REVIEW: The Noodle Exchange at the 2023 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
As any foodie will attest, the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is The Place to Be this summer!
This year, the festival kicked off on July 27th, with an impressive, mouth-watering line-up of marketplace booths open for guests to enjoy. From homestyle comfort treats to the best in international fare – not to mention that weird pickle milkshake – there’s so much to taste and savor at EPCOT right now.
However, you know what would make the fest just a little bit better? Noodles!
Oodles of noodles, in fact!
Yep, today we’re over at the Noodle Exchange marketplace booth, which is one of a handful of latecomer kiosks to join the festival line-up today, on August 15th.
Located between the Odyssey pavilion and Disney Traders, this cute stop is sure to be a hit among fans of Asian fare, with a great array of noodle varieties available to try.
So, without further ado, let’s go check out that menu!
There are four main dishes available to guests here, as well as two unique beers to order for 21+ guests.
The first noodle dish is Ramen with Shaved Beef, with Shiitake Mushrooms, Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish, Shaved Peppers and a Soy Egg, in a Citrus-Sesame Broth for $6.
Last year, this shaved beef option was a pho instead, and according to MickeyBlogger Madison (who tried both dishes), this was far better as pho. There was way more flavor complexity and balance in the old dish.
But, it’s not all bad — the shaved beef is still tender and it’s not overly fatty either which is great. The hard boiled egg adds a nice richness in the dish, the veggies stayed crisp and flavorful, and the noodles also remained al-dente.
The problem lies with the broth — Madison says that on her first sip it tasted like just straight soy sauce, which was very salty (have a drink on standby!). There might be a few other flavors subtly happening, but they’re very hard to notice.
If you can get past the broth (or maybe even see if they’ll use one of the other broths available here if possible, since they ladle it into the bowl right before they hand it to you), it’s still a decently tasty dish when you combine everything together. We just wish they’d bring back that pho broth!
Then, there’s a Thai Shrimp with Rice Noodles, with Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil in a Coconut-Curry Broth for $6.50
The third dish is plant-based, consisting of Ramen with Tofu, as well as Shiitake Mushrooms, Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish, Shaved Peppers and Baby Bok Choy in a Citrus-Sesame Broth for $5.75.
We also tried the fourth dish on the menu — the Impossible Pork Udon!
This has Shiitake Mushrooms, Pickled Carrots, and Daikon Radish, Baby Bok Choy and a Soy Egg in Savory Chicken Broth for $5.75.
So, yes, while this does contain Impossible Pork, it isn’t actually a plant-based dish. That’s chicken stock, and an egg.
We’d like to point this one out to guests who are maybe looking for something that isn’t meat, without limiting themselves to strictly vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based options!
Our reporters noted that this was a very hot dish – most likely something that would be better suited for a cold winter’s day, rather than a hot Orlando summer afternoon!
Unfortunately, these noodles weren’t the biggest hit at MickeyBlog, with the Impossible Pork giving a strangely beef-like texture, with a lot of salt and a greasy aftertaste from the broth. It’s a shame, but we do still appreciate seeing more Impossible “meat” substitutes at the festivals!
Moving on to the drinks, we tried the new Strawberry Mochi Berliner Weisse from Parish Brewing for $5.50 for a 6 oz. or $9.50 for a 12 oz. This was delicious!
There’s a lot going on here, but it all works together — you get that fresh strawberry taste and the sweetness of the Mochi to round it out. You also have a slight malt flavor from the beer itself on the back end that paired really well with everything else.
It wasn’t too sweet at all, it was refreshing and MickeyBlogger Madison said she would definitely get it again. However, she did say that she’d choose the 6 oz. over the 12 oz. because a full pour of this beer might be a bit too much — the 6 oz. is just right!
There’s also a Pacific Rim Solstice Vineyard Old Vine Riesling available at the booth for $8.
If you want some noodles, be sure to swing by the Noodle Exchange at the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival during your next visit. There’s lots to choose from, so enjoy!