Dining Under the Sea, Coral Reef

This review reflects our experience in May of 2014.

If you plan on dining in Epcot but don’t want to be in World Showcase you should check out Coral Reef Restaurant. Coral Reef is in Future World tucked behind the Living Seas Pavilion, also known as The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The restaurant shares glass windows into the aquarium where Nemo is. The restaurant itself isn’t very big and there are three levels of tables to be seated. The lighting in here makes you feel like you are in the water with the fish on the other side of the glass.

Coral Reef Interior via Touring Plans
Coral Reef Interior via Touring Plans

We ate here for the first time as vegans in May or 2014. We were seated on the second level of tables, which in my personal opinion is better then being directly next to the window because you can see more of the fish. Now I will admit, eating in an aquarium isn’t very vegan, but when they have a vegan option on the menu then it’s hard to turn down. The vegan option on the menu, Marinated Grilled Vegetables and Vegetarian Chick’n Breast

View from our table
View from our table

When we started talking with our waiter we told him of vegan diet and he assured us of the item on the menu being vegan as is as well as the seasonal soup, Asparagus Soup. When our waiter came back from talking to the chef he told us that the chef said “we probably know what to eat better than he does” so the chef never came out, luckily our server was very friendly and seemed to understand a vegan diet. This was the second time on our trip that a chef didn’t come out, which was fine since our server was informed.

I was getting over a cold at the time and just really wanted to eat vegetables so I asked about a salad. He left to talk to the chef and came back to tell me that there are no vegan dressing options but that I can get oil and vinegar. He also asked if we wanted the complimentary bread with oil, I mentioned a chance of having vegan butter and he said he would check. He came back with a basket full of bread and a bowl full of Earth Balance butter, we were very happy to see this. We ate all of it.

Rolls with Earth Balance Butter
Rolls with Earth Balance Butter

When he asked me about my salad he asked if I wanted a fruit or vegetable salad, there is a salad on the menu that is made with watermelon and goat cheese, so if you decide to get a salad like I did make sure you say you want a vegetable salad. I ordered a vegetable “surprise me” salad with the seasonal soup and Corey ordered the Grilled Vegetables and Chick’n Breast.

Grilled Vegetables and Chick'n Breast
Grilled Vegetables and Chick’n Breast

Corey loved the Chick’n Breast dish, it was breaded Gardein brand chick’n on top of black rice and topped with a stack of vegetables. The rice had a bruschetta flavor from the roasted tomato vinaigrette and the grilled vegetables seemed to have balsamic on them, the veggies were eggplant, squash, onion, mushroom and zucchini. The chick’n breast was crispy and the vegetables were cooked just right. With the dish being a tower, it was hard to get a bite with all the flavors at once, but overall the dish was delicious.

Huge Salad
Huge Salad

My salad was huge. I received a giant bowl of lettuce with several smaller dishes filled with white beans, croutons, red peppers, broccoli and asparagus. I dumped it all in, except the broccoli – tummy issues with raw broccoli, and poured on the oil and vinegar. The giant fresh salad was just what I needed for my post cold meal. The soup was really good, the waiter said it was basically pureed asparagus only.

The whole meal
The whole meal

The Marinated Vegetables and Chick’n Breast are on the menu for both lunch and dinner. As long as you don’t mind sitting in an aquarium this restaurant is a great option. All of the food we received was delicious and our service was great.

Would we go again?
Yes! The food was great and it was nice to eat in Epcot and not be in World Showcase. If traveling with non-vegans be aware that the menu is very seafood heavy.

Price:
$$

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

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