We continue on from Hops & Barley in this post.
Japan returns waterside across from the rest of the Pavilion.
The Teriyaki Chicken Bun and Beef Nigiri are all-new food items, while the Kirin Ichiban Lager returns after a year’s hiatus and the Spicy Roll is back after being left out each of the last two years. The Sake and Fuji Apple Cocktail should be familiar, but they’re new offerings as well.
- Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce – $5.50
- Beef Nigiri topped with Shrimp Sauce and Diced Pickled Jalapeños – $5.95
- Spicy Roll: Tuna and Salmon topped with Volcano Sauce – $5.75
- Kirin Ichiban Lager – $4.25
- Ozeki Rai Sake – $8
- Fuji Apple Cocktail: Sake, Peach Schnapps, and Green Apple Syrup – $8.50
Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce – $5.50
That’s the plump baozi in the back behind the other two food items with the Fuji Cocktail to its left.
The bun is soft and fluffy and in a departure from past offerings, not so thick that it overwhelms what is a sizable filling of chicken and vegetables slathered in a sweet teriyaki sauce. My personal tastes tend towards the spicy, but this is a quality offering and comes recommended.
Beef Nigiri topped with Shrimp Sauce and Diced Pickled Jalapeños – $5.95
This one struck me as a bit odd – you’ve basically got two thin slices of fatty roast beef in between your standard sushi rice and lot of creamy, fishy shrimp sauce that’s topped with mostly-flavorless specks of pepper. It’s a strange mixture of flavors as the sauce exacerbates the slimy texture of the beef and the rice is just sort of there making everything mushier. I don’t think it works, but your tastes may vary.
Spicy Roll: Tuna and Salmon topped with Volcano Sauce – $5.75
Served whole, the Spicy Roll returns as a Hand Roll with the seaweed on one end serving as the holder. As someone that likes to share the majority of the Festival dishes, the presentation can make things a little awkward to pass around and I would have liked to have seen it cut cleanly into four or five pieces. You can do this yourself, of course, but it’s a little tricky to make a clean cut through rice with a plastic knife.
Anyway, the quality is similar to what you’d ordinarily find at Katsura Grill and the portion is a lot larger than what’s offered at nearby Kabuki Cafe for similar money. The sauce provides a bit of spice and the rice does a good job of trapping the fresh fish inside as you pick the roll up to tear off a bite. Overall, it’s a pretty average entry, but if you’re craving sushi, it’s an accessible option.
Kirin Ichiban Lager – $4.25
Kirin tastes better on draft at Epcot than it does in a can at home, but there are still better selections all around, including the Ginga Kogen at the Mitsukoshi Department Store Sake Bar and the draft choices at Block & Hans or Hops & Barley back in the American Adventure.
Ozeki Rai Sake – $8
This is a straightforward sake that tastes largely of rubbing alcohol backed up with a little bit of sweet caramel. I’d head inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store or stop by Garden House inside the Pavilion for better options.
Fuji Apple Cocktail: Sake, Peach Schnapps, and Green Apple Syrup – $8.50
The syrup overwhelms this radioactive-looking drink to the point where it tastes largely of Green Apple Jolly Ranchers candy that’s somehow sweetened up with even more sugar. The alcohol content is assuredly low and the fact that there’s no ice involved means the drink will quickly warm up, making it even more gross. An easy skip.
Overall, the Teriyaki Chicken Bun is a great value this year and you might consider adding a Spicy Roll while you’re here. None of the beverages impress.
Morocco is up next with the review here.