REVIEW: Japan Brings Delicious Donburi and a Fresh Sushi Flower Pot at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 2020

Last updated:

Japan, one of the 11 World Showcase countries, has been a presence at the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival since the very beginning in 1996. This year, they’re treating us to two new food items.

UPDATE: On August 12th, the Japan Marketplace replaced the Tempura Donburi with the Teriyaki Chicken Bun, last seen at the 2019 festival. In the event the new item returns, we’ve included reviews of both items.

Menu for the Japan Marketplace at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Food:

  • 🆕 Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00 (REMOVED AUGUST 12TH)
  • Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed Bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables, and Teriyaki Sauce – $6.00 (ADDED AUGUST 12TH)
  • Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles and Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth – $6.25
  • 🆕 Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce – $6.75

Beverages:

  • Kirin Draft Beer (5.0% ABV) – $4.25 (6oz) and $7.00 (12oz)
  • 🆕 Strawberry Nigori Sake – $7.00
  • 🆕 Furano Martini: Vodka, Lavender Syrup and Yuzu Juice – $7.50

Both the Strawberry Nigori Sake and Furano Martini appeared at Hanami at the 2020 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Photos of Menu Items from the Japan Marketplace at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed Bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables, and Teriyaki Sauce – $6.00

Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed Bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables, and Teriyaki Sauce – $6.00
Epcot Food and Wine 2018 Japan
Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed Bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables, and Teriyaki Sauce – $6.00

Inside of this delicately-prepared bao bun is a good amount of shredded chicken tossed in a sweet teriyaki sauce. The menu description says there’re vegetables in there, but there’s far more chicken than vegetables—and that’s a good thing! There’s a lot of value here in the relatively large portion for the price, especially in EPCOT Festival terms. It’s a tasty and safe bet for this year’s festival.

*NEW* Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00

Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00

This dish gives you a big portion, with two shrimp and a vegetable cake. It’s a very good value for the price. The tempura shrimp was well prepared. The batter on them was a little thick, but that didn’t bother us.

Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00
Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00

The kakiage was great, and was much better than the what we usually get at Japanese restaurants, like a tempura sweet potato. It wasn’t greasy at all, which we liked. The rice was the same as the sushi rice, and worked really well in this dish as well.

Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice – $8.00

The only downside for less adventurous eaters was the mound of furikake, or dried seaweed shreds on top. It looks nice, but those inexperienced with Japanese cuisine may find it odd or difficult to eat. Other than that, we definitely recommend this.

Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles and Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth – $6.25

Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles and Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth – $6.25

The noodles in the ramen were overcooked and soggy because they just sit in the broth, but the broth itself was good and practically saved this dish due to its strong, umami-packed dashi taste.

Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles and Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth – $6.25

The froth was nothing to be afraid of, surprisingly enough. When you see it, it looks intimidating, but it was a nice touch to a great broth. It’s a real letdown that the noodles were so soggy, though.

*NEW* Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce – $6.75

Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce – $6.75

The chirashi was very fresh, and always gets points for presentation. The salmon is slightly marinated, and super flavorful.

Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce – $6.75

The salmon roe didn’t add much here, and we would’ve preferred that they just leave it out. It didn’t have a distinct flavor, so it merely acted as just filler for the tiny pot of fish and rice.

Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce – $6.75

The rice was prepared well. It was sticky, with just a bit of poke sauce on it.

Kirin Draft Beer (5.0% ABV) – $4.25 (6oz) $7.00 (12oz)

According to Kirin Ichiban, their beer boasts an “all malt formula using only the finest two-row barley malt. European noble hops. A distinctively rich flavor, smooth finish, no bitter aftertaste.”

Strawberry Nigori Sake – $7.00

Strawberry Nigori Sake – $7.00

The strawberry sake was awful. None of us enjoyed it. It’s just got a harsh taste that makes it hard to drink.

Furano Martini: Vodka, Lavender Syrup and Yuzu Juice – $7.50

Furano Martini: Vodka, Lavender Syrup and Yuzu Juice – $7.50

The martini was delicious. It wasn’t too sweet, but you could taste the alcohol. This was a great option from an overall impressive Marketplace.

Location of the Japan Marketplace Booth at the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

The Japan Marketplace booth is logically located adjacent to the Japan Pavilion on the World Showcase Promenade.

Will you be swimming to the new seafood items? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.