Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flights of the Kingdom: Sake Flight

I might as well rename this post "Everything I know about sake I learned in Disney World." The actual Sake flight is served at Tokyo Dining in Japan, which is located upstairs of the merchandise shop. But before we climb those stairs, let me take you through a little tour of my new favorite pavilion in Epcot.

Since I live a stone's throw from the magic, I make a point to visit every other weekend or so. And when I am going by myself, I like going to Epcot because there is always something to shop for or taste or take pictures of. One of my last solo trips I stopped in Japan because I realized I had never had a drink in Japan. I love drinking around the world, but I have my favorite drinks in Mexico and France and that's it. So this was my effort to branch out.

I approached the stand in the middle of the pavillion, which served cocktails with Sake. Hmmm...this sounds appropriate for a drink in Japan. I asked one of the girls working what she would suggest. I didn't want something too sweet, so I settle on the Green Apple Sake. It was still very sweet, compared to what I like, but I still loved the drink and I think it was a good introduction to sake for me, since I had only tried sake in sake bombs before.

I'm trying to work on my food/drink photography skills
My next encounter with the Japan pavilion was with my boyfriend, when we both took time off work for our own little Spring Break adventure. We did Animal Kingdom in the morning and went to Epcot after because I wanted to get a free picture at the Chase Visa Photo spot in Innoventions. We got to Epcot before the Visa spot was open, so we decided to do lunch at Germany.

After lunch we found ourselves wandering through the store at Japan. We made it all the way to the back where there is a little Sake Bar. My boyfriend decided he really wanted to try Sake, so we ordered a sweet, sparkling sake. Naturally we enjoyed it just outside of the shop, in my new favorite "hidden" spot in Epcot. It's in the very back of the Japan Pavilion and it looks like the entrance to a fortress with a moat and everything. It is replacing Venice in the Italy Pavilion because it is truly beautiful and most people seem to overlook it.

My boyfriend enjoying sake
While we were sipping our sparkling sake, I casually mentioned the existence of a sake flight in Japan and how I wanted to try it for my #flightsofthekingdom challenge. My boyfriend was sold in that instant.

Sake Flight:

We climbed up the stairs to find the 2 sit down restaurants in Japan. We reviewed the menus and chose Tokyo Dining to enjoy our sake flight. It was around 2-3pm, so we had no trouble being seated, but the restaurants also felt hidden from the rest of the pavilion since they were upstairs. I kind of wish the rest of World Showcase took more advantage of their space with more attractions being placed on a second story, but maybe that's not possible in the other pavilions.

This picture is misleading. I am horrible at handling chopsticks
We were seated right away and had the sweetest waiter ever. She was "earning her ears" and was super polite. As is everyone working in the Japan Pavilion. It's part of the Japanese culture to put a huge emphasis on respect and social etiquette, and it is so amazing to see it in place in Epcot of all places. Especially in comparison to say some of the younger Cast Members working attractions... If you're ever having a bad day, just order something in Japan. Believe me they will put you in a better mood!

We order the Sake flight as well as the sushi sampler. I'm not an expert on sushi or anything, but I've had enough to know, that this was the most amazing sushi I've ever had in my life! It was so fresh and so delicious. If you enjoy sushi at all, I'd highly suggest checking out Tokyo Dining on a Disney trip.

The sake was wonderful as well. If you've never encountered sake, it is like halfway between vodka and white wine, yet a little like scotch. It's a clear liquor which has many fruity notes like wine, yet can be smokier like scotch. So it's way more flavorful than vodka, but I can see it being used in place of vodka for some mixed drinks. I suggest sampling it like you would wine and definitely with something to eat.


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