South Korea

South Korea returns in the same spot as the last couple of years in between China and Africa.

South Korea Marketplace Epcot Food Wine Festival 2016

The Korean-style BBQ Beef is new and the Soju Fruit Slushy returns after a one year hiatus after last year’s abomination of a banana drink.

Korean-style BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi – $5.25

Korean BBQ Beef South Korea Epcot Food Wine Festival

Last year, a couple bites of tough meat were served alongside the same accompaniments. This year’s portion is more substantial with the sweet, spicy beef arriving shredded underneath what is just sliced cucumber with vinegar and on top of basic steamed rice. The flavors here are relatively straightforward, but the portion is decent and easily shareable. A pretty average, safe bet overall and much better than last year’s Bulgogi Barbecue Short Rib.

Taste: 5/10

Value: 5/10

Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap and Kimchi – $4

Roasted Pork Lettucve Wrap South Korea Epcot 2016

A returning favorite, pictured is this year’s version, which is mostly identical to the last couple of years.

Epcot South Korea Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap Food Wine Festival

Last year’s picture might offer a better look when it was topped with more red onion. The Wrap is otherwise a considerable amount of food that is difficult to eat without a fork. The flavor is more mild than you might expect from kimchi, which is typically much more pungent than what Disney is serving here. Overall, the saltiness of the pork mixed in with the creamy, refreshing sauce and a bit of spice from the fermented vegetables. Very good and more accessible than you might expect given the ingredients.

Taste: 7/10

Value: 7/10

Vegan Korean BBQ with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi featuring Gardein Beefless Tips – $4.75

Vegan Korean BBQ South Korea Epcot Food Wine Festival

Last year I said that, “I actually preferred the vegan version (of the BBQ), which had a similar flavor to the beef and was considerably easier to eat. Don’t tell anyone I preferred the meatless version as I think it will affect my rep.”

This year did not go anywhere near as well. The Beefless Tips were soft and mushy with an offputting soy flavor in a thin, watery sauce. The Toms both commented that it “tasted like dog food.” How they know that I couldn’t tell you. I’m not sure if there was a problem with the preparation or if they’re always going to be this bad considering last year’s were a surprise. Obviously if you are vegan then you have limited options and may want to give this a try, but I don’t think there’s much here to warrant meat eaters give it a try. The beef is a lot better.

Vegan Beefless Tips South Korea Epcot

This is what was served last year – the beefless had a firmer texture.

iCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew – $4 

I forgot to take a picture of the iCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew, which is poured from the can into a cup. It has a nice sweetness that eliminates the tartness of the fruit. It’s interesting to try, but not a particularly good value.

Bohae Bokbunjajoo Raspberry Wine – $4.50

Myungjak Bokbunja Raspberry Wine Epcot Food Wine Festival South Korea

Myungjak Bokbunja Raspberry Wine is sweet up front and tart on the back end, not unlike raspberries. There’s also a heavy artificial sweetener presence. It’s worth a taste if you’re looking for something a little out there, but it’s not a great wine or a great value.

Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju – $9.50

Soju Fruit Slushy Epcot Food Wine Festival South Korea

The now-$9.50 Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju tastes as orange-y as it looks with virtually no flavor from the alcohol. It’s extremely refreshing, particularly in the afternoon, which is still going to be hot through the end of October. It’s a good value if you’re looking for a refreshing frozen cocktail, but these aren’t going to get you smashed.


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