Hanami is based in the Japan pavilion at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

Hanami Review – Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

The Hanami outdoor kitchen returns to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival this year.  It sits right along World Showcase Lagoon across the walkway from the Japan pavilion.  Here in our Hanami review, we’ll talk about the food and if we think it is worth the price.  We’ll have pictures of everything too.

There are three food items on the Hanami menu.  They are as follows:

  • Frushi: Strawberry, Pineapple and Cantaloupe wrapped in Sweet Rice and Pink Soy Wrap served with Whipped Cream, Drizzled Berry Sauce and Toasted Coconut (KA)
  • Menchi Katsu Slider: Japanese-style Panko-breaded Beef Patty topped with Tonkatsu Sauce, Mayonnaise, Cucumber, and Pickled Lotus Root
  • Salmon Flower Ikura: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, Spinach and Watermelon Radish, and Chilled Ramen tossed with Poke Sauce

This is one of a few Flower & Garden outdoor kitchens that doesn’t have a non-alcoholic drink on the menu.  If you’re looking for a kid-friendly drink, you can walk towards the France pavilion to Florida Fresh for the watermelon cucumber slushy that we love.  You can find the drinks on the menu pictured above.  We have a post if you are interested in the outdoor kitchen menus at the Flower & Garden Festival.  We should also mention that we have a Guide to the 2020 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

Let’s look at the food at Hanami.

Frushi: Strawberry, Pineapple, and Cantaloupe wrapped in Sweet Rice and Pink Soy Wrap served with Whipped Cream, Drizzled Berry Sauce, and Toasted Coconut — $6.00

The Frushi is something that Elsa was excited to try.  For a kid, she’s a huge fan of sushi.  A dish that is a variant of a favorite food of hers was too cool.  I don’t think she understood there was no fish in the roll because she was disappointed when we got the plate.  She did end up enjoying this dish, but not as much as she was hoping.  As a big fan of fruit, her sister loved the Frushi.

From my perspective, the fruit combination in the roll was sweet and tasty.  I didn’t particularly care for the whipped cream because it stacked sweet on sweet.  It also didn’t add any interesting flavor to the Frushi.  Also, the toasted coconut was barely noticeable because of the small amount they placed on top of the whipped cream.

While the taste was fairly good, my biggest issue is the price.  $6 for what equates to nine small cubes of fruit and a little bit of rice is ridiculous.  You may as well save your money here and get real sushi at home.  The comparison is even starker when you compare it to the other two items on the menu.

Menchi Katsu Slider: Japanese-style Panko-breaded Beef Patty topped with Tonkatsu Sauce, Mayonnaise, Cucumber, and Pickled Lotus Root – $6.00

This slider has a unique preparation because the beef is coated in a panko breading.  I’m not a big fan of fried food with breading, so take what I have to say with that grain of salt.  I didn’t care for the breading and fried preparation of the beef.  Beyond that, I didn’t notice any discernable flavor in either the breading or the beef.  However, the tonkatsu sauce was delicious and helped cover some of the flavor issues in the slider.  Unfortunately, there was so much tonkatsu sauce on the slider that it pooled in the bottom of my plate, which made the bottom bun soggy.  That was unfortunate because the bun is excellent, with its light and airy feel.  Overall, if you like fried foods and can get a bun that isn’t soggy, this may be something you will enjoy.  It just wasn’t for me.

Anna and Elsa didn’t like the slider either, however they loved eating the part of the bread that wasn’t soggy.  The texture of the beef breading wasn’t for them.

From a value perspective, this is a pretty good item.  The slider is bigger than what I consider a typical size.  It’s slightly bigger than a baseball, which is a healthy portion.  Beyond the size, the meat component is substantial.  This isn’t a slider mostly composed of bread.

Salmon Flower Ikura: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, Spinach, Watermelon Radish, and Chilled Ramen tossed with Poke Sauce – $8.25

The presentation of the salmon is exquisite.  You’ll find two pieces of well-prepared salmon wrapped together to simulate the look of a flower.  The salmon is topped by roe and sits on a bed of chilled ramen.  It is all contained within a serving dish that looks like a flower pot.  It may be the most interesting plating of any item at the festival.

As for the flavor if the dish, it was delicious!   I could eat a few of these in one meal.  The chilled ramen is coated in a poke sauce that adds an excellent flavor to the ramen but also compliments the salmon well.  Elsa loved the salmon and was pleased to get some fish after the disappointment of the Frushi.

You’ll find that the two pieces of salmon are not little cubes.  They are actually sizable slices that will yield four to six bites or salmon, depending on how big your bite is.  That portion makes us feel like this is an excellent value.

Drinks at Hanami

Beyond the food we had, you will find a mix of alcoholic drinks at Hanami.  They are as follows:

  • Kirin Draft Beer
  • Strawberry Nigori Sake
  • Furano Martini: Vodka, Lavender Syrup, and Yuzu Juice

Wrapping Up Our Hanami Review

Hanami features several interesting food options.  It’s an outdoor kitchen that probably has at least one item for everyone unless you are looking for a fun kid appropriate drink.  While I particularly enjoyed the salmon, there will be plenty of people that love the slider and Frushi.  We think it is worth your time to stop by Hanami and sample their offerings.

If you are interested in more of our Epcot Flower & Garden Festival outdoor kitchen reviews, we’ll link to them down here as we finish them!  We hope you enjoy the food and the reviews!


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