It’s time to go back to a restaurant we haven’t been to in AGES, my friends!!
Teppan Edo Restaurant
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.
Soon, we were headed up the wide staircase for what we hoped would be another fantastic experience and meal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
It was time to consider the menu and make our selections. Just in time — I was starving!
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.
I tried the Sake-Rita on a previous visit and really enjoyed the sweet-tart flavor.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entrees also come with Sukiyaki Beef Rice, which was full of beef, and delicious as well.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!