Coral Reef Tempura-Fried Cauliflower

One of the more unique restaurants in Disney World can be found in Epcot’s Future World. Here you can find Coral Reef which is in the same building as The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This restaurant is ironically (well not really) a mainly seafood restaurant, which is weird because you have 4 large viewing windows into the tank at The Seas. So if you don’t want to see the aquatic life while dining, avoid this restaurant, there is no where to sit here where you can’t see it.

View from our table in Coral Reef
View from our table in Coral Reef

It has been a few years since we’d dined at Coral Reef, as we were still grieving the loss of our favorite dish from there. Since our beloved Vegetarian Chicken dish, Coral Reef tried vegan Crab Cakes, which we never got to try because they were only there for a few months and didn’t line up with a trip, then to a Tofu Noodle Bowl, which we had seen very negative reviews of which made us avoid it as well. Finally Coral Reef got rid of this noodle bowl and replaced it with Tempura-Fried Cauliflower.

Allergy Menu at Coral Reef October 2018

After speaking with our server about my sons peanut allergy and our vegan diets, I asked if they had vegan butter still for the rolls. He said yes but that the rolls are no longer vegan, but they had Ener-G gluten free rolls, that are also vegan. My friends looks panicked as they wanted the normal rolls, I assured them that it was only my little dude and I getting the gluten free ones. This was a huge bummer because we loved the rolls they used to have, I’m not sure when they changed but that was a let down.

I asked to speak with the chef as I was unsure what vegan option we could get for our son. All of the kids options here were heavy with meat or peanut butter. Chef George came out and was incredibly friendly. He asked what he would want to eat and I mentioned pasta is usually safe, he asked if he was okay with the Beyond Sausage and I said yes. He said he would make a kids pasta with Beyond Sausage Crumbles and tomato sauce.

Ener-G Rolls

Soon after my rolls came out and were very warm. Chef George must know that these things taste so much better warm. We waited for a while then my friends normal rolls, their butter, and finally my vegan butter came. The rolls were surprisingly good, I had heard good things about these rolls when warmed but with gluten free and vegan it can sometimes be a miss. They had a bit of a grainy after taste, but I would happily eat those again. They also gave me about a half a cup of vegan butter, which was unnecessary, but appreciated.

Tempura-Fried Cauliflower

Our food came out quickly and the cauliflower looked great. It was a large head of cauliflower on a small amount of vegetables, Beyond sausage crumbles and a vinaigrette. The vinaigrette reminded me of the old Vegetarian Chicken Breast entree due to its tanginess. There were slices of potato in the dish too, which I wished were a little crispy.

Tempura-Fried Cauliflower

The Cauliflower itself was great, some of it was a little more raw then I would like, but with the size of the stalk it was expected. The cauliflower was super crispy and the inside was a soft but still had a bit of a crunch to it.

Tempura-Fried Cauliflower

I really enjoyed this dish, I just wish it was a little bit more food. That being said, I would have easily loaded up on the rolls and been content.

Kids Pasta with vegan sausage

Finn’s pasta was huge. We were all laughing that he got more pasta than my friend who ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese. He had a huge bowl full of shells and topped with Beyond Sausage Crumbles in a tomato sauce.

Kids Pasta with vegan sausage

The sausage crumbles were a lot more flavorful on his dish than the cauliflower. I had a couple bites that were very fennel-y, which I didn’t love. But as a whole, this was a great kids dish and he destroyed it the next day as left overs. Also to note with the kids entree, it was charged just the same as the kids pasta with cream sauce, which was $10 at the time. Additionally, with kids meals beverages are usually included, so he enjoyed a Silk Vanilla Soy Milk.

I’m glad that Coral Reef has a entree that we enjoy again. I would absolutely go back here and get this dish again. The only down side to Coral Reef is that the prices are close to being signature dining, with many entrees over $30. At the time of our visit the Cauliflower dish was $24. Again, if you are uncomfortable with being near an aquarium, do not go to this restaurant.

Price $$$
Review from October 2018.

Author: Melissa Kramer

Back in 2014 I created Vegan Disney World after going to Walt Disney World several times and finding no resource for vegan options. Corey and I began this blog from our trips and have now moved closer to the mouse to eat around the parks on a weekly basis. Since the blog started we have cruised on Disney Cruise Line, gone to Tokyo Disneyland and to Disneyland in California!

Leave a Reply