last time we visited Coral Reef – I decided to stick to what I knew I’d enjoy and the last steak I’d had here had been one of the best I’d eaten in Disney. This time round, I wouldn’t say it was the best steak ever, but it was certainly very good and I would definitely recommend it. In the UK I always order medium-rare, but I find that in the US, medium-rare is just a little more rare in the centre than it would be here. I would always rather more rare than cooked (I can’t stand cremating a perfectly good steak!), so I do stick with the medium-rare, but ask for it to be done on the ‘medium side of medium rare’. Not that I’m picky or anything. This steak came out cooked to perfection and really tender. The accompanying asparagus was also very good - nice and crisp with a good crunch to it when you bit it. As always with vegetables at Disney, I think there should have been more of it. It was also served with horseradish ‘smashed potatoes’ which to me should be very lump mash – i.e. the potatoes broken up, but not creamed. I hate the texture of mashed potato, but don’t mind smashed, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately though, it was proper mash – it was pretty good, with a nice taste to it, but it was a far too creamy for my personal taste. Overall though my main course was very good.
My husband decided that he’d try something new and went for the grilled Mahi Mahi - which we forgot to take a photo of! It was served with prawns and rice in a coconut sauce – which makes it sound like a curry, but it was actually fish with a sauce and rice side. His verdict was that the mahi mahi was good – it was a ‘meaty’ fish, as opposed to a very ‘fishy’ one and the whole dish was quite simple. He liked it, but I think he preferred my steak!
For dessert, we did as we often do which is each pick one and then share both. Hubby selected the Chocolate Wave, a chocolate pudding that comes with a raspberry ice cream.
The pudding was nice – quite soft and ‘melty’ when you split it open, but it didn’t taste very fresh and the ice cream was only ok, which considering the pudding was very rich, was a shame as it could have complemented it well.
I chose the Baileys and Jack Daniels Mousse – which had a dark chocolate and Jack Daniels mousse base, topped with a white chocolate and Baileys mousse and was served with a caramel crisp. This was definitely my preferred dessert of the two. It tasted best when you got a bit of both together, but was yummy separately too. Neither of us are big drinkers, hubby even less so than me – I didn’t think it tasted strongly alcoholic at all, but my husband said he could definitely taste it. It wasn’t too rich, so left you feeling satisfied but not sick!
The meal itself was pretty good, let down just a little by the service. Our waitress was very friendly and did answer all my questions, but she was extremely busy and we felt like we had to track her down to get our re-fills and we waited quite a while to put our order in. She also cleared my husbands plate away while I was still eating, which is a pet hate of mine – it is just rude, but it was something we found happened quite often in Disney, so perhaps waiting until everyone has finished before you clear is a British thing.
All in all, a good meal and a restaurant that we will definitely visit again on our next trip.
- Would we go there again? Yes
- Would we do it twice on one trip? No – Epcot has too many great restaurants, and this isn’t so amazing it is worth missing out on the variety
- My rating: 7/10
- Hubby’s rating: 7/10 – but he said if he couldn’t see the fish, his rating would drop!