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Review: Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

It’s time to go back to a restaurant we haven’t been to in AGES, my friends!!

Teppan Edo, in Epcot’s World Showcase, is often considered a guest favorite. The upscale Japanese show + cuisine is a must-do for many Disney fans.

So why hadn’t we been back in years? Well, due to the pretty consistent menu and often similar Hibachi grill dining experience, it simply made more sense for us to spend our time and money reviewing other restaurants for you. But seeing as how we hadn’t reviewed this place in for-ev-er, it was time to take a look and see if it still held up to the hype.

Hoping that it would still be a fun and delicious experience, we arrived at the check-in booth in front of Mitsukoshi Department Store.

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Soon, we were headed up the wide staircase for what we hoped would be another fantastic experience and meal.

Atmosphere

Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant. More commonly called a “Japanese steakhouse,” the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance, I was looking forward to a hearty meal of traditional Japanese favorites.

Once you’re upstairs in the restaurant, you enter the waiting area that’s shared by Teppan Edo and its neighbor –  Tokyo Dining.

Teppan Edo Sign

After you receive  your pager (which you’ll get from the cast members at the top of the stairs once you’re inside the restaurant), it’s time to sit a spell until they’re ready for you in the restaurant.

The decor here is sleek and unfussy. It immediately puts me at ease; there’s just something so peaceful about the uncluttered space, and I love these lights! The indirect lighting behind the benches is warm without being too bright or glaring.

Here, you also catch a glimpse into the other Japanese table service restaurant, Tokyo Dining. For more about their options, check out our recent Tokyo Dining review.

Waiting Area for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Your pager will go off eventually (it didn’t take long for ours), but because Teppan Edo seats guests at communal tables,  you’ll have to wait until all of the guests sharing your table (even if you don’t know them) have presented at the podium. More on the communal eating later!

The eating area at Teppan Edo is comprised of many small dining rooms, joined together by this long hallway. I can’t get enough of this austere set up! It’s so unlike any other restaurant that you visit here.

Hallway Leading to the Dining Rooms

A peek inside one of the rooms shows you what to expect: communal tables, seating eight, which surround cooktops. Chefs are busily preparing a customized menu item for each guest.

Set Up and Seating

After the rest of the folks we’d be seated with arrived, we were led to our own fully set table and clean, shiny cooktop. Remember, since seating is communal, you will be seated with strangers unless you have 8 people in your party.

If you’re shy like me, this can be a bit scary; so plan ahead to put the more boisterous folks in your party closer to said strangers! :-)

Cooktop Prior to Dinner

Soon after we were seated, our server greeted us. Since our food would be prepared before us by a Chef, her primary role would be to take our drink and food orders and take care of us throughout the meal.

Our Server

It was time to consider the menu and make our selections. Just in time — I was starving! :-)

Eats

We started by taking in the beverage menu. There are some really interesting choices here! In addition to Japanese beer and specialty cocktails, there’s a selection of sakes and sake-based cocktails available.

Cocktail Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I tried the Sake-Rita on a previous visit and really enjoyed the sweet-tart flavor.

Sake-Rita

On this visit, I went with the non-alcoholic Ichigo mocktail. Ichigo means strawberry in Japanese, so this was a fusion of strawberries, pineapple juice, and lemon juice. It pretty much tasted like a virgin strawberry daiquiri, and I enjoyed it quite a bit!

Non-Alcoholic Ichigo

Entrees at Teppan Edo are based upon your choice of meat or main vegetable. Most of the entrees are served with a bowl of rice, and a side dish that combines noodles, zucchini, and onions.

In addition to the teppenyaki options, there are also a some appetizer and sushi options rounding out the menu.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Our chef soon took the stage and introduced herself. After she confirmed our orders, she set to work preparing dipping sauces for the meal. These go out to everyone in individual servings, and include a mustard sauce, a ginger sauce, and what our Chef called “yum-yum” sauce, or “Japanese ranch.” :-)

Sauces for the Different Dishes

The first order of business was preparation of the grilled appetizers. Most of the starters are prepared in the kitchen, but we chose the Wafu Ribs, which were prepared on the flat top.

