You can find the Hanami kitchen outside the Japan pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. You can find three food items here – two savory and one a little sweet.
- Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (vegetarian, kid friendly) ($5.95)
Oy with the frushi already. We get it, Epcot. It’s cute and colorful and tastes pretty good. Let’s move on.
Don’t get me wrong. Frushi doesn’t taste bad – even if the squirt of whipped cream on the plate is kind of tacky. The coconut really comes through this year and so it tastes a bit like the sticky rice with coconut milk in mango that I’m obsessed with at Thai restaurants. If it was on a platter at a party, I’d each a bunch of it. But it’s nothing earth shattering and I’ve seen it so many times at this point that I’m ready to move on.
- Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Pan-seared Tuna and Wasabi Dressing ($6.50)
If I was going to get one food item at this booth, this would be it. The soba are light and refreshing and the tuna is done perfectly. It’s also lovely. If and when I’m back at Japan’s Hanami kitchen, it will be for this.
- Karaage with Nanban Sauce: Japanese-style Fried Chicken served on a bed of Shredded Cabbage and topped with a Soy and Vinegar-based Dressing (kid friendly) ($6.25)
Chicken karaage is usually leg meat marinated in soy and sake before frying. This is a good crisp fry and the sauce is tangy and not heavy at all. If you’re craving some decent little fried chicken nuggets or want to feel your child something they’ll eat while still feeling like you’re exposing them to some Epcot-style culture, have at it.
- Sayuri “Little Lilly” Nigori Sake ($7.50)
This is a wonderful, smooth, unfiltered sake that’s not at all sweet. And it’s served in a sweet little flower-esque cup. I’ll be back for more.
When can we do this again?
But for now?