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Review: Epcot’s Yakitori House

We recently had the chance to eat at Japan’s Yakitori House in Epcot — a spot I consider to be one of the most relaxing counter-service eateries in the World!

Japan's Yakitori House

Atmosphere

Maybe it’s the wonderful cast members there, maybe it’s the setting up on the hill — away from the hustle and bustle of the World Showcase, maybe it’s the outdoor garden seating with the waterfall and the lanterns, maybe it’s a combination of all of this, but Yakitori House — even when it’s busy — seems serene to me.

Ordering Queue Lines

Wide Shot of Restaurant -- seriously it's little

Indoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

It’s a very small restaurant and has just a few tables indoors and outside, but the nearly hidden location (I guarantee that thousands of Epcot visitors don’t even know it’s there) up on the hill in the Japan pavilion means that this is not considered one of the highly frequented counter-service spots, although it is a favorite of many Disney vacation veterans.

Waterfall and Pond by Outdoor Seating Area

Eats

As you were probably expecting, the menu here is not outlandish; it’s designed to appeal to the masses.

Menu -- Click for larger view

You have a few teriyaki and tempura options, some sushi (including a beef roll, interestingly), a ginger chicken salad, and a few more items. Drinks include Kirin beers, sake, plum wine, green tea, and the regular sodas and soft drinks. Unfortunately — and oddly! — I can’t find much on the menu for vegetarians besides a side salad!

Specials

We sampled the Tonosama Combination, with teriyaki chicken, sukiyaki beef, tempura shrimp, and steamed rice; and a “special” of the day, teriyaki beef with steamed vegetables and white rice. We also ordered a green tea, as my husband is pretty much hooked on the stuff! This version was really green, however, and cloudy. Not what he’s used to, but not bad. Both entrees were excellent (for what they were), and absolutely worth the money ($8.99 and $10.99 respectively). The teriyaki beef was definitely the winner for both of us, so be sure to scope out the “specials” of the day when you’re there.

Tonosama Combination -- teriyaki chicken, sukiyaki beef, tempura shrimp

Beef Teriyaki Special

Green Tea

Overall

This might be one of the better counter-service value in Disney World as far as I can tell. Interesting good food, large portions, and excellent atmosphere — always a winning combination.

Have you been to Yakitori House? Let us know if it was a winner for you or if you’ll choose to spend your counter-service credit elsewhere. Also, if you’ve been, share your menu recommendations in the comments section below!

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28 Comments

  1. Watch Me Eat says:

    It’s been years since I’ve ate here, but if I’m reading the menu correctly, the Yakitori House no longer serves Yakitori?

    I do remember getting food here on several occasions, then taking it down to the lake to watch the fireworks while sipping miso and eating chicken yakitori (on skewers).

    Fireworks & Japanese food makes a great combination…

  2. josh says:

    Hmmm I don’t know. The Tonosama looks like a single shrimp, two bites of chicken, and a mound of some pretty nasty/fatty beef. I’ve never considered it much of a value, though the setting is excellent when it isn’t busy.

  3. Rich T. says:

    The Japanese curry is really good, as is the green tea. I’m used to a stronger brew, I guess… It has usually been crowded inside when I’ve been there, but it is much more soothing to sit and relax near the waterfall.

  4. Emma says:

    This is definitely one of my favourite counter service restaurants in WDW!
    Last trip, I had the Shogun combo (chicken, beef & rice) with an iced green tea.. it was was our first meal in the World after travelling over 4000 miles from the UK.. perfect way to start the vacation! :)

  5. One thing not covered here is the sushi and it’s awful. It’s sushi from Publix (the supermarket) that is “bussed” in and repackaged. It’s not very good and woefully expensive so definitely steer clear of sushi from here.

  6. Alan says:

    This is another one of those overlooked Disney gems. Like most World Showcase counters the food is what we think that nation’s food should be. But the ambiance, surroundings and beauty of this small spot should not be overlooked. I should know better and stop by here more often, but I tend to rush over to my old favs and forget how nice it is in this relaxing place.