The Chef Prepares Our Wafu Rib Appetizer

Pork ribs are braised in a combination of sake, soy sauce, and ginger before they are finished on the grill. The searing heat caramelizes the glaze, making for a delicious starter. (You can see the sauces in the background, too!)

These were tender and very flavorful. There were only three of the ribs, so it’s a good serving for a one person app or to share between two if you’re not too starving.

Wafu Ribs on the Plate

At this point, the show really got underway, as our chef — who was funny and completely awesome — did many of the tricks that are famous in Japanese steakhouse circles. Here’s some video of my favorite bit, the onion volcano! Stay tuned at the end to see some seriously cool Chef tricks with some pepper grinders, too!

Once the onion volcano was destroyed, she continued on with the fancy knife work as she added more vegetables to the grill.

Preparing the Vegetables

Soon, the cooktop was full of a combination of meats, vegetables, and udon noodles. I’m always amazed at how the chef juggles it all.

Everything on the Cooktop

I opted for the Steak and Chicken Breast Combination, which included a generous helping of both meats, with plenty of noodles and vegetables as well. It smelled incredible and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

While this was very good, I could have used a bit more seasoning on the steak and chicken. I remember my last Teppan Edo meal being some of the best steak I’d ever had in Disney World; and while this didn’t fall flat, it wasn’t the full flavored meal I’d remembered. I noted that this time around, the steak in the steak and chicken option was not filet. If you order filet, you’ll pay more, but it might be worth it. :-)

Steak and Chicken

Entrees also come with Sukiyaki Beef Rice, which was full of beef, and delicious as well.

Beef Rice

My friend opted for the Steak and Shrimp Combination. He ate most of his shrimp before I could get a pic, so note that you’ll definitely have more shrimp than just these little guys!

Again, everything on the plate was well-seasoned and perfectly cooked.

Something to remember, however, about how the serving here works: the chef cooks the meats in order according to how much cooking time they need. That means that your meal will likely come in parts — veggies first, fish/shrimp/scallops next, chicken after that, and steak last of all. This is frustrating, since I like to eat everything altogether; but if you wait for your whole meal to be plated, some of it might be a bit chilly by the time you’re ready to eat.

Steak and Shrimp

Entrees at Teppan Edo are very generous, so it’s unlikely that you’ll leave hungry! We thoroughly enjoyed watching the dishes take shape before us as well.

We were quite full, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to order dessert. I had sampled the Chocolate Ginger Cake previously at Tokyo Dining, and I really enjoyed it far more than I expected to!

Chocolate Ginger Cake

I promised myself I’d order something different this time, though, sooo… On this visit, I went with the Green Tea Cheesecake, which was garnished with a raspberry sauce. The combination was visually striking (honestly, I kind of thought it looked like a Zombie movie on a plate), but the texture of the cake was quite good.

Green Tea Cheesecake

The fresh, almost grassy flavor of the green tea came through, and the flavors complemented the rest of the meal nicely. But…is anyone else a little annoyed by the size of this slice of cheesecake? For $6.95, I would think it would have been twice the size…at least. This thing was tiny. Like, three bites.

I’ll probably get comments about how Disney always gives you too much food anyway — and that’s usually true; I mean, I’d just eaten two big servings of meat in my entree — but at least charge me accordingly for a little dessert.

Overall

Teppan Edo remains a recommended restaurant in my estimation. The cast members who take care of you here are warm and friendly, and the chefs are the best of the best at what they do.  Food is always cooked well, and entree portions are generous. As a bonus, I really like that I can see my food before and during the cooking process. What other type of restaurant ensures that you know first hand how fresh your food is? Plus, you get a show!

