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Where to eat? Dinner at Epcot's Rose and Crown Dining Room

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Published: June 4, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Make a reservation at Epcot's Rose and Crown Dining Room, and you're asking for criticism. Why would you want to eat bland British food? Why would you waste a reservation there when you could have eaten at other places along the World Showcase? I understand certain misconceptions are made when you think of this place, but with an updated menu and some changes in their preparation, it has improved exponentially. My dinner in May was one of these times that eating here knocked my socks off.

Rose and Crown

This is a safe restaurant to me. I've never had a bad meal here, and it has perfect seating for Illuminations. To me, that is a win/win situation. This time though, I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements to the meals. After a long day of walking around Epcot and doing things we normally couldn't have done with our little boys present (i.e. taking our time and looking through every shop and pavilion), we made our way to our dining reservation. We were greeted and happily seated along the lagoon. We were asked if we were in a hurry to eat, or wished to take our time and enjoy Illuminations from our seat. After stating what should be the obvious for everyone, we were left with our menus. Our server was a sweet young lady from northern Scotland who treated us as if we were the dearest of people. She made her recommendations and even answered our questions, if whether or not this was typical of what she ate when at home. She told us which items were what her family would fix and delighted us with what she thought of American cuisine. After this discourse we decided to go the full Monty and start with appetizers. My husband ordered the roasted sea scallops, while I decided to try the Scotch egg. Now the last time we had eaten here, my husband had ordered the Scotch egg and had raved about it. I knew I had to give it a try. Little did we know that they had changed the way they prepared it. Before it was a hardboiled egg wrapped in bacon. Now it was something new.

The Scotch egg is still a hardboiled egg, but it is now wrapped in sausage and breadcrumbs and fried. It is then served sliced with mustard and soft strips of toast.

Scotch egg

When our appetizers arrived, I couldn't take pictures fast enough to show what they looked like before we dove into them. In fact, I was unable to get the scallops properly pictured since my husband began to eat and voice his pleasure over them. He said the tomato chutney and spinach pesto gave it such flavor. (I have to take his word for it. I'm deathly allergic to all shellfish.)

Scallops

I dove into my Scotch egg. It was heavenly. The sausage was mild and enjoyable with the mustard giving it just a kick of spiciness. The toast had just a hint of crispness and did not have any strong flavor to detract from the egg. I did not want to finish it, for fear I wouldn't have enough room for my meal, so Chuck was more than happy to finish it for me.

For our meals, we couldn't decide on what to order, so we decided to order two different things and share. I had already tried their fish and chips, so Chuck decided to give it a try. His favorite meal is no longer available, which was their bangers and mash. He decided to stay true to British form and have the fish. I wanted fish, but I was also in the mood for a steak. So I ordered their New York strip steak. I know, I know. How British of me to order a New York strip steak? Feel free to make fun of me in the below comments. Our dinners arrived and we once again immediately dove into them before I could adequately snap pictures of them. Sorry for the half-eaten portion pictures, but we were hungry and it was so good.

Steak

Chuck found that his fish came perfect. The fish was flaky and the breading was crispy. He loved it and wondered why I had never told him to order this. My steak arrived with two crispy onion rings, green beans and a grilled tomato on top. I ordered my steak to be grilled medium. It was just a tad bit closer to medium rare. This was fine with me since I like my steak both medium and medium rare. A good steak, in my opinion, is one in which you do not need to ask for any steak sauce. This steak required nothing except my knife and fork. It was tender and delicious. We began to eat what was in front of us and before we knew it, we had forgotten that we had planned to share. Good thing we are both only children and understood our reasoning for not sharing.

Here again, I didn't want to fill up, because I was bound and determined to try a dessert. I ate quite a bit, but still left some steak on my plate. Chuck reasoned it out and sacrificed his space for dessert to eat the rest of my steak. His noble sacrifice should be recorded for the ages. I knew there was only one dessert that I wanted to try, especially since I wouldn't have to share. The Sticky Toffee Pudding. I had never had it nor have I ever had an English pudding before. We will blame my lack of experience of this being that I'm from Tennessee. Not too many chances to try a pudding in this state unless it has the word Jell-o in front of it. When I ordered it, our waitress stated that it was her favorite and was hoping that would be what I picked.

Toffee pudding

After teasing my poor full husband of not being able to get any pictures of anything before we took bites, I stuck my spoon into the moist cake and took the first bite before we could snap a picture. I hate to say it, but I would do it again. It was that delectable. The cake was moist with the melted caramel. The vanilla cream all along the bottom of the bowel helped increase the sweetness of the caramel. It was the perfect end to the perfect meal. We had Illuminations starting right when dessert came. What better timing could we ask for?

