To Chef's Table, or not to Chef's Table, that is the question

As day 180 is fast approaching, I have to finally decide if I want to try for a reservation at the V&A Chef’s Table. I have re-read every Forum post that mentions Chef’s Table - many thanks to folks like @bswan26, @keithlovesbeerandwaf, @davidjjenkins1961, and @mousematt (or rather “inactiveprofile”) who have posted lots of info about V&A and the Chef’s Table experience! It seems absolutely lovely, nevertheless I am still of two minds as to whether to go for it.

First a little bit of background. I would not describe DW or myself as “foodies”, namely because I absolutely detest the term and want to beat people who use it to death with a stale baguette. That being said, we both have worked in restaurants and are good scratch cooks (I have a Sous Vide, and I am not afraid to use it), so we deeply appreciate well prepared, well served food. However, lately we have been generally disappointed with fine dining experiences, often feeling that we could have prepared a much better meal ourselves and paired it with a far superior wine for a fraction of the cost.

On the other hand, a meal like at the Chef’s Table (or the Victoria Dining Room which would be my back-up reservation) is an experience - we may be able to make something that would rival each of the courses, but we would not be able to attempt all of them for a single sitting. And still enjoy the meal. And still be married. :smiley:

On the other hand, we have had this sort of dining experience before - our “standard of excellence” is a multi-course fixed menu meal with paired wine that we had in Auxerre, France. My schoolboy French failed me when trying to translate the menu, but I am pretty sure that we had things that we would NEVER consider eating. I have fond memories of “the cheese guy” who spoke to us at length about our cheese preferences and the cheeses he had that day, chose them for us, and then told us what order we must eat them in (and watched us eat them to make sure).

On the other hand, rave reviews! Great photos!

On the other hand, numerous disappointing Disney dining experiences. I’m looking at you, Chefs de France…

Like Tevye, I am running out of hands (kudos to the theatre geeks who get the reference). Help me Liner friends, you’re my only hope!

2 Likes

Is the question Chef’s Table v. Victoria’s Room, or whether to go to Victoria & Albert’s at all? If it’s the former, I believe the price difference is quite small if that is your consideration. We dined in Victoria’s Room and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it is dependent on the other guests in the room with you though. It is a small, intimate room with only 4 tables. Unless you are making a very deliberate effort not to be, you will be heard by the other diners. And as the wine flows, everyone does tend to get louder. We ended up having a great conversation with one of the other couples there. The other two couples kept to themselves. Who knows, they could have been quite annoyed and felt like the four of us were ruining their meal. I wasn’t thinking about that at the time though (again, wine flowing…). I wouldn’t hesitate to book it again though. Had the Chef’s Table been open, that would have been my choice.

1 Like

Whether to go at all - as you mention, the price difference is small ($15pp).

Good to know - I wasn’t aware of the size of the room. However, that wouldn’t affect me one way or the other, as I will bring my stale baguette with me and pummel any loudmouths into submission. :wink:

4 Likes

Have you ever heard anyone regret going? I don’t believe I have.

To be honest, no. I have heard people regret choosing certain upsales there, but not the overall experience. I guess I am in @mousematt mode and am over analyzing everything. :rofl:

I remember @mousematt not liking the upsale beef…I loved it!! I think my portion was smaller though. There were four different beefs on the plate.

And speaking of upsales…the truffle tagliatelle is amazing!! I passed and my husband got it. That was my regret of the meal!

I’m chiming in here, partly because I want to remember to read people’s thoughts and partly because I want to borrow your stale foodie beating baguette and also because I appreciate your Fiddler joke.
I spend more time worrying about my dinning experiences than my fast passes for my trips, so I understand where you’re coming from. I have not eaten at V&A…the closest I’ve come is dining at Citricos during Highway in the Sky. However, the level of service over there is outstanding, I spent time speaking with the manager of Citricos/V&A and the chef of Citricos and they truly care about what they’re doing. I think the elevated level of service alone helps in those situations. If something isn’t up to your standards, they’ll make sure they make it right.

1 Like

ahh Tevye…I get it. I have never been, but would love to try it…problem is I would probably not still be married afterwards. I’d be singing “do you love me” and would probably get a nope

2 Likes

At my Chef’s table the Japanese Wagu was a 2 oz. add-on, and was paired with the (larger) Australian Wagu course. It was beyond amazing. But I could see how a 6 oz Japanese Wagu steak might be a bit of over-kill (kind of like eating half a stick of butter with a fork).

2 Likes

It’s way easier to get the reservation and then cancel vs the alternative…though of course that’s assuming you get the toughest reservation on property.

I have also been annoyed at Chefs de France…
Book it. If you have to cancel later, so be it. But, at least have it in your pocket.

I have zero regrets from doing it. It wasn’t just a meal, it was an entertaining dining experience. From the food, the service, the remarkable chefs who answered every question we had as if we were their focus and not the food they were trying to get out, to the patience of everyone as we took a 45 minute break to watch the fireworks, it was incredible, and I will be back (albeit in several years when I am ready to sell more body parts on the black market).

I agree, I could probably make a decent attempt at most dishes spread out over a lifetime, but I’m not making them all in one night. But, I didn’t have to make them, I just had to savor every last tasty bite.

2 Likes

Don’t even mention Les Chefs in a discussion of V&A; it’s like comparing Ruth’s Chris to Longhorn… Monsieur Paul is excellent - and may well be second only to V&A in WDW - but Les Chefs is vastly inferior.

2 Likes

The most deliciously rich beef butter.

I would not dare to compare! :scream:

It’s just that CdF is a useful illustration of WDW’s ability (at least in terms of dining) to fail to live up to its potential. Great location, on-point themeing, fail on actual product. From all I have read V&A and the Chef’s Table do not miss the mark here and are of a similar (or greater) standard to other establishments at the same price point, but fool me once…

This is my current plan (and also try for the Victoria Room as a backup). Get it (hopefully) now, and delay the decision. :slight_smile:

1 Like

There’s something wrong with me…that sentence actually made my mouth water. …and now I will spend the rest of the day deciding when I can do a trip that includes V&A

4 Likes

The new signature that just opened in Japan has Japanese Wagu on the menu; that might another option…

1 Like

OK. we have liftoff! At 6:00 this morning I booked a backup reservation in the Queen Victoria Room, and then at 10:00 I snagged the Chef’s Table. Despite all my trepidation I’m pretty excited about this - thanks to everyone who helped me make up my mind! And as @keithlovesbeerandwaf reminded me, I am now in control of the situation and can always cancel.

BTW, DW does not know about this, and will not until we get there. All I’m going to tell her is the dress code. :smiley:

7 Likes