Join us in welcoming guest author KJ Simpson with a Walt Disney World Seafood Adventure!
A recent trip to Walt Disney World opened up a whole new world of culinary delights for me: seafood!
In my many previous visits, I had never tried any seafood dishes. This year, for a variety of reasons, I began incorporating seafood into my diet. As part of this new culinary adventure, I decided to sample some of the many dishes from the sea that are available throughout the parks and resorts.
If you’re curious about some of the offerings that can be found throughout Walt Disney World, read on as I embark on this seafood adventure…
And don’t forget to share your favorite Disney seafood dishes in the comments below!
Yorkshire County Fish Shop
No seafood tour would be complete without a stop at the very popular Yorkshire County Fish Shop, in the United Kingdom area of Epcot’s World Showcase, for an order of Fish & Chips.
It’s a classic — two pieces of battered fish, served in a quick-service style over chips (also known as fries, here on this side of the pond). It’s even wrapped in faux-newspaper to give it a whimsically authentic appearance.
While not the healthiest of seafood meals, it was certainly one of the tastiest! There’s not a lot to go wrong here, and this was a perfect afternoon snack to share. The malt vinegar — a traditional accompaniment to the English fish fry — added the perfect tang and gave a whole different taste dimension to the fish.
Sharing this while sitting in the seating area off to the side overlooking World Showcase Lagoon was a splendid afternoon respite! If you eat outside here, be forewarned: enjoy the view, but beware of the aggressive birds, ducks, and squirrels. They apparently love the food here as much as we do, and are not shy about wanting you to share.
Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie
Next was a visit to the newly-refurbished bakery in the France pavilion, Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie.
The expanded menu has a new seafood offering: Bisque de Homard, or Lobster Bisque.
This was a satisfying soup, smooth and creamy without being too heavy. Tomato was the more dominant flavor here, but the seafood added a richness and complexity not found in tomato soup. The lobster flavor was quite subtle, but tasty.
The serving bowl was a generous size for the price (under $5.00), and it’s available as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. This renovated eatery offers a variety of sandwiches and breads which pair perfectly with the Lobster Bisque, making this an ideal lunch stop in Epcot.
The African-inspired buffet at Boma in the Animal Kingdom Lodge was our next chance to try seafood selections. I sampled two dishes from the sea here, in addition to a variety of tasty vegetarian offerings.
First up was the Chermoula Salmon. Chermoula is a Moroccan marinade, made with a variety of spices and flavorings and often used to flavor meat and fish. This particular chermoula contained olives. As someone who usually limits her olive consumption to applications involving martinis, I was a bit worried when I saw the olives atop the salmon.
I was skeptical, but I gave it a try anyway. I’m so glad I did! The marinade certainly gave a rich and flavorful element to the fish. The salmon was moist and hearty, and it had a unique and complex taste, thanks to the chermoula.
My next sample was the Pearl Cous Cous Seafood Soup, which turned out to be one of my favorite dishes of the trip!
The broth was light, yet packed with flavor. The cous cous was perfectly cooked, and there wasn’t too much of it in the broth — just enough to give that toothsome bite with each spoonful.
The shrimp, scallops, and mussels were ample, cooked well, and offered variety. Roasted carrots and shallots rounded out the flavor profile. There was a slight spiciness to the soup, but it was not at all overwhelming or too powerful. I went back for seconds!
Be Our Guest Restaurant
The next day found us at Magic Kingdom. Despite trying for several months, I was unable to secure a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant, the newest restaurant in the park. Not letting that stop me from checking out this new venue, we opted for a lunch visit.
I ordered the vegetable quiche (very good) and potato leek soup (delicious); and in the spirit of research, I also ordered the only seafood offered at lunch: the Seared Mahi Mahi children’s meal.
My companion asked, “Are kids actually ordering Mahi Mahi for lunch?” Well, apparently not very often, because this dish had the distinct air of having sat under a heat lamp for quite some time. It was dry, slightly curled at the edges, and not fresh tasting at all.
This was the biggest disappointment of my seafood tour. Also, be advised that this was a very small serving, even for a child’s portion. I was very glad to have ordered other selections in addition to this one.
Flying Fish Cafe
The next stop on the seafood tour was at the popular signature restaurant, Flying Fish Cafe. I was very excited to try Flying Fish after passing it many times on the Boardwalk, and reading plenty of great reviews. I knew it would be a must-do for my seafood adventure.
I started with the Signature Flying Fish Crispy Maine Coast Jonah Crab Cake. The crab cake is served with a savory vegetable slaw, roasted red pepper coulis, and ancho chili remoulade.
The cake had a good ratio of crab meat to breading and seasoning. It was a hearty portion, perfectly tender on the inside, with a satisfying golden crust on the outside. The accompaniments added flavorful zest. This was a delicious way to start the meal.
For my entrée, I ordered the Flying Fish’s famous Potato-Wrapped Snapper. The snapper was a thick portion, moist and perfectly cooked. The potato crust was a bit more well-done than I had imagined. My serving was actually quite darker in color than a few of the other portions I happened to notice as I was walking around the restaurant.
The taste, however, was delicious. The potato provided a satisfying texture to accompany the fish. It was served atop leek fondue, which was creamy, rich and buttery, with a large portion of melt-in-your-mouth leeks. These were surrounded by a rich wine demi glace. It’s easy to understand why this is one of the signature dishes at Flying Fish.
My dining companion ordered the Oak-grilled Maine Diver Scallops, which were served with Mediterranean vegetables, basil, pecorino romano, and mascarpone-laced risotto di carnarolli.
The scallops were flavorful and perfectly cooked. They had a silky texture and a golden sear. The risotto that cradled the scallops was a creamy delight.
Les Chefs de France
On my final night, I made a long-awaited visit to Les Chefs de France. There’s just something special about walking by this restaurant at night, seeing the bustling servers and relaxed diners behind those French glass windows.
I’ve always longed to dine here, and now the time had come!
I ordered the Broiled salmon entree. The fish was served atop smashed potatoes with butter and chives, with a tomato and red pepper sauce.
The salmon was classically prepared, was a perfect sized portion, and was beautifully presented. The potatoes and tomato pepper sauce complimented the dish well. This entrée, with a delicious baguette starter and the sorbet trio for dessert, was my overall favorite meal of the trip.
The last restaurant I visited was Via Napoli. We can’t leave Epcot without at least one sampling of our favorite pizza, so we made this our last stop for lunch on our departure day.
As a starter, I ordered the Fritto Misto, an assortment of fried calamari, vegetables, and cheeses. These are served along with a spicy red pepper-flaked tomato sauce for dipping.
The calamari was lightly breaded, with a delicate batter that was full of flavor without being heavy or greasy. The calamari was tender, and not at all chewy.
This is a very large plate, more than enough for multiple diners. We were less than half way through when we realized we needed to leave room for our pizza.
This was a winner, and I’m putting this back on my list for the next time I visit.
As with most trips to Walt Disney World, this seafood adventure ended before I had my fill. Eating in a whole new way opened up a world of fresh dining experiences for me.
There were so many delicious and satisfying seafood dishes found throughout the parks and resorts! I can’t wait until my next visit, because the possibilities are endless. I’ve already started making a wish list for next time. Bon Appétit!
KJ Simpson is an ardent Disney fan who blogs about her passion at Plus the Magic. There’s no place she’d rather be than Epcot, and she’s always planning her next trip.