Review: Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

It’s been a while since we enjoyed a dinner in one of the many, many restaurants located around World Showcase. So today, we’re stopping in to Tokyo Dining!

Tokyo Dining is one of two table service restaurants that you’ll find in the beautiful Japan Pavilion, which happens to be a pretty great place to hang out. Mitsukoshi Department Store offers an endless of supply of intriguing merchandise, and the shop in the back is a wonderful spot to discover a new favorite snack. I don’t care if you can now score Pocky at Target — I still can’t resist grabbing some when I’m here!

I could go on. The Sake Bars (yep, there are two…this one and this one), counter service at Katsura Grill and Kabuki Cafe, Kakigori…there is SO much good food here!

But it’s been a while since we’ve taken in a meal at the table service spots. And while I love me some Teppan Edo (read our latest review here), things don’t change much at that Habachi Grill spot. So we decided to check back in with another favorite, Tokyo Dining.

Let’s head in. Or rather, up.

Atmosphere

I say “up” because you’ll actually find both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining on the second floor of Mitsukoshi Department Store. Whether you’re checking in for an advance dining reservation or you’re checking availability for walk up spots, start at this booth located just to the right of the steps leading up to the restaurants.

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Guest Check In for Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining

Entrance

Entrance — Up the Steps

As I mentioned, Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo are both located here. Teppan Edo occupies the back of the second floor, while Tokyo Dining is located to your right at the top of the stairs — in the front of the building.

Outside Sign

Outside Sign

The second floor is also home to this wide outdoor walkway, which offers lovely views of World Showcase and the rest of the Japan Pavilion (and the IllumiNations fireworks at night!).

View

View From Outside Second Story

Once you step inside, you’ll find a comfortable waiting area that’s punctuated with sleek, minimalist lines.

Shared Waiting Area

Shared Waiting Area

Within Tokyo Dining, there are two main dining rooms. The first features an on-stage Sushi Bar, where you can watch chefs create edible masterpieces.

Seating

Seating

While watching “the show” is interesting, I far prefer the other dining room toward the front of the restaurant. This dining room features panoramic views of World Showcase and plenty of natural light during the day.

Seating

Seating

It’s also interesting to note that the chairs in this dining room are much more comfortable. In fact, the difference in chairs almost leads me to believe that this area was originally meant to be considered the restaurant, while the other area has more of a bar (albeit sushi bar) feel.

tokyo-dining_16-06

Our Table

Place Setting

Place Setting

You’ll also find cool recessed lighting and interesting ceiling detail in this part of the restaurant.

Ceiling Detail

Ceiling Detail and Recessed Lighting

We’ve enjoyed lots of different dishes here, ranging from Sushi to Steak. But what would it be today? Well, let’s start with a few cocktails while we take a look around the menu.

Cocktails

Cocktails

Don’t worry — we’ll tell you all about these in just a sec.

Curious? Let’s check it out.

Eats

When we sat down, we were offered towlettes to wash our hands. I love this touch, and heaven knows, it comes in handy when you’ve just spent the day in an amusement park with a gajillion people.

Moist Towels

Moist Towels

The first order of business was to choose a few drinks. Not an easy task with a Beverage Menu the size of a small phone book. (Okay. Only a teensy bit of an exaggeration.) Wait. Do y’all know what a phone book is these days? Am I showing my age?

But seriously — there are some pretty interesting things here. I’ll totally be revisiting the Shochu Squeeze or Beer Shandy Squeeze when the weather warms back to Surface-of-the-Sun Hot in Orlando.

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with Shochu — and I wasn’t — it’s a distilled beverage that’s typically less strong than distilled liquors, but stronger than wine. It usually clocks in between 25-35% alcohol.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

Tokyo Dining is also a great place to explore different styles of Sake. Choose from Flights, individual Glasses, Bottles, or Carafes.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

There are also some truly fantastic sounding Cocktails as well.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

Beer and other Spirits are available, with Kirin and Sapporo offerings on tap. Wine, including one Plum Wine option and a Japanese White Wine, are also on offer.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Drink Menu — Click to Enlarge

Ultimately, we decided to go for cocktails. Our first choice was the Violet Silk Martini.

Violet Silk Martini

Violet Silk Martini

The drink is served straight up (natch), and is a mix of Vodka, Purple Pear Juice, and Lime Juice. I found the cocktail to be very smooth and easy to drink. It was a nice balance of flavors, and although it was fruit forward, it wasn’t cloying or overly sweet. Plus, it was suuuuuper pretty.

