Much like the inspired theming of the new Jock's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs, the Skipper Canteen provides an endless supply of those special details that only a Disney restaurant can do. Not only was the food a welcome change from the more standard theme park fare, but the Cast Members are a delight. I left with a full belly, a smile on my face, and a very happy heart. Although the menu may be "adventurous" to some, please go if only for an appetizer or dessert!
Before I discuss the unique food, I must thank the wonderful Cast Members*. I heard that the Skipper Canteen Cast all sing the beloved theme song of the old Pleasure Island Adventurers Club (R.I.P) upon opening. So, when I arrived, I "demanded" a sing-a-long. I think some of them were too young to remember the club, but they happily obliged with the exception of one who feared a backlash from the house monkeys...acceptable excuse, THIS TIME! Not only did we all sing it as I entered, TWICE. But, a lovely Cast Member who put in NINE years of service at the Adventurers Club (R.I.P) introduced herself and we had a few moments to reminisce. As I left, another Cast Member gave me a personal tour (see photos of the decor below) and yet another joined in, once again, on an enthusiastic chorus of the song. The food was delicious but the Cast Members make the Skipper Canteen into a dining EVENT!
The FoodThe food at the Skipper Canteen may not appeal to the burgers & fries crowd, but for those who enjoy dining around the world at Epcot, this is your opportunity for a similar "exotic" experience in the Magic Kingdom. I found all of the food to be delicious and a welcome break from my usual rotisserie chicken.
Ambasha "Celebration" Bread, African inspired with honey dipping sauce (complimentary).
Both the bread and the dip have a unique earthly spice (not hot) blend. It's very flavorful and I enjoyed it very much. It is a great predictor of the flavors of the food that you are about to enjoy.
S.E.A. Shu Mai ($10.00). Legendary blend of pork, shrimp, mung beans, and spices wrapped in gyoza skin then, steamed. Served with a soy sauce based sauce.
These were large, stuffed full, and had a delightful sesame flavor with just enough spice to give a light lip-tingle sensation that I love. (They would go very well with a beverage like a Kungaloosh...*cough*.) I think that I even enjoyed these better than the shu mai that I recently tried at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs. On a warm day, this appetizer would serve as a nice lunch at a wonderful value. I believe it is usually served with chopsticks but I did not receive them. Make sure to request them if you would like them. They are available (as you will see later).
Curried Vegetable Crew Stew ($17.00). Served with roasted acorn squash, lentils, and sauteed collard greens.
This was a hearty, flavorful dish with the same earthy flavors of the bread. I love lentils and roasted squash. The lentils could have used a few more minutes of cooking time for my personal taste, but the squash was AMAZING! The roasted acorn squash was so sweet and delicious that I wished it were a bigger piece. That and the cauliflower were my favorites in this dish. The collards had a touch too much vinegar for me. A scoop of rice on the plate (it's provided on many of the other entrees) would have worked nicely to balance out this dish. It was very satisfying and filling. The meat was not missed at all. I highly recommend it even for the carnivores.
Volcano! ($4.50, kids' menu). Gooey chocolate cake with caramel lava and exploding chocolate rocks will make you shout "UH OA!"
Holy fudgy goodness! This cake is luscious... and that red lava is yummy caramel sauce. Plus, red sugar art erupting lava??!!! On the KIDS' dessert! I was totally impressed!
Monkey Bites ($4.50, kids' menu). With candied chocolate-sunflower seeds and chocolate-dipped banana bites. Hey, chopsticks!
In addition to the chocolate covered banana pieces and pretty-colored candy-coated chocolate sunflower seeds, this dessert also has pieces of light green "mossy" cake, little crisp
meringue kisses, and a big dollop of fresh whipped cream hidden under it all. There are so many components to this dessert and each one is lovely. Again, thoroughly impressed by the creativity, whimsy, and flavor!
The DecorI encourage you to look around and "explore." Also, be aware that there's an elephant in every room...but we don't talk about it! Shhhhh!
At least the key is locked away for safe keeping!...Umm?
*Thank you to Cast Members Heather and fellow Skippers for the songs, Marianne for the chat and her Adventurers Club (R.I.P.) service, Sarah for the wonderful tour...the "long route," and my server, Zita, who was most gracious and a delight. You all are what makes Disney so magical!
You can follow Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers, Facebook @ThePrincessPapers, and on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast, Twitter @DisDreamGirls.
The Skipper Canteen is handicapped accessible.