SeaWorld’s first-ever Seven Seas Food Festival in 2017 was so popular the event has returned for a second year, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Executive Chef Héctor Colón is the man responsible for menu development at SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica, and his vision is what makes this Festival so, well, tasty. This year he’s come up with 45 creative new food and drink samples. Two new Markets—Germany and All-American—also join the line-up, bringing the total number of Markets to 12. But that’s not all. Add in the various speciality kiosks, such as 3 Daughters Brewery and the Funnel Cake kiosk, and it brings the total number of outlets to a staggering 35.
Last year’s favourites, such as Sea Scallops Provencal with Wild Mushroom Risotto and the fabulous Grilled Lamb Chop marinated with Rosemary Mint and served with Roasted Potatoes and Greek Tzatziki, have returned this year, but we’re all about the new stuff. Here are our Top Seven dishes making their debut in 2018:
-Char Siu Bao: We could probably stop at “bao” and you’d know it’s good, but this delicate puff-ball filled with steamed pork, gingered grilled pineapple and Hoisin sauce is pillow-soft, with tender meat, a hint of spice, and a nice, rich follow-through from the sauce.
-Frozen Mudslide: Yeah, we know. You can get a Mudslide almost anywhere. But you’re in Florida on holiday, and that means something cold, something alcoholic, and something chocolate. Just do it.
-Bacon Wrapped Sweet Plantain: Oh, you luscious combination! Take a ripe plantain, wrap it in bacon, apply heat, and you’ve got a dish worthy of serious indulging. The sweetness of the plantain combined with the bacon’s salty smoke makes these Brazilian Market favourites into moreish morsels of pure delight.
-Chocolate Dipped Footlong Pretzel: Now, listen. We know what you’re going to say when you get a look at this thing, but try it anyway. It’s a soft pretzel. It’s covered in chocolate. It’s skewered on a stick for easy carrying. What (besides the shape of it) could go wrong?
-Seafood Ceviche: Cold, raw shellfish isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re brave enough to try it, or you already know how exquisite this dish can be when made correctly, this version, with shrimp, fish and mango in citrus juice, is a winner. It’s delightfully tangy, and really highlights the succulence of Floridian sea-foods.
-Pineapple Tofu Poke Bowl: Vegetarians aren’t forgotten, either. The Polynesian Market has this delicious take-away, but the noodles are left long and there is no pretty way to eat it with chopsticks, so you may want to hide behind a bush while you scarf this one down.
- Dark Chocolate Guinness Mousse Parfait: We’d tell you all about this delectable dessert but our eyes are rolling around in our heads and our mouths are too busy making “yummy” sounds. It’s creamy, it’s ultra-chocolate-y, and it’s got an incredible whipped cream on top with just a hint of Ireland in it. Heavenly!
We don’t want to create a stampede, but the Bingsu Vanilla Ice Cream, served in a martini glass and covered in caramel popcorn and caramel sauce is back, after taking the world by storm last year (okay, so maybe it was just the people who tried it that were taken by storm, but we’ll always argue it should be the world.)
There were a couple of dishes that just didn’t work for us (calamari should never be served with anything that tastes like spaghetti sauce, and the Deconstructed California Roll was nearly impossible to eat) but we’ve got high hopes that any little kinks will be worked out for next year.
As always, SeaWorld’s commitment to ocean conservation comes into it, and the foods used are all from sustainable sources, and include organic and regional produce, and cage-free eggs.
Don’t feel like pulling out your wallet every time you want to try a dish or a drink? Purchase a Sampling Lanyard for either 5, 8 or 15 samples, at $30, $40 and $60 respectively (£21, £28, £42). Samples run from $4-8, making the average price for a sample around $6, so the 8 Sample lanyard offers a savings, while the 15 Sample lanyard is not only the best deal, it’s easily enough for two people.
Samples aren’t small, so if you find you have a credit or two left on your lanyard, pick up one of the desserts, such as the Bread Pudding from the Gulf Coast Market or the Hawaiian Pineapple Dream Cake from the Polynesian Market, wrap it up in some napkins, and take it back to your accommodation to quell those late-night sugar cravings. Each are easily big enough to split!
Seven Seas Food Festival is mainly about the drinking and dining options, but what’s a great meal without a bit of music to go with it? Live concerts take place each Saturday and Sunday during the festival, featuring big name groups including Daughtry, Huey Lewis and the News, The Jacksons, Bachman and Turner (minus the Overdrive) and Larry the Cable Guy.
“But Larry the Cable Guy isn’t a musician,” we hear you shout. (Actually, we hear you shout, “Who’s Larry the Cable Guy?”) Larry isn’t a cable guy either. He’s a stand-up comedian best known for his motto, “Git ʼer done.” (Translation: “Get her done.” Further translation: “Put your bottle of Budweiser down, get up off of that tattered old sofa, and make happen whatever it is that needs to happen.” Sort of the redneck version of Captain Picard’s “Make it so.”) But when there is this much great food and drink, an enjoyable atmosphere, and a park full of rides and shows, we’re not going to quibble.
Seven Seas Food Festival runs on weekends from 17 February through April 15.
Have questions? We’ve got answers! Join us on Attraction Tickets Direct’s discussion forums, here: https://www.attractiontickets.com/forum
Liked this post? You may also like...