I was highly underwhelmed by the newest edition to the Universal Orlando Resort restaurant chain at the all-new “Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley”. If you are familiar with the food fare at The Three Broomsticks at “Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade”, then you know what to expect at the Leaky Cauldron – different choices, same bland, boring, overpriced grub.
The atmosphere was very authentic to the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter films. When you first enter the Leaky Cauldron, you proceed through a queue line to a series of registers. There you place your order and are given a “magic candlestick” to take to your table (where they seat you, sometimes at a table with other people). Very shortly thereafter, a server arrives with your meals. Food is served on plastic plates with plastic ware and condiments sitting in a container at your table. The only exception to this was the actual glass candle container the Chocolate Potted Cream is served in.
Entrée food was very bland with little to no seasonings used in preparation. Steamed vegetables were practically raw. Most of the food tasted like a cross between mall food court food and a typical high school cafeteria. The mint peas that are served with many of the meals as a side item were actually just slightly warm garden peas with some sprigs of mint leaves sprinkled on top. Boring.
The mini-pie combination included two VERY SMALL versions of their cottage pie and fisherman’s pie. Cottage pie was their version of shepherd’s pie, but tasted like it came from the frozen freezer section of the local Publix grocery store. Fisherman’s pie was basically a chicken pot pie with seafood rather than chicken with very small pieces of salad shrimp and tiny flakes of salmon and cod. At least it smelled a bit fishy. This meal was $12.99.
The “toad in the hole” was basically a boring flaky pastry with a sausage cooked in the center and a small splash of brown gravy on the top. Boring is the operative term here. Very bland with most of the flavor coming from the spoonful of gravy they topped it with. This meal was $8.99.
Bangers and mash was served as it typically is in most British pubs, except also very bland and boring. Again, this meal tasted like it had been pulled out of a freezer and re-heated. This meal was $11.99.
The deserts were overly-sweetened. The Cranachan ($5.99) tasted like cough syrup. The sticky toffee pudding ($6.99) was overcooked on the top to the point of being crunchy – and yes, I realize that the toffee sprinkled on top should be crunchy, but it was the pudding underneath the toffee that was crunchy, not the toffee. The chocolate potted cream ($4.99) was about the only thing in the entire meal that I somewhat enjoyed, except that the “fresh” cherry on top tasted like a highly processed maraschino cherry.
The “team members” working there were very polite, though. And, Chef Dave introduced himself to us when we were making our food selections at the register. I informed them that I am allergic to tree nuts, so they called the Chef out to tell me exactly what ingredients were in everything (as they do at all the Disney and Universal table service restaurants). He was a very likable chap and seemed very enthusiastic about their offerings. So sad.
All in all, I would not bother with this place again. As part of the whole “Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley” experience, we felt we should give this place a try. After doing so, I rather wish I had my hour of my life back… and the $60.00 this meal cost the three of us. We will not be suggesting this restaurant to any of our guests.
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