Flying Fish Dinner (post-remodel)

During my October 2015 visit to WDW I had dinner at Flying Fish (formerly known as Flying Fish Cafe) and it was one of my favorite meals of that trip.  So I had been looking forward to a return visit a year later.  But then came the six month long major remodel of the restaurant’s interior and when it reopened in August of 2016 Flying Fish had a new head chef and the menu had undergone a major overhaul.  Their previous signature dishes were no where to be found.  Signature dishes like their crab cake appetizer and potato-wrapped red snapper entree, two of my favorites, were missing…

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I was disappointed with the menu changes and began to question my decision to include Flying Fish in our dining schedule.  Paula and I actually considered replacing our Flying Fish reservation for Yachtsman Steakhouse, but in the end my curiosity and desire to see the new restaurant decor in person won out.  So as originally planned, Paula, Hunter, and I plus our friend, Rachel, had dinner at Flying Fish on Sunday evening, Oct. 30th.

 

Let’s begin with the restaurant’s interior, which has vastly changed from the circus theme that it had previously.  Here are some photos from my May 2014 visit to Flying Fish (Cafe)…

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While I must admit that I did really like this quirky, yet fun theme, the new decor is beautiful…

 

I especially loved the new lighting…

 

The new menu books…

And a look inside, starting with their new Specialty cocktail menu…

I thought about trying the Pacific Island Punch from the Sweet section, but decided to just stick with water.  Hunter and Rachel though both ordered this cocktail from the Savory section…

Maple Bacon Fig Manhattan with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Averna Amaro Bacon-infused Maple Syrup, Honeyed Black Mission Figs, and Candied Bacon

A toast to bacon…

Unfortunately Rachel didn’t like her drink though.  She said the alcohol was too strong for her.  Our server asked if he could bring her something else and she chose this…

Harvest Mule with Tito’s Vodka, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Pear Nectar and Fresh Lime Juice

Though this was listed under the Bitter section of the cocktail menu, Rachel didn’t think it tasted bitter and said she liked it.

Then it was time to choose our appetizers.

 

Rachel and Paula both chose two, with the second one replacing their entree.  So for her first appetizer Rachel ordered…

Yellowfin Tuna with Compressed Watermelon, Citrus Espelette, Black Cyprus Sea Salt, and Avocado

And a closer view…

When looking at the photos that I took of Rachel’s appetizer I noticed there were clear circular objects on top of the tuna slices. :confused3 I jokingly thought that Rachel had lost her contact lenses. :laughing:   When I asked Rachel about the mystery objects she said she thought they were very thin slices of radish.   So we will go with that.  :thumbsup2

Regardless of what was sitting on top, the tuna was very good and Rachel liked it a lot.  However, she didn’t like it as much as the other appetizer she ordered as her entree…

Kurobuta Pork Belly with Shank Croquette, Royal Gala Apple Slaw, Bing Cherry Gastique, and Shirred Quail Egg

Rachel said, “This was life changing.  Literally one of the best things I’ve ever had.”

 

Before moving on to Paula’s appetizer choices, I’ll show you a photo of our complimentary bread basket…

The bread that Flying Fish normally now serves has tiny pieces of nori.  Since Hunter’s seafood allergies include seaweed, we asked for and received an alternative.  This is the bread that is served at the nearby restaurant, Trattoria al Forno, and it was good.

 

Okay, now continuing on with our appetizers.  Paula started with this…

Mission Figs and Serrano Ham with Rogue River Blue Cheese, Hazelnuts, and Vero Beach Arugula

Paula didn’t even remember having this salad until I showed her the photo.  So I’m guessing that, unlike Rachel’s appetizer, this salad was not life changing.  Lol ;)

For her second appetizer, Paula chose…

Corn-encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp with Spiced Hearts of Palm, Orange Supremes, and Piquant Aïoli

Paula said the shrimp was okay.  Nothing real special about them.

 

For the sake of my review I wanted to order something different for my appetizer.  Rachel and Paula had chosen four out of the eight appetizers listed on the menu.  I ruled out the Tour of the Coast because I don’t really care for mussels and the Mesclun salad because it sounded pretty boring. So that left either the Crab Bisque or the Artisanal Cheese Plate.  I chose the…

Chef’s Selection of Regional Artisanal California Cheeses

 

While I was happy to see there was more than one kind of cheese on the plate I received (unlike the one we’d had at the French lunch earlier that day), I was still disappointed that for $16 I was served only three small pieces of cheese.  Especially since the last time we had gotten a cheese plate at Flying Fish we were served this…

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For just $2 more (or $18) we had gotten 5 different cheeses, plus the accompaniments were better. I especially like having honey served with my cheese.

Hunter only ordered an entree, but unfortunately he wasn’t feeling well and had to leave even before our appetizers were served.  He and I actually chose the same entree from this menu…

 

We both selected the…

Wagyu Filet Mignon with Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco Brocolli, Rainbow Carrots, and Bordelaise Sauce

 

And a slightly different view…

 

The filet was good but for $55 I was expecting to be “wowed”.  And the vegetables that accompanied the filet were quite underwhelming.  Paula had a few bites of Hunter’s filet and thought it was good but couldn’t really enjoy it since she was worried about her husband.  She had it boxed up and took it back to their room but I’m not sure if they ever got around to eating the leftover filet.

 

So that just leaves dessert…

 

Which for Rachel, was this…

Florida Reef with Lemon Tart, Toasted Meringue, Florida Citrus Salad, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Sorbet

While I chose this…

Chocolate-Banana Napoleon with Banana-Raspberry Mousse and Slow-cooked Vanilla-Rum-Caramel Sauce

Rachel said hers was good but mine didn’t taste as good as it looked.  When I ordered this I was actually expecting something similar to their old signature napoleon dessert…

 

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Signature Flying Fish Cafe Caramelized Banana Napoleon with Crisp Phyllo, Banana Mousse, Creme Caramel, Exotic Fruit Coulis, and Bitter Chocolate

I preferred the crisp phyllo pastry of the old version over the thin chocolate layers of the new.

So overall, for Rachel this was a great meal.  She loved the pork belly appetizer and enjoyed her other two courses as well.  For Paula and I though this dinner was just okay, nothing special.  I’m not sure about Paula, but I will likely give Flying Fish another chance sometime.  I’ll probably skip it though on my Fall 2017 trip and instead return to some other signature restaurants that I haven’t been to for a few years (like Citricos and/or Jiko).

 

 

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