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REVIEW: Delicious Food But Disappointing Boba and Tokyo Banana Drinks at Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen for the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

One of the more creative kitchens you’ll find at the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen. Known for creating intriguing and delicious food and drink options, we’re excited to taste what’s new on the menu!

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Menu for Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen at the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

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Food:

  • Chirashi Sushi Tree: Sashimi-grade tuna, salmon, ikura, and yellowtail with vegetables decorated on an artistic bed of rice – $6.50
  • New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat soba noodle in a hot dashi soup with shrimp tempura, fish cake, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped green onion – $8.00
  • Mont Blanc Tart: Matcha mousse tart with a sweet red bean center sprinkled with konpeito sugar candy – $6.00

Beverages:

  • Chocolate Banana Boba: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and strawberry popping boba pearls – $5.50
  • 🆕Choya Sparkling Plum Wine: Umeshu Smooth Sparkling Wine ($19/bottle) – $8.00
  • 🆕Chocolate Tokyo Banana: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and vodka – $8.00
  • 🆕Pomegranate Draft Lager: Rice lager with hints of pomegranate and lemon – $5.00/$9.00 (6oz/12oz)

Photos of Menu Items for Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen at the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

Chirashi Sushi Tree: Sashimi-grade tuna, salmon, ikura, and yellowtail with vegetables decorated on an artistic bed of rice – $6.50

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This is one of the most highly anticipated dishes of the fest, mainly because of how adorable (and yes, Instagrammable) it is. You have short-grain rice topped with thinly sliced flecks of lettuce, then layers of fish, Masago, and ikura (fish eggs), plus strips of paper-thin cucumber, all topped with an amazing volcano and dynamite sauce.

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The whole dish is presented with short-grain sticky rice pressed to look like a Christmas tree and topped with a kawaii carrot star.

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If you like sushi, the flavors here are amazing, and it isn’t a bad price given how unique it is. Our only complaint is that the fish to rice ratio is somewhat off here. I know it’s for presentation, but you inevitably end up with more rice than fish… although the sticky rice is delicious on its own.

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If we had to choose between this or the soba, we’d be hard-pressed to pick just one. With the soba, you’re getting slightly more food for your money, but it’s hard to pass up a cute dish like this. Our take is, just get both.

New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat soba noodle in a hot dashi soup with shrimp tempura, fish cake, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped green onion – $8.00

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This was a large serving. The broth is salty and has a good miso flavor. There are plenty of noodles, which taste as expected — if you’ve never had soba at any of the festivals (or at a Japanese restaurant), they’re made with buckwheat, giving them an earthy, hearty flavor compared to most other noodles. There’s also a nice-sized piece of shrimp tempura right in the middle.

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The only other accompaniments are two large pieces of fish cake, which is a traditional ramen topping, and some green onions. We wish there were a little more, like carrots or mushrooms. It wasn’t bad, though, and we would have it again if we were in the mood for a hot soup.

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Mont Blanc Tart: Matcha mousse tart with a sweet red bean center sprinkled with konpeito sugar candy – $6.00

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This is quite good. The sweet bean paste is a good match for the soft matcha flavor.

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This is a winning combination.

*NEW* Chocolate Banana Boba: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and strawberry popping boba pearls – $5.50

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This has strawberry boba and a strong artificial banana flavor.

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The chocolate flavor is also too strong. We wouldn’t recommend this.

*NEW* Choya Sparkling Plum Wine: Umeshu Smooth Sparkling Wine – $8.00

Drizly describes this plum wine as “the perfect balance of sparkling wine and tart Japanese ume, with backnotes of citrus and white peach.”

*NEW* Chocolate Tokyo Banana: Cocoa, Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and vodka – $8.00

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This has the same artificial banana flavor as the boba.

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It was unpleasant and the total opposite of the lovely treat from Japan.

*NEW* Pomegranate Draft Lager: Rice lager with hints of pomegranate and lemon – $5.00

Location of Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen at the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen is located adjacent to the Japan pavilion on the World Showcase Promenade. You can find it at number 12 on the map below.

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Which was your favorite new beverage this year? Sound off in the comments below.