This was definitely not the kind of meal I was expecting in a theme park, but everything was amazing. The restaurant is decorated in a wilderness theme with three main 'galleries'. We were in the grand gallery, and the host told us a little bit about it. It's intended to represent indigenous art that inspired the park, and wildlife. We were seated next to the butterfly wall, and there was also a lantern wall with a lit display of various animals against a blue and red cloth backdrop (symbolizing fire and water). The other main feature were the old carved totem poles which were originally at Camp Minnie-Mickey and was originally carved by Bali artisans. They are what inspired the carvings on the Tree of Life.
As we looked over the menu, I was delighted to see they had an octopus appetizer. Since it was Christmas Eve and it's a family/Sicilian tradition to have octopus/seafood on Christmas Eve, we ordered that for the table.
It was fantastic. When done poorly, octopus can be rubbery or chewy, but this was perfectly tender and flavorful. It was grilled grilled with salsify, saffron aioli and lemon-caper olive oil. We also splurged on a bottle of wine (a 2013 South African wine called Chakalaka Spice Route) which was really, really good - a dry red wine with an interesting flavor.
All of us had great meals. My husband and his father both got the duck confit, my husband's mother got a wagyu steak and I got chermoula rubbed chicken, which had a spice rub and was served over couscous with dried fruit, picholine olives, preserved lemon and harina yogurt. Even the kids' meals were amazing - one of the choices was 'grilled beef', which is what they both picked, and when it came they were basically filets! They ate them with relish (and were quite fond of the duck, as well).
Desserts were next. My husband got passion fruit tapioca, his father a decadent chocolate ganache, his mom got a gluten free variant of the ganache, I got a lime cheesecake made with coconut milk and over green tea sponge cake served with bits of mango and mango syrup and our kids got little chocolate cakes with malt balls and chocolate Mickeys. My cheese cake was great. Most cheese cakes are too rich for me, but this was light and citrusy and perfect.
We capped off the night with some French pressed (at our table) Ethiopian coffee with this amazing nutty taste.
A word about portion sizes - yes, they are smaller than some of the other restaurants, but this was a plus, in my book. It's clear the focus is on quality, not quantity, and for once I walked away from the table not feeling stuffed to the gills.
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