I mean….where did you *think* I was going first??
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts opened this past Friday, January 18th. I missed the first day due to an unexpected (and really long) visit to the Apple Store to deal with a broken phone, so the kids were good enough to brave the crowds there with me on Saturday to get the overall scoop – which you’ll find here – and try a few things. The first of which was, of course, Japan’s Takumi (or “artisan”) Table.
Takumi Table blew it out of the water last year – so the bar was set high going in.
And like last year, they offer only two food items – one savory, and one sweet.
- Taiyaki: Fish-shaped Japanese Sweet Stuffed Pastry with Red Bean Paste and topped with Whipped Cream and Sesame Custard ($5.50)
Taiyaki is a lovely little fish shaped cake typically filled (as here) with sweetened adzuki bean paste. It is thought to have originated in Tokyo during the Meiji era (1868-1912), but now you can find it all over Japan. Takumi Table offered this last year, too, but it’s done much better this time around. The cake is soft and warm and the sweet red bean paste is mild and textured. And interestingly, while still described as served with sesame paste – which was the element last year that was completely overwheming to me – mine was served with a dollop of what simply tasted like thick vanilla pudding. No complaints at all here. This was warm and mildly sweet and really just a lovely little thing that looked at home at the arts festival.
- Sushi Donut: Donut-shaped Sushi featuring Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Avocado and Masago accented with Citrus-soy Gelée and Wasabi on the side ($7.50)
HOLY MOTHER OF TRENDY FOOD MASHUPS.
Go. Get this. I’ll wait. Then you can eat it while you read about it.
While the shape is cute – and it’s a blast to watch the chefs at this booth prepare them in front of your eyes…
At the end of the day this is just really good sushi in the shape of a donut. The rice is made perfectly and the surface is covered with fresh tuna, salmon, cucumber, shrimp, seaweed, and sesame seeds. (Which is a bit different from the description but I haven’t heard anyone complaining.) I could easily eat a half dozen of them. You’re going to need to bring your patience here – especially on crowded festival days and nights, as these are being purchased quicker than the chefs can make them (and each is handmade to order in front of your eyes) but they are worth the wait. I will be getting this at every opportunity between now and the last day of the Festival.
- Melting Snow Cocktail: Sake, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, and Japanese Calpico ($7.50)
Like last year, you can get yourself a sake at Takumi Table served up in a personalized wooden box – but this year you can also get this and it is lovely and tastes as smooth and delicious as it is pink and pretty. It’s like cherry blossoms in a champagne glass. Don’t miss it. It’s perfect to wash down your sushi donut and taiyaki.
I don’t need to tell you that I’ll be back.
But for now? Takumi Table: Check.