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!
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.
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.
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.
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!).
Once you step inside, you’ll find a comfortable waiting area that’s punctuated with sleek, minimalist lines.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll also find cool recessed lighting and interesting ceiling detail in this part of the restaurant.
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.
Don’t worry — we’ll tell you all about these in just a sec.
Curious? Let’s check it out.
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.
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.
Tokyo Dining is also a great place to explore different styles of Sake. Choose from Flights, individual Glasses, Bottles, or Carafes.
There are also some truly fantastic sounding Cocktails as well.
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.
Ultimately, we decided to go for cocktails. Our first choice was the 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.
Next, we decided to sample the 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.
Finally, we tried the 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.
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.
You could truly make a meal of Appetizers, Soups, and Sushi.
Of course, you’ll also find a variety of entrees, including Tempura selections.
Rice and Noodle Dishes are also available.
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.
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.
It’s served with a side of Spicy Miso Sauce. The creamy sauce had just the right amount of kick to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The large piece of grilled Beef Tenderloin was served with broiled, Cheese-topped Tomato and Onion. Both were delicious.
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.
My friend decided to go with the Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu. Hubba hubba!!
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.
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.
The slices of Grilled Pineapple added some sweetness as well.
But the Tonkatsu Sauce! It was sweet and salty and complemented the meat perfectly.
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.
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.
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… .
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.
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
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!