And given that the meal is comprised of lean meats and lots of veggies, it’s actually a fairly healthy option as long as you watch your portions. And because the cooking methods are fairly simple without a lot of embellishment, this is a good spot if you’re trying to satisfy a wide range of tastes and preferences.

I will happily continue to recommend Teppan Edo as one of the best Epcot dining options for a variety of families.

Do you love Teppan Edo? Leave us a comment below and share your favorite experiences!

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26 Comments

  1. Frank says:

    I don’t know why, but I really enjoy this place.
    You can get this stuff in any city, any where.
    It’s all scripted, chefs won’t make it to Cirque du Soleil,
    BUT
    Food is actually good. Consistent, fun, generous portions, neat atmosphere.
    I like the redo of the place.
    I’ve enjoyed it by myself or with a table full of friends.
    Definitely give it a strong consideration for dinner or even lunch.
    Frank

  2. Kris says:

    My family LOVES Teppan Edo, we skipped it this past March to try some new restaurant’s. When was the rice switched from white to the beef rice? I used to love the white rice as plain as it was it tasted great mixed in with the meat and veggie’s.

  3. Christa M. says:

    It’s one of our favorites, also. We have hibachi-style places locally, but none of this quality.

  4. Mike Venere says:

    Sure, many will say you can get this anywhere……but like everything in the world it has it’s extra Disney touch on it and it really is different.
    Plenty of food, you will NOT leave hungry and its always a winner with the kids!!

  5. Brooke says:

    I love Teppan Edo! We visited here for my high school senior trip (many moons ago) and I’m so happy to see that the quality is still there. I think I’ll book it for another special occasion soon.

  6. Marlene says:

    Ichigo is our favorite mocktail.
    Saki-Rita our favorite cocktail.
    (can only get it here or Tokyo Dining)

    The filet is delicious – recommend it over the steak.
    And you can add a side of shrimp to the filet,
    even though it is not specifically listed on the menu as a combination.
    (You might be able to ask for any combination of what protein you see on the menu?)

    Some of the best service we’ve found at WDW.
    If you can’t get a reservation, try for just after noon when they open and ask!

  7. Michelle says:

    What a great review! My husband and I have not eaten here, but it’s on our list for a future trip. We did try Tokyo Dining, and while my husband enjoyed it, I did not. So I think Teppan Edo will fit the bill next time!

  8. CanadiansLoveWDW says:

    love this place.. its the only place my daughter tells me we have to go to

  9. Mandy says:

    There’s nothing *wrong* with Teppan Edo, but that’s essentially the problem. For the most part, hibachi grills are pretty ubiquitous in most urban environments and Teppan Edo does everything right: the food is never bad, spacious seating, and quality service.

    Because hibachi-style dining is so common, I’m generally loathe to make a reservation or eat here after my first visit. The only pro for me is if your group is small enough, being seated with other WDW travelers and having the opportunity to make polite conversation with strangers is often fun and enlightening.

    I’d love to see them ditch at least half of the hibachi seating and grills and turn it into a true Japanese Izakaya (think a Japanese tapas bar) with communal seating and tons of interesting small plates. Or open a traditional ramen shop somewhere in the pavilion. :)

  10. Colin Z says:

    Like the restaurant. Don’t like that it doesn’t accept Tables in Wonderland.

  11. Dana says:

    This is always a must when we go to Disney. The only complain I can give is that like the reviewer, I’m also shy, and have to try to make my husband sit by the other “scary people”. :) I have a gluten-allergy, and I can’t eat most of the sauces that they give you to eat with your dinner. The only one I can eat is the “yum yum” sauce, which I personally find disgusting. And they always give me TONS of the stuff, so that’s a little annoying. But they always bring me gluten-free soy sauce, which is a must for me. They do also have to make my food first, so I’m already eating by the time they do the show (with the onion volcano). They can’t let my food touch the noodles everyone else gets, so they have to do it while the grill is still free of wheat. It was embarrassing for me the first time to make everyone wait for my food to be made first, but now I love it. I get a show as I actually eat my dinner!

