Review: The Cathay Circle Restaurant

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I’d love to say that I am an expert foodie or a great food reviewer but I can’t make that claim.  I do know though when I put something in my mouth and my taste buds say “thank you!”  That’s exactly what happened at the Carthay Circle Restaurant.

We hadn’t been to Disneyland or California Adventure as a family since 2004 so we knew that there were many new things for us to experience.  My daughter was excited to eat at the Cathay Circle Restaurant after a school project included the original Cathay Circle Theater where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was released and she had used the theater itself as part of her display.  We decided to make it part of a post 8th grade graduation celebration and the World of Color dinner package so that we could finish off our first night in California with this amazing show.

The inside of the restaurant is beautiful from the lobby up the stairs to the dining room.  Rich looking woods, crystal and lots of old Hollywood photos give it a look of elegance.  Our table was out on the terrace and we had such beautiful weather that it was really nice to be able to eat outdoors.

Because we were dining with the World of Color package, we did have a fixed menu but we were advised by our server, Jennifer, that we could add any additional items from the main menu that we’d like.  We added the biscuits stuffed with white cheddar, bacon and jalapeno with apricot honey butter which are a specialty of the restaurant.  They were delicious on their own without the apricot honey butter so we ate some with and some without.

To make it fun (and to try more items on the menu), we ordered different entrees.  An appetizer was included with our package so we were able to try the seasonal soup as well as the Cathay Circle Salad which had Jicama, Cucumber, Cilantro and Orange White Balsamic Vinaigrette.  It was delicious although Cilantro can be a strong taste.  I couldn’t wait to try our main entrees.

We ordered the Sauteed Short Rib Ravioli, the Prime Rib and Salmon.  The final entree was a Risotto dish.  Each dish came to the table beautifully plated and everything smelled delicious.  As discreetly as possible, we all tried one another’s dishes and everyone knows not to touch their food until I’ve taken a photo!  You’ll see our choices in the gallery after the blog.  The Prime Rib was cooked perfectly as was the Risotto.  My daughter who ordered the ravioli really enjoyed them but found them too rich for her and so she and I swapped our dishes.  The sauces that went with each dish was the kind of sauce that you wanted to keep eating – you know them.  If no one is looking, you might just wipe the plate with your finger!  The main entrees did not include any sides and we do like our vegetables so we ordered a dish of roasted broccoli with brown butter.  I could have eaten an entire meal of just that side dish.  It was amazing!  I’m still trying to figure out how to make it at home.

Normally, we don’t order dessert but we had bypassed lunch that day knowing that our dinner would include dessert this evening and we wanted to enjoy everything that was offered.  We were given a choice between a lemon pound cake with blueberries dessert and a chocolate layer cake option.  It was a split decision with two of us ordering the lemon and two of us ordering the chocolate and all of us declaring them delicious.  The lemon pound cake was very light while the chocolate was a much more rich and sweet dessert.  You’d have to decide for yourself which you like better!

We were offered the option of French press coffee which I did take in decaffeinated and my girls asked for and received hot chocolate with their desserts.  Our server Jennifer, prepared the coffee for me which was great because I had never used a French press before and wasn’t quite sure what to do.

While we finished dessert and all throughout the meal, we were able to hear the sounds of the park below.  The cable car came by, the people on the street were laughing and having fun and we even were able to hear Five & Dime, the jazz band, come around twice during the meal so it was almost like having a dinner show.  We wouldn’t have had that experience inside so we did like the terrace option for that reason.

At the end of the meal, we were given our Fast Pass tickets for seating at the World of Color show and we even had the option of choosing the earlier or the later show.  It was a big splurge for us since we are often very budget conscience but we all felt like the dinner was an amazing way to start our trip and celebrate our daughter’s completion of elementary school.  Enjoy the pictures from the restaurant and add your comments if you’d enjoyed the Cathay Circle Restaurant too!


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