  7. Evan says:

    The Japanese Curry with Rice (not the udon) is very good. Great flavor and apparently one of the more authentic items that you can get there.

  8. robin says:

    i haven’t been to WDW since 2005 & although it’s been YEARS, yakitori house made a HUGE impression on us. i absolutely loooooooooooooooooove their beef sukiyaki. so, so yummy! very generous portions & delicious food.

  9. Elisabeth says:

    LOL…this is our little hide-away from everything. We always get the Tonosama plate and split it and it is more than enough food. Thanks! Now everyone will know about it!

  10. Sarah says:

    I highly doubt the sushi is bussed in from Publix. They have sushi chefs right across from Yakitori House at Tokyo Dining, and the sushi there is not only tasty, but comparably priced with local establishments in Orlando. I have yet to try it at Yakitori House, but the Sukiyaki Beef Roll at F&W last year was a favorite.

  11. nahtazu says:

    We always stop here a couple of times during our trips so I can get my (udon) noodles. I enjoy the fact that it comes with a couple of deep-fried shrimp tempura because I don’t do that at home – LOL. I also enjoy the curry dish. They used to have a really nice salad with lots of little tidbits, but it went away around the mid-2000′s or so. Every time I go back to WDW, I look for it, but no joy.

  12. Melinda says:

    This has got to be my sons (8 & 15) favorite spots. They love to grab a few bottles of the marble sodas and then they will split a few rolls while enjoying the beautiful pond. Trying to eat inside can be a trick but so long as the weather is nice the outside area is so lovely. I love that it is so tucked away that many people have no clue that it is there. Finish it off with a melon shaved ice from the bottom of the hill, WONDERFUL!

  13. Jessica says:

    My family eats here every time we visit EPCOT! My husband is addicted to the side salad with ginger sauce so he gets it a couple of times each time we visit. The kids and I love California rolls, so we tend to get that. We love to eat it outside because it’s always quiet and the kids are amused by the water.

  14. Mike says:

    Not Publix sushi !

  15. AJ says:

    WME — Nope! No yakitori. Sounds like you have some great memories, though; wish I’d had the chance to try it back then.

    Josh — We enjoyed it, and I am surprised by the portion size for the price. The Teriyaki beef was a bit pricey, but we definitely enjoyed it the most.

    Rich and Evan — Thanks for the tip on the Japanese curry! Yep, we were surprised by the green tea, but at least it isn’t sweetened or flavored!

    Emma — What an awesome way to start your trip!

    Matt — Thank you for the info on the sushi!!

    Alan — I agree. While the food isn’t super special, the atmosphere definitely offers a nice respite.

    Robin — The portions were indeed generous. Looking forward to your next trip to the World!

    Elisabeth — Hee hee! Sorry to crash the party! ;-)

    Sarah — I wish I’d tried the beef roll last year! That was one of the items we didn’t get to. Gone from the menu this year, no?

    nahtazu — Don’tcha hate it when they take your favorites away?!

    Jessica — Thanks for the tip on the side salad with ginger sauce!

    Mike — Ha! Is that comment because you like the sushi, or because you know it’s not Publix? :-)

    Melinda — I LOVE the marble sodas!! Just had my first one this trip… yum! I had the melon one.

  16. Shayne says:

    We ate here for the first time on our most recent trip in January. What a little treasure! I love how it is tucked away in the pavilion and, even though I had always known it was there, we had never ventured up there to try it. It was late in the afternoon and getting close to dinner time, but my stomach wouldn’t wait. So I just ordered a California roll. No idea whether it was from the supermarket or not, but it hit the spot (then again, I suppose it’s hard to screw up a California roll!).

