With its interesting food, the beautiful surroundings, and lively entertainment, I have always enjoyed my trips to this hidden treasure. Time to see if it lived up to the test of time and my fond memories.
Let’s meander to the back of the Morocco Pavilion, shall we?
And meander is exactly right. Wind your way through the shops, alleys, museum, and other delightful nooks and crannies of the Morocco Pavilion to make your way to Restaurant Marrakesh.
Trust me — you will enjoy the journey. I personally have long considered this pavilion to be one of World Showcase’s most beautiful spots.
As you enter, you’ll notice a couple of things straightaway. First, you’re surrounded by palace-like opulence. Secondly, much like another popular Epcot table service spot, Le Cellier, there’s no discernible natural light.
The interior of Marrakesh is decorated with the same hand-laid, zellige tile work that you see throughout the Morocco Pavilion. Tables are covered with white tablecloths, contributing to the formal feel to the restaurant.
The tile work even covers the ceilings! And the ornate chandeliers, characterized by filigree, lend a beautiful soft light to the enclosed restaurant.
Here’s a picture that shows you the detail of that tile work, as well as the rich, bright red velvet finish on the booths.
And if you haven’t heard the story, this is a good time to mention it. There’s a reason why the Morocco Pavilion in general, and Marrakesh in particular, are so immersive and accurate in detail. The King of Morocco took a personal interest in the pavilion, sending artisans to design and create many of the mosaics. The pavilion itself is sponsored by the government of Morocco, unlike the other World Showcase countries, which are sponsored by corporations.
But the beautiful decor is only half the story here! There’s another exotic surprise awaiting you at Restaurant Marrakesh: traditional music by Moroccan musicians…and bellydancing!
One of the best aspects of the entertainment is the family-friendly nature. Kids are encouraged to come up and learn a bit of bellydancing of their own! It’s fun, and a great way to work off some of that pent up Disney energy!
Beyond the entertainment and lavish surroundings, though, the food of Marrakesh is exotic, too. Let’s check it out.
As with other restaurants in World Showcase, Restaurant Marrakesh strives to give guests an authentic taste of the country it represents. To that end, there are some Moroccan wines featured here. It’s a great touch, since these wines aren’t commonly available in the United States.
Of course, there’s also a good selection of the wines that are commonly available at Disney.
Regarding the menu, you can order your selections a la carte, of course. There’s a wide selection of really fun appetizers, and we were excited to see some options that were new since our last visit.
In addition to other dishes, the entree section includes Couscous with your choice of meat; or you can choose the vegetarian version.
If it’s your first visit to Marrakesh, you may want to go with one of the two “Taste of Morocco” options. This is the route I took during my first visit to the restaurant a while back, and it’s a great way to begin your introduction to Moroccan food if you’re a novice, since many of the featured dishes are among the restaurant’s most popular options.
Now, whenever you speak to someone about your advance dining reservation here, the first thing they’re likely to say is, “You MUST try the mint tea! It’s awesome!”
Not only do fans find it to be refreshing (and we hear it’s quite an authentic touch), but it’s also served in a slightly theatrical, fun way. So of course, we couldn’t resist taking part in this welcoming tradition.
Watching our server pour the tea from the beautiful silver pot was a treat! And the combination of Green Tea and Fresh Mint were delicious and the perfect antidote to a long Disney day.
While we were still enjoying our refreshing tea, our bread came. While it wasn’t anything particularly interesting, it was served warm and fresh.
I had tried the Beef Brewat Roll on my last visit. This time, I decided to go with the Chicken Bastilla. The savory pastry is made with a combination of minced chicken and almonds, wrapped in thin layers of pastry, and fried. Topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar, the combination may be a bit unexpected, but it’s a winner.
We decided not to spend too much of our hunger on appetizers. 🙂 Soon, our entrees arrived.
First, we went for one of the most popular dishes, the Shish Kebab. The featured meat in the dish is beef tenderloin, and it’s paired with mixed vegetables on a bed of yellow rice. While kebabs are pretty mainstream in the U.S. these days, they were excellent, with a really nice depth of flavor. The marinade on the meat offered a bright note, too, with lots of fresh herbs.
We also sampled the Chicken Kebabs. The plate was gorgeous! While I’m not a big fan of olives, I thought the offerings here were a little more interesting than the beef accompaniments. The olive salad was fresh, and the dried fruit sweet couscous was delicious!
This dish was a hit.
I had heard nothing but praise for the Couscous, so we decided to try this super traditional dish on this visit. We chose the Chicken Couscous. Served with roasted vegetables and preserved lemons, the flavors were intense and delicious! I really enjoyed the tender chicken and fluffy couscous.
The kiddos at our table both got the Hamburger and French Fries! This is one of the best features to note about Disney restaurants; even if you don’t see anything on the menu that interests you, you can bet that the kitchen will have something for you to eat!
After our satisfying meal, I was interested in trying an after-dinner coffee and a dessert. I had tried the Baklava on a previous visit, and I loved it! But I was after something new this time around.
I’d heard a LOT of good things about the specialty, spiked coffees here and at Tangierine Cafe.
We tried the Kasbah Coffee. Mocha coffee gets an extra shot of flavor from Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. No whipped cream on this serving for some reason?
For dessert, some friends at the table next to ours tried the Bastilla, and we were smitten. The dish is a simple one, consisting of paper-thin sheets of dough, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and almonds. The whole thing is accompanied by a cream sauce!
Crisp and delicious, it’s a little messy, but a great light dessert if you’re looking for something sweet to nibble at the end of your meal.
And with that, it was a wrap on another delicious meal at Restaurant Marrakesh.
I highly recommended Restaurant Marrakesh after my first visit here, and nothing has changed. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and timeless in its traditional decor. You really feel like you’re visiting an exotic corner of this North African kingdom. The food is interesting, but familiar enough that most people are bound to find something they’d like to try. And the staff is always friendly and accommodating. They make dining here a pleasure.
Since Restaurant Marrakesh isn’t as busy as some of the other spots in Epcot, it’s possible oftentimes to get a last minute reservation here, or even to score a walk up table. So if you find yourself famished and ADR-less, be sure to give it a try. And while you’re there, brush up on your bellydancing. Who knows? It could come in handy someday!
Is Restaurant Marrakesh a top World Showcase pick for you? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!