We continue from Africa.
India returns for its third year in between China and Refreshment Outpost/Germany. The Africa Marketplace is also nestled in there.
Everything returns from last year, though the rice in the curry is now branded UNCLE BEN’S. The food didn’t even go up in price.
- Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto Dips – $4.75
- Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice – $5
- Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews and Warm Naan Bread – $5.25
- Mango Lassi – $4.75 or with Sōmrus Chai Cream Liqueur for $11
- Godfather Lager – $4.50
- Sula Chenin Blanc
Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto Dips – $4.75
This resembles a miniature version of the Bread Service over at Sanaa, where you receive five breads and nine accompaniments for $17. The Pickled Ginger and Mango Chutney tasted like direct copies of Sanaa, while the Coriander Pesto “felt” a little more oily, at least in execution. The bread is probably out of a grocery store bag, but it was appropriately soft and did a nice job of transporting the delicious accompaniments. If you’re heading to Sanaa, I’d probably save the $4.75, but if you’re looking to get your fix without leaving Epcot’s borders, then it may be worth the investment. It would be nice if a little more bread was provided.
Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice – $5
I was really impressed by this one and recommend it even for those who don’t strictly eat vegetarian. The vegetables were cooked just right so there were a variety of different flavors and textures mixing in with the mildly spicy, peppery curry sauce along with some garlic and coriander. The rice was prepared well too and did a nice job of soaking up what the vegetables couldn’t. Very good and an example of what this Festival is all about.
Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews and Warm Naan Bread – $5.25
This was another flavorful, well-executed dish. Korma is relatively involved and Disney managed to hit all the high notes with a deliciously complex sauce full of garlic, curry, cardamom, nutmeg, brown sugar, and a bounty of other flavorful ingredients. There’s plenty of excess sauce for the naan, which tastes even better here than in the bread sampler. Very good.
Mango Lassi – $4.75 or with Sōmrus Chai Cream Liqueur for $11
This was an incredibly refreshing non-alcoholic drink with a creamy texture and a really bright, fruity mango flavor. The five-dollar cost is rough, but it’s par for the course here at Epcot. Unfortunately, we got caught in the rain while purchasing the version with the Sōmrus Indian Cream Liqueur and I neglected to take a picture of it given the commotion. The Liqueur is only 13% ABV, which is about a third of your standard vodka and the small amount mixed in with the drink adds a little bit of almond and cardamom to the flavor profile, in addition to making the drink considerably creamier. All in all, don’t expect to get much of a buzz for your money, but the Indian Chai Liqueur is certainly an interesting one.
Godfather Lager – $4.50
I’m pretty sure it’s the beer on the left, but it could also be the beer on the right. Someone who is now an ex-friend thought it would be hilarious to switch the beers around when I was minding my own business taking some pictures of some potstickers, so I can’t really say for sure. It’s one of those things where maybe we can all laugh about it in 10-15 years, but until then, I’ve cut all contact.
Anyway, Godfather actually hails from India and is served out of 22-ounce bottles here at the Marketplace. The tasting notes are grass, metal, and skunk with a grainy, sweet aftertaste. While I probably wouldn’t commit to a larger pour, it was fun to try a beer that I had not previously tasted for the same money as Red Stripe or a more common craft beer available elsewhere.
Sula Chenin Blanc
This is India’s first ever Chenin Blanc that pairs wonderfully with the Red Curry with its refreshing tropical flavors and light body.
Overall, India doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but the Marketplace offers three moderately-priced food items that are all very good, along with some interesting drinks. I wish the Mango Lassi was larger, but it’s delicious, and any of the alcoholic options should be a fun opportunity to try something a little different.