  17. Nancy says:

    i hate to ever complain about anything at disney but my husband and i HATED yakitori house! and yes, hate is a very strong word! i did like the outside seating area very much but the food was horrible. i’m really not a picky person at all and yet the food was just terrible. my husband and i split the sushi rolls and the teriaki plate. yuck! i live in nyc where we are lucky enough to get some great sushi and other japanese food so perhaps i’m spoiled. still, the quality was really bad. darn, i hate writing a bad review of anything at disney! this all being said, we have ADRs for the table service restaurant in japan for our next trip! knowing us, i’m sure we’ll give yakitori house another shot :)

  18. RJ says:

    I have grown up on Japanese food in Southern California and am accustomed to a wide variety of quality. I have to say that while the quality can be inconsistent here (one time some of the best Japanese ‘fast food’ I have had, another on par with Yoshinoya (not good), I love the atmosphere and would consider it one of my favorite quick dining spots in Epcot. I like the curry, the tempura udon, and salad, but wouldn’t really recommend anything else unless you’re not too picky. Overall atmosphere A-, food C+.

  19. carolyn says:

    I ate here 5 years ago, but as I recall (and as you pointed out) there wasn’t much for vegetarians. I think I just had some green tea, but others in my party seemed to like it okay. For that reason, I was a little negative towards it (but I do enjoy the outside area, it really is pretty). Thanks for the review!

  20. Denise says:

    My favorite WDW restaurants have changed over the past 35 years as menus have changed. Yakitori was a favorite of mine – 10 or so years ago. The side salad was very reasonably priced, the chicken at one time was white meat. I go only just so very often (maybe once every couple of years at most now). It’s just so-so for me.

    Denise

  21. Cait says:

    Ohh, we have never eaten here before, so on the list for the next time. My husband lived in Japan when he was in the Navy, so I am sure he would like this!

  22. Galloping Gourmand says:

    Yakatori is one of my absolute favorite places. Eating outside is like taking a vacation from the bustle of Epcot.

    Everything is worth the money. The combination is a great way to sample everything but I feel it’s a little too much on the plate. How’s that for a complaint – too much food! A word of caution on the Plum Wine: When it hits, it hits hard!

  23. will says:

    sometimes they serve a ginger cake with chocolate icing for desert. similar to the one served in tokoyo dining!

  24. Queila says:

    We ate there last May and I had the Japanese curry with the green tea. The food was good and the ambiance was excellent. I would go back to experience the relaxing atmosphere for sure. Oh, and the ginger cake for dessert was surprisignly good. :)

    Q

  25. Josh says:

    First off, I have to say that is the oddest coloured Green Tea that I have seen in quite a while. Most Green Teas are a light green or are cloudy.

    As several people have said, it seems as though they are pretty stingy on how much meat they give you as it’s only really one or two bites. It’s not too badly priced either.

  26. Travelnut1974 says:

    ate here last night – so wish we hadnt!

    chicken teriyaki oddest tasting ever had and the chicken was so overcooked it was crunchy (no skin on either) the Shogun special was just fatty beef and again chicken was bad.

    a shame as i had high hopes for this place.

    Ate at Tangierene cafe for lunch which was much better quality.

  27. Dean Howard says:

    My daughter, wife and I just had lunch at the Yakatori House. This is our 6th at Disney, and we have had really good meals overall. Needless to say, our lunch at the Yakatori House was very bad!! The line to order was crowded and confusing, the sushi my wife ordered and the teriyaki beef and chicken I ordered were of the lowest quality!! No taste, the steamed veggies were out of a bag of frozen vegetables, the meat was questionable as to what it was, and they do not offer refills on drinks!! The drinks were $2.19 each but no refills!!! This is the worst restaurant at Epcot and all of the Disney theme parks-and we have been to a lot of them. Stay away!!! I am writing this so that other visitors will not have the same horrendous experience we just had 15 minutes ago.

  28. ClareyB says:

    I hated the food here the meat we had was mainly fat and grissle such a shame as it smelt lovely, but I was half expecting to see ‘meat not for human consumption’ packets in the bins. It has earned the name YUCK A TORI house in my family! That being said I love the position and decor of this restaurant.

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