  12. Galloping Gourmand says:

    I haven’t been to Teppan Edo since it first opened. Much like Mandy above I find nothing wrong with the place. It’s your standard Teppanyaki place.

    Teppanyaki (which roughly translated means “grilled on an iorn plate”) is not a “true” Japanese cuisine. It was invented in 1945 by the chain Misono as a way to introduce a western influence to Japanese cooking. The Japanese, however, rejected it. Westerners flocked to the places in post-war Japan because it reminded them of home. When the chain realized that it was mainly tourists and westerners working on reconstruction who were coming, they upped the showmanship. It was imported back to the USA by Benihana as “Japanese” food because straight Japanese food was not successful in the 60′s when pot pie and casseroles were haute cuisine.

  13. Leslie says:

    Hmm. All the Japanese steak houses I’ve been to (and I’ve been to tons) give you a nice crispy square of rice that was cooked along with everything else. It’s maybe my favorite part – a little disappointing that they don’t do that here.

  14. Essie says:

    I’ve eaten here only once, but I’m anxious to go back. I had the steak and shrimp and it was delicious. This was on one of my solo trips and the idea of dining with strangers seemed unusual, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. The meal and atmosphere were wonderful and I would recommend this spot to anyone; it’s a very good meal and an entertaining show all in one.

  15. Jan says:

    We’ve eaten here once – I got the swordfish, hubby got the scallops. Both were amazing and, judging by what I saw at our table and at the tables near ours, neither is ordered very frequently. If we ever go back, I’m getting the swordfish again.

  16. Disney Zephyr says:

    I hate to take a contrary stance, but both myself and my partner found the food underwhelming. Under-seasoned and uninspired fare lacked any unique Japanese flavours. Fortunately the excellent chef was entertaining enough to redeem the meal from utter mediocrity. Worth a single visit, only for the ‘show’.

  17. John says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Teppan Edo, even dating back to when Epcot first opened. It’s been one of the few constants on my “must dine” list, and I was thrilled when I took my own young boys there almost 10 years ago and they loved it as much as I did. I think part of it is just guaranteeing one night in the Japan pavillion, which almost 30 years ago, when I was only 13, seemed so “foreign”, but now seems like the last bastion of original Epcot.

    Yes – the “show” is something you are likely to find within 20 miles of whereever you are, but the people at Teppan Edo are always outgoing and friendly, the food is always good (and often better than good) and for people willing to push some dining boundaries, there’s usually something new and wonderful to be found.

    I do wish they took Tables in Wonderland, but other than that, this place is great.

    Fun story – 3 year ago on an extended family trip, I was dining at Teppan Edo when a guest pushed back from a table, knocking over a servers tray and causing a drinking glass to shatter on the floor near me. A large shard of glass bounced off the floor and landed (without injury) on my leg. When the waitress saw that, she almost died. Within minutes the manager was there basically offering me an on the spot blood transfusion, so mortified at the near accident. I laughed it off and was amazed at how much they wanted to make sure I was happy. Needless to say, my bill came and had a 50% discount on it – which I neither asked for nor, frankly, deserved. Another example of Disney going above and beyond, and pretty much the norm in my years of dining at Teppan Edo.

  18. Marlene says:

    There is a 10% Annual Passholder discount available, lunch only, Monday-Friday.
    On the Disney World web site, Lunch 12:00 PM – 3:45 PM.

  19. Laura says:

    We are going to Epcot in October, and we are a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 6 to 11. Would you recommend Teppan Edo or Via Napoli? Our family loves both types of cuisine equally, so I am torn. We have never dined at either of these restaurants. We are there for two nights, and we are thinking of dining at Biergarten on the other night, unless you would skip it for the first two mentioned. Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can give!

