When it comes to picking a place to eat at Walt Disney World in Orlando, you have plenty of choices! From African to Polynesian, quick service to sit down, nearly every cuisine is represented at the resort’s 140+ restaurants found in the theme parks, hotels and Disney Springs.
The most varied selection of eateries exists at Epcot, where the park’s World Showcase hosts 11 countries each with a restaurant where diners can experience that country’s food, drink, and culture.
The Japan pavilion is run by the Mitsukoshi company of Japan which was founded way back in 1673. Inside the pavilion, visitors will find a first-floor shop featuring Japanese candy, clothing, jewelry and novelty items. On the second floor the company operates two restaurants: Teppan Edo, a popular hibachi spot, and Tokyo Dining which serves up sushi, steaks, fish and “traditional Japanese cuisine.”
Today, I’m talking about the latter. We had an 8:50 pm reservation on a Saturday night. We arrived on time, checked in and were taken to our table within about five minutes. I was thinking with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival underway, restaurants at Epcot would be slow with most people choosing to eat at the many festival booths around the World Showcase.
I was wrong. Both Japanese restaurants were busy with many people waiting for tables.
While billed as having “traditional Japanese cuisine,” the menu is pretty “Americanized.” Appetizers consisted of edamame, calamari, soup, salad, and sushi. Entrees included chicken, rack of lamb, cod, filet mignon, different tempuras, and noodle bowls.
After enjoying a Japanese beer and a specialty cocktail, we ordered our dinner.
We both started off with a bowl of the Seafood Yuzu Shio Ramen (ramen noodles with grilled shrimp in a yuzu seafood broth – $9). It had two grilled shrimp and a few small clams. The shrimp were a bit on the tough side and the clams were gritty. The ramen and broth were as good as one can expect.
Next up was the Chicken Karaage (marinated crispy chicken breast with onion sauce – $9.50). The breading was light and it was crisp, however, the chicken was dry and not juicy. Despite that, it did have good flavor. The onion sauce was basically non-existent with just a dollop here and there – not nearly enough to add additional flavor or zest to the appetizer.
For our main courses, I went the sushi route and ordered the Fire Cracker Roll (tempura shrimp roll with wakame salad and jalapeno finished with eel sauce, shredded red pepper, and a sriracha drizzle – $16). Everything about this roll was great. From the portion size to the flavor and the added kick the sriracha gave it, it was a winner!
I wish I could say the same about my husband’s choice. He went with our server’s recommendation – the Bento Box which consisted of teriyaki chicken, tempura shrimp and vegetables, strip steak, sushi, and a tuna and salmon tataki salad.
The chicken teriyaki was rubbery, had no flavor – even with the sauce. I’ve had better chicken on a fast-food grilled chicken sandwich than what was served here. The shrimp and vegetable tempura was good, the steak (cooked medium) was tough and was also a miss. The sushi assortment was the best part of this entrée.
Tokyo Dining, in my opinion, is a good option for sushi and a few drinks and possibly one of the noodle bowls. Sushi is where this place shines. If you don’t like sushi and are set on having dinner in Japan, head to Teppan Edo instead and enjoy the hibachi.