Review: Marrakesh at Epcot

Image (c) tripadvisor.com.

Image (c) tripadvisor.com.

 

I’ve eaten at Restaurant Marrakesh twice, once pre-children and once with kids.  The experience sort of varied.  To sum up, it was better without the kids.  I don’t know if that means it’s gone downhill or just that it’s not one of the best restaurants for children; I’m really betting it’s the latter, but I’d have to go back to find out, I guess.  Here is the adult dinner menu, to start with.

The pre-kids experience was in 2005, while I was pregnant.  My husband and I arrived in a rainstorm and were soaking when we got there for our reservations.  In spite of that it was a great night.  We were on the DDP, so we got to choose whatever we wanted; I’ll be honest and say that it was so long ago that I don’t recall what I had, but it was delicious.  I’m a real lover of pretty much any ethnic/exotic food and a particular fan of anything meditarranean, east indian, or similar.  I know it had cous cous and I think it had lamb, though it might have been chicken.  Back then the DDP still included appetizers and desserts, so we got some chicken bastilla as well – oh lord, that was good.  And for dessert, although we were stuffed, we were given a platter of pastries like baklava and others.  We were so full we asked to be able to take it to go, and they let us.

Entertainment was spectacular – of course there was the bellydancer.  She was wonderful!

This is not the Marrakesh bellydancer, but she is gorgeous and at Epcot, so close enough.

This is not the Marrakesh bellydancer, but she is gorgeous and at Epcot, so close enough.

We loved the decor and the whole evening was comfortable, beautiful and pitch-perfect… one of our favourite dining experiences on that trip.

Anyway, our first trip with the children in 2011, we had the free DDP again and so we made reservations there.  As I said, it was just not as good.  Part of this might have been because my son was 1, and thus not on the DDP, and as a result I did a lot of sharing with him off my plate (which is totally allowed, btw).  This was no trouble at all when we were at a buffet, but trickier at ala carte restaurants because I had to find things off the adult menu I knew he would like; fortunately a lot of the time my daughter was willing to share as well.  But not always. ;P

In any case, I’m not sure why I did this, but instead of getting Chicken cous cous I got Lamb Shank cous cous to share with my son.  Who, at the time, would eat anything – but did not like the lamb.  And to be honest, the lamb was not well-cooked.  Lamb can be hard to cook properly, I realize, so I am gracious about that; it tasted fine, but it was tough, so not the easiest for my little guy – or me– to chew.  And there was a lot less meat and a lot more bone than I’d have expected.  And there were bone fragments. 😦

Actually this meal put me off lamb, which I had really liked for some time and rarely got to have… I suppose that’s why I ordered it like a dope (lol).  But what happened was that my son decided not to eat it but to smear it around, and it got in his hair.  And even though he got a shampoo, his hair still smelled like lamb.  For the next three days.  And then he got a stomach virus (NOT, for the record, from the lamb!  It spread through my family, was a legit bug, not food poisoning; I got it 2 days later) and his hair still smelled like lamb the entire time.  So yeah.  I can’t really do lamb anymore. 😛

But that’s not Disney’s fault, lol.  A lot of this I do chalk up to my own bad choices.  My husband wasn’t quite as impressed with the food either, if I recall, but my daughter had a GREAT time; she got chicken tenders and got up and had a belly dancing lesson.  Which goes to show you, it’s all in the experience as much as the food.  I don’t even remember if we had pastries at dessert or not; the rest of it is kind of blocked out.

The decor is just as nice as ever, though.  It’s honestly just such a comfortable restaurant – everything is all plush and nice.  Every Moroccan restaurant I’ve been to has this same thing going.  Like sitting on pillows. 😀  Service was quite good; I’ve read reviews that said that the staff at Marrakesh is not attentive, but that’s not something I’ve ever experienced.  They were fine with us. I was just super distracted and ultimately I believe I had to take the boy outside before everyone else was done, which is probably why I don’t remember a lot of the last bit, haha!

So over all: my recommendation would be to give this restaurant a shot, without young children, and keep an open mind about the cuisine you’re going to have. And I’m cautious about that, because I wasn’t hot on my lamb last time, but there were external factors seeping into that; as far as I know the chicken is still fine.  I still really love the look of the restaurant and the bellydancer is still terrific.  I’m not writing this one off until I give it a third try and see what happens.

 

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One thought on “Review: Marrakesh at Epcot

  1. That’s really funny about the lamb- it’s amazing how something like that can put you off! I totally get it. I’ve never eaten here- we have vegetarians in the family, and oddly enough, they don’t offer much without meat. I was really surprised, since the counter service in Morocco has a great veg. option. I really want to check out the decor…

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