  20. Rose says:

    As a response to Laura, this is my Son’s top choice for dinner. He is 10 years old and has been choosing Teppan Edo for 4 years straight. Even our picky 12 year old loves it. Our family enjoys it very much, it is a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of Disney :-) We have it booked for our upcoming trip in the fall, and can’t wait!

  21. Marlene says:

    As a response to Laura…
    Via Napoli has great food options, but my family finds it VERY NOISY.
    Can’t have a conversation across the table.
    You will be just waiting for your food to be delivered to your table,
    without the entertainment of the chef cooking for you at Teppan Edo.

    Teppan Edo also has great food options.
    You are seated at tables for 8, so your family of 5 would be seated with 2 or 3 other guests.
    They will request that your children are seated further away from the hot cooking surface
    (for everyone’s safety).
    Since the hottest part of the grill is in the middle of the semicircle of 8 people dining, your children would not be seated next to strangers.
    There will be 3 other tables of 8 each in the same room you are in.
    It is not the huge high ceiling noise of Via Napoli.
    It will be noisy while the chef is cooking your meal and the overhead fan is on.

    Via Napoli does have the 3 wonderful pizza ovens that look like faces – that are very entertaining to see.

    We find eating out big meal at lunch time less crowded, and we have a smaller meal at dinner time.
    Both Via Napoli and Teppan Edo have all day menus, so lunch time is not less expensive (as it may be in other restaurants. It is also easier to get a reservation at either Teppan Edo or Via Napoli when they open, or just after the lunch crowd (think 2:30 PM or so).

    Things to consider, depending upon how your family operates!

  22. brenda says:

    to laura If your kids are outgoing, don’t skip Biergarten. I did not care much for the food, but our young kids had the best time along with all the other kids dancing with the musical show. The restaurant has a large open area below the performers stage where the children went nuts having a great time while the German band entertained. We adults also enjoyed the show very much. The band was fun and the kids were hilarious. Brenda

  23. DisneyBird says:

    Are zucchini and onions the only vegetables they do? Do they not have the typical broccoli and carrots? My family is very picky- we love these type of restaurants, but the broccoli and carrots are the only veggies we like in the mixture…

  24. Opus_P says:

    …why would they choose to give beef flavored rice instead of the traditional white rice? If you are having a seafood dish …the beef rice is not a proper accompaniment? …and if you are a vegetarian …..you’re pretty much out of luck with regards to rice.

    …I’d would venture a guess that this menu change would be in response to numerous persons complaining about the absence of fried rice on the menu ….which is easy enough to find …in a CHINESE restaurant.

  25. Louis P says:

    Teppan Edo. What more could I say. I went with my family in January of 2014 and everyone with us enjoyed the place so much. I had the swordfish, my mom had scallops, and my sister got the kids steak. In addition to our entrees, we were given the beef fried rice, veggies, and Udon noodles and we all got Green Tea ice cream for dessert. When I say that we all enjoyed the place, we all enjoyed it highly. I’m not a big veggie eater but the veggies mixed with the Udon noodles were spot on and my sword fish was cooked to perfection and was the best hibachi fish I’ve ever had. The hostess, our waitress, and our cool were extremely nice and very polite. Our waitress was extremely responsible and checked on us a good bit, keeping us updated on drinks and anything we needed. As a bonus, She let us in on a good bit of information about the traditions and history of the Hibachi grill. The cook was such an enjoyable person to be around. He was funny and talkative and really interactive! If anyone is looking for good Japanese food and a great price, come to Teppan Edo. You won’t regret it. It’s worth every penny you spend there!! :)

  26. Angela says:

    regarding being on the dining plan going here. Someone mentioned getting the Filet and paying more but how does that work being on the dinning plan. I have the basic plan where you get a snack , counter and one sit down.
    I know you get you meal drink non alcoholic and desert with the meal plan but what if you wanted to change up the meat as other mentioned would them charge you for that or does that come with the meal plan.

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