Review: Poke Bowl at Urban Pantry Aventura Hotel Universal Orlando


During a recent trip to Universal Orlando, I stayed at Aventura hotel. If you know me, that should be no surprise. I really enjoy the Urban Pantry food court there. Several new items appeared on the menu there in late April. For example, the Wok/Sushi station started serving a “Poke Bowl.” I decided to order this for lunch during an afternoon theme park break.

Before I give you the dining review, I need to make fun of Universal Orlando for a few sentences. During my stay at Aventura, the in-room tablet failed to provide the updated menu at Urban Pantry. I chatted with guest services about this. They handled it casually. What I mean by casually, they did nothing. As of time of writing this review over 30 days after discussing problem with guest services three times, the online menu still does not reflect addition of several new menu items. The moral of the story involves keeping proper doubt about online menus when planning your dining at Universal Orlando. This issue compels me to keep writing articles about menu changes at Universal Orlando menus.

On this afternoon in April, I ordered the “Poke Bowl.” In my opinion, the service shows a lack of speed. The team member taking my order earned a #UOFistBump due to her excellent customer service. However, I paid for my order at 1:31pm. There was one order in front of me. My order was ready at 1:48pm. The lack of speed at this wok/sushi station fits a pattern in late April. In previous trips, the wok/sushi station could be slow but that was due to backup of order. Sadly, in this case, that reasoning fails to work.

So how was the meal? Well, the presentation for this bowl rates as excellent. The “Poke Bowl” cost me $12 before any discounts. The menu board description for this item reads “carrots, cucumbers, edamame, avocado, scallion, wakame, and spicy mayo.” Guests select between tuna or salmon for this menu item. The salmon portion size was excellent for a $12 theme park menu item of this type. The ingredients provided tasted great and fresh. The ingredients come fairly separated. This offered me the chance to taste each individually. All were fresh and of excellent quality.

Be aware, the spicy mayo brings some legitimate kick, especially for theme park level spice. I chose to mix the spicy mayo with all the ingredients. The spice and flavorings work well together. After eating some of it, I decided to add some soy sauce. That choice brought an additional positive taste to this bowl. In fairness, the danger of adding soy sauce directly to bowl could lead to a soupy look at bottom of bowl.

This bowl makes a solid light meal with legitimate nutrition. The appearance, taste, and texture offer great value. If you have any interest in a tuna or salmon poke bowl, this option will satisfy that desire. Even with the failure by Universal Orlando guest services, this food court continues to shine.

As always, eat like you mean it!

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.