Violet Silk Martini -- Up Close

Violet Silk Martini — Up Close

Next, we decided to sample the Iced Blood Orange.

Iced Blood Orange

Iced Blood Orange

The mix of Gin, Blood Orange Extract, and Sparkling Water is super refreshing. I loved the bubbly finish. Owing to the gin, it’s not quite as smooth as the martini, but the flavors worked really well together. I really liked this one.

Iced Blood Orange -- Up Close

Iced Blood Orange — Up Close

Finally, we tried the Matcha Green Tea Frappe.

Matcha Green Tea Frappe

Matcha Green Tea Frappe

This creamy blend of Rum, Sake, Condensed Milk, and Green Tea Syrup tasted a little like a grown up milkshake. But make no mistake — there’s a little punch from the rum and sake.

While I liked the flavors, the texture was a little strange to me, and it began to separate almost immediately. I personally think this one would serve better as a dessert, owing to the sweetness. It’s also pretty filling as well.

Matcha Green Tea Frappe --  Up Close

Matcha Green Tea Frappe — Up Close

While we enjoyed our cocktails, we continued to look over the extensive Menu. If you’re a first time visitor, take a little time with the menu, because there’s lots to explore.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

You could truly make a meal of Appetizers, Soups, and Sushi.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Of course, you’ll also find a variety of entrees, including Tempura selections.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Rice and Noodle Dishes are also available.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

We really wanted to give you an idea of all of the offerings, so we chose something from nearly every section. We decided to start with the Spicy Tempura Calamari.

Spicy Tempura Calamari

Spicy Tempura Calamari

The Calamari is actually served in a stick shape, rather than the rings that we’re used to. I haven’t actually ever tried it this way, and I thought it was amazing.

The batter was nice and light and you could still really taste the squid, which was super fresh-tasting.

Spicy Tempura Calamari -- Garnish

Spicy Tempura Calamari — Up Close

Spicy Tempura Calamari -- Inside

Spicy Tempura Calamari — Inside

It’s served with a side of Spicy Miso Sauce. The creamy sauce had just the right amount of kick to it.

Spicy Tempura Calamari -- Sauce

Spicy Tempura Calamari — Sauce

But no way were we skipping the Sushi! We decided to start with Fire Cracker Roll.

The Tempura Shrimp Rolls were filled with Fried Shrimp, Avocado, and Lemon, and were topped off with Wakame Salad, Jalapeno Slices, and Eel Sauce.

Firecracker Roll

Firecracker Roll

As you can guess from the name, this is one of the spicier sushi selections. The tempura shrimp rolls themselves weren’t spicy; the heat came from the toppings and sauces that finished the plate.

Firecracker Roll -- Up Close

Firecracker Roll — Up Close

We shared the roll, but you can also enjoy it as an entree. It was delicious and fresh, and I loved the extra crunch from the tempura shrimp against the creaminess of the avocado.

Firecracker Roll -- Up Close

Firecracker Roll — Up Close

Next, we tried the Fresh Sashimi Sampler. The platter includes large, fresh slices of Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail and Seabream. The plate also included decorative slices of Fruit and a piece of Wasabi.

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler — Yellow Tail

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler — Salmon

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler — Tuna

Fresh Sashimi Sampler

Fresh Sashimi Sampler — Seabream

The Fish was absolutely delicious and each had its own distinctive flavor. Like the roll, the portion was generous enough to serve as an entree, but it’s also a great sharing option.

We also tried a couple of the entrees. First up — the Filet Mignon.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon

The steak was topped with a sweet and fruity Plum Wine Reduction. The flavor combo of the reduction and steak was my favorite part of the dish.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon — Up Close

The large piece of grilled Beef Tenderloin was served with broiled, Cheese-topped Tomato and Onion.  Both were delicious.

Filet Mignon -- Up Close

Filet Mignon — Sides — Up Close

While the steak was good, the beef was slightly overcooked for me. Actually, this is the second time that I’ve had my steak overcooked here, so be ready for that. (Odd, since right next door at Teppan Edo, the filet is one of my favorite steaks in Disney World!) Still, the meat was super tender with great flavor.

Filet Mignon -- Cross Section

Filet Mignon — Cross Section

My friend decided to go with the Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu. Hubba hubba!!