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Readers' Opinions

From Rob Pastor on June 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM
We ate there two years ago. We had reservations but we waited about an hour to be seated. The servers were indifferent and did a nice disappearing act. Tables are so close people bump into your chair as they walk. And the food was very ordinary. The steak I had wasn't even up to the standards of an Outback restaurant. Ordered it medium rare and it came back very well done, & so tough it was hard to cut. The only saviour of that dinner was stopping at the bar to hear the hat lady at the piano. She was pretty entertaining. I'm usually not picky on food reviews but I thought this restaurant was way over rated for service, food & ambiance.
From James Koehl on June 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Amanda, I have to agree with you. Rose and Crown is probably our favorite restaurant at Epcot. We've been to Britain several times and eaten in lots of pubs, and they have captured the look and spirit of the real thing. Rob, I'm sorry that you didn't have a good time, but I have to tell you that the pubs in Britain are that crowded, with tables and chairs close together. The only thing they do different at Epcot is that the tables are normal American height- often the tables in Britain are low, almost coffee table height. I love the food there, and I think I've had everything you tried there and agree. The sticky toffee pudding is something we make here at home often.
From Rob Pastor on June 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM
James; Yes, I'm familiar with the English pubs since I've visited England a few times. It's a running joke with my Brit born soccer teammates & friends on the taste of British food. Heh, I reserved the Rose & Crown since I thought that would recreate the pub atmosphere (not the food) that I enjoyed while in England. And I just love that country and it's people. But the Rose & Crown was a huge disapointment. I think its the only Orlando restaurant I've previously given a negative review to on this site.
From Amanda Jenkins on June 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM
I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience at Rose and Crown. That is exactly how I feel about Teppan Edo. We had the worst time there and the staff was incredibly rude. I understand not wanting to give it a second chance.
From Rob Pastor on June 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Amanda; I guess we all get lackluster service at times. I just expected more. It wasn't necessarily horrible but kind of less than average. MY GF said no way on any future reservations there. I know I'm going to pay way over what it's worth at Disney, but that was just a combination of bad events. What made it worse is that it was raining hard outside and they wouldn't let us inside even though it was our reservation time. Something about tables not being cleaned up yet. On a more positive note, as I said before, we really liked the hat lady singer. We would definately stop by the bar again to catch her act. By the way, well written interesting article. I'd go if I wasn't already there.
From 98.227.60.180 on June 4, 2013 at 5:52 PM
What I love about your columns is how positive they are. You write like you are a friend sharing your experiences with friends. And you make everything sound so delicious! I wish all the columns on this site were as cheerful and fun to read as yours!
From Amanda Jenkins on June 4, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Oh thank you! That is very sweet of you to say. Anyone who loves theme parks is a friend of mine.
From James Rao on June 5, 2013 at 5:53 AM
Scallops.... yum.

Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

From Jason Jackson on June 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM
I haven't eaten there but do remember passing by and hearing good times going on inside. At my local park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, the new Food & Wine Festival features Scottish Egg and I was hesitant to try it, but it sounds like the version at Epcot and I did have it and it was delicious! Something different!
From Anthony Murphy on June 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM
Amanda, I usually agree with your assessments on all things Disney (Boardwalk and Star Wars weekends were my favorites), but I gotta disagree with you on this one. I have, sadly, never had a great meal here. This is one that we always skip.

Maybe I just don't like English food.....hmmm

From Russell Meyer on June 7, 2013 at 12:18 PM
We've eaten here a couple of times, and would rate it average compared to the other EPCOT table-service restaurants. The fish and chips were really good, but a little overpriced for what you get. The same dish comes out of the window/counter service just down the way at a slightly reduced price if I recall. I do enjoy the fact that you can get a flight of beer, but we almost exclusively visit EPCOT now during the F&W Festival, so you can get similar or sometimes superior beer flights from the kiosks around the World Showcase without having to shoulder up to the crowded bar or sit down for a meal.

Also, the first time we ate here, we were supposed to have reservations to view Illuminations (this was nearly 10 years ago before they had specific sections and reservations for the show), and not only did the server try to rush us off our table before the show started (we sat down 45 minutes before showtime), but we weren't even on the perimeter of the interior dining room, and had a pretty crummy view of the lagoon.

From 76.180.213.65 on June 7, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Thank you for the great review, Amanda.
Would you please tell us what time you arrived for dinner? We have an ADR at 7:30 on June 24 - hoping to see Illuminations just as you did. I'm second guessing the timing - I'm afraid by that time those already seated may not be leaving??? Do you think we should get there a little earlier, or should 7:30 be okay? We'll have 2 children with us, but I'm not worried about taking 1 1/2 hrs for dinner - I'll let them bring their electronics to use after dinner, if necessary. And we are on the DxDDP so we'll enjoy the appetizers, entrees, and desserts...
Thanks!
From Amanda Jenkins on June 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Our dinner reservations were for around 7:30 also. A rule of thumb for most ADR's at Disney is to check in 30-45 minutes before your reservation. They will give you a pager that will allow you to still explore the U.K. pavilion. Let them know upon check in that you want to watch Illuminations while you eat so that you will get a patio table. Have a wonderful time!

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