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu

The large piece of Berkshire Pork was lightly breaded with Panko Bread Crumbs. The plate also included Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Lettuce and Carrots, Grilled Pineapple and a Tonkatsu Red Wine Reduction.

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu -- Up Close

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu — Up Close

So often, pork can be dry and overdone, but this was cooked perfectly, and the flavor of the meat came through, even with the crunchy breading.

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu -- Inside

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu — Inside

The slices of Grilled Pineapple added some sweetness as well.

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu -- Garnishes

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu — Garnishes

But the Tonkatsu Sauce! It was sweet and salty and complemented the meat perfectly.

Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu -- Sauce

Tonkatsu Sauce

You might think that’s all we enjoyed. But nope!

I don’t know about you, but I love Udon, so we decided to try the Vegetable Nabeyaki Udon.

It was served in a large black pot with Udon Noodles, large Tofu Pieces, and Vegetables, which included Mushrooms, Celery, Onions, and Arugula in a Kombu-Dashi Broth.

Vegetable Naveyaki Udon

Vegetable Naveyaki Udon

This. This, my friends, was amazing, and my absolute favorite entree of the evening. I’m not a fan of tofu, but this had so much flavor and the bowl had so many ingredients that I couldn’t stop raving. So simple. But so good.

Vegetable Naveyaki Udon -- Up Close

Vegetable Naveyaki Udon — Up Close

A sweet ending seemed appropriate, so we took a look at the Dessert Menu. FYI — you do NOT come here for dessert. If you’re a dessert fan, there are much better places to go. The sweets here are small and light in flavor. But, that said, we still checked it out… .

Dessert Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Dessert Menu — Click to Enlarge

The sweets had undergone a little update since our last visit, when I was pleasantly surprised by the Chocolate Ginger Cake. This go-round, it was the Ginger Mousse Cake for me.

Slices of Vanilla Sponge Cake sandwich a Ginger Mousse center. Milk Chocolate Icing tops the whole thing. The cake is served with a rosette of Whipped Cream and a Strawberry.

Ginger Mousse Cake

Ginger Mousse Cake

The flavors were good, and it wasn’t too sweet. Overall, it was a decent finish to the meal. But, again. Don’t come here for dessert. ;-D

Overall

I still really enjoy Tokyo Dining.

There’s just something fun about this restaurant. Like other dining spots in World Showcase, I always feel transported when I dine here. Flavors are exotic, and the menu isn’t quite like anything else you get in Walt Disney World. This is definitely one of my favorite spots for variety, but especially for Sushi and Udon.

It’s also just a lovely spot, and a great place from which to view IllumiNations. Granted, your chances of having guests in front of you on the outside walkway are pretty high. Still, even with people, it’s a beautiful view.

If you haven’t had the chance, I’d definitely suggest that you check out Tokyo Dining on your next trip Around the World.

But now, let’s hear from you! Is Tokyo Dining a favorite Disney dining destination for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

Comments

  1. Essie says

    I love Teppan Edo and although I’ve never eaten here, I’d be glad to try the filet or some seafood sometime.

  2. says

    Great write up as always! Looks like they’ve now put helpful “V”s by the vegetarian options finally =) =) That alone will make me drop in again!

    Do you mean to write that the Vegetable Nabeyaki Udon comes with a “Kombu Dashi” broth as opposed to the “Bonito Dashi” broth? Ie, kombu being the sea vegetable as opposed to the bonito (a type of fish), as it’s the labeled vegetarian option?

  3. Marlene says

    Is my favorite Sake-rita now gone from the cocktails menu?
    Can you still ask for it?
    Does anyone know?
    THANKS

  4. Deeann says

    We ate here a couple of visits ago and i was actually quite alarmed by how tiny the entrees are. I got the Teriyaki Butter Grilled Chicken. It was 2 tiny chicken breasts served with literally 3 cauliflower tops and 3 pieces of asparagus! for $26! And even though you call that a “The large piece of grilled Beef Tenderloin”, its clear that it is barely bigger than the tomato on the plate. We first ate here back in 2012 and they had cool bento type boxes which are no longer on the menu. Those offered an agreeable amount of food. But now the tiny amount of food is ridiculous for the price. There are plenty of other places that offer a normal adult portion size that will not leave you hungry. I will not be back to Tokyo Dining personally.

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