Welcome to the Japan pavilion at EPCOT! And we can’t lie — this is one of our favorite pavilions in the World Showcase!
Not only is this pavilion beautiful, but it’s also home to the impressive Mitsukoshi Department Store as well as several restaurants, including Teppan Edo. This spot reopened in August with an updated menu. We finally got around to eating there to see what eating hibachi in the time of social distancing would be like!
So here’s the deal: Teppan Edo is a standard hibachi-style restaurant, which means that it’s not that original — most of us live near several of this kind of restaurant. It’s basically your run of the mill Benihana, but it’s a DISNEY Benihana so it’s…better…right?
But despite its lack of originality, we’ve appreciated the great food served here in the past, as well as the fun atmosphere.
Teppan Edo is located above the Mitsukoshi Department Store, along with Tokyo Dining. You can take the stairs up to the restaurant, although an elevator is also available.
Once you arrive, you can check in with the Mobile Dine Check-in feature on My Disney Experience and kick back in a very chill waiting room.
When your table is ready, you’ll receive a text message directing you to return to the host stand.
What’s interesting about this space is that instead of one large dining room, it has several smaller rooms. However, just as before the closures, that doesn’t mean each group gets their own private room.
That also doesn’t mean that each party gets their own table– you will potentially be seated with other parties. We were actually quite interested to see how they’d handle the communal seating now. If you’ve eaten at a Hibachi joint before you know typically about 8 or so people share a table — often more than one party. You’re typically pretty elbow to elbow in these sort of places!
As you can see, though, the plexiglass we’ve seen all over the parks — on attractions, transportation, and in restaurants — has been installed here to keep groups separate even while sitting at the same table. This means fewer groups can comfortably occupy the tables at once, especially if small dining parties are trying to share a table. We have to admit, it IS nice to not feel so crammed at the tables next to strangers.
Once you sit down, you are in for a show! The chefs at Teppan Edo don’t just prepare your food in front of you, they’re also part of the entertainment! You can see below the chefs are wearing face masks and taking proper precautions while they prepare your food. BUT, if the whole idea of seeing your food prepared in such close proximity to the chef, you, and others in an era of distancing makes you uncomfortable, maybe consider booking a meal elsewhere.
But that brings us to the other reason we’re dining at Teppan Edo — the food!
There’s a QR code on each table to scan to look at the menu on your mobile device. Paper menus are also available. The place setting includes cloth napkins, along with chopsticks. But don’t worry if your chopstick skills are subpar — forks are also readily available.
Up first? Drinks, of course! There are quite a few good sake choices available:
But if wine is more your thing, there are plenty of wines to choose from, either by the glass or bottle.
And don’t worry — beer drinkers have plenty of choices, too, including a Beer Tasting.
But we can’t help it — we do enjoy a good cocktail, and that’s the menu we were most interested in!
Three of these got our interest, so you know what? We ordered them all (there were a few of us, don’t worry! We didn’t knock em all back ourselves!). We started with the Violet Silk Martini — like how amazing does that sound? It’s Vodka shaken with Purple Pear and Lime Juice. Yes, please! It’s also VERY pretty.
We enjoyed this drink the last time we had it. Very smooth and fruity. It was, however, sweeter than we remembered with a tiny bit of a medicinal aftertaste. But it was fun and would be perfect for a special occasion. We liked the thickly-sliced lime as a garnish, too. The green and purple/magenta of the drink really pop! This drink is $12.
Next up was the Nigori Mimosa (also $12) because Mimosas aren’t just for breakfast, OBV. This is Unfiltered Nigori Sake, Orange Juice, Grenadine, and Sparkling Water. We’re just going to warn you now — this was STRONGER than we were expecting, even with just sake for the boozy element! We’re pretty sure this was mostly a flute full of sake!
This isn’t as bubbly as most mimosas, but the orange juice with the hint of grenadine was the perfect combination of flavors. Although we prefer a traditional mimosa, this was a fun and unique beverage!
Our final drink was the Violet Pear Pina Colada for $11, which just sounds like a party in a glass, right? We were so into the pretty purple the violet pear gave our Violet Silk Martini that we wanted to try more drinks with it! This is a blended drink with Rum, Sake, Cream of Coconut, Pineapple, and Violet Pear Juice (you can also choose from a classic Pina Colada or a strawberry one). Oddly enough, we expected it to be more purple than it was, but it was still quite pretty.
If you’ve ever had a piña colada (and perhaps got caught in the rain 😉 ) you know what you’re in for here. This is a SUPER sweet drink, with way more pineapple flavor than coconut. It’s dessert in a glass really, so only grab this is you’ve got a serious sweet tooth. Unfortunately, we didn’t taste the violet pear in this at all. If you’re a fruity drink fan, this is the one for you!
With drinks in hand, we were ready for some food! The menu here is pretty standard for a hibachi joint: you’ve got a small choice of appetizers that includes Edamame, Miso Soup, and Spicy Calamari. There’s also a small selection of sushi. Keep in mind that entrees here come with a bowl of salad and a LOT of food, so unless you’re starving, you might get plenty full from the entrees alone.
We decided to try the Spicy Calamari for $10, which is grilled ika steak (aka squid) tossed with garlic sauce. This isn’t the same small calamari you’d find fried on many app menus — it’s big, hefty chunks of large squid body meat. No breading in sight, but the squid flavors are similarly mild. The portion size is big, so it’s perfect for sharing. The chef also offered to serve the sauce on the side, but we chose to have it on our ika, and it was delicious! The sauce is the best part — a thick spicy chili sauce — and it certainly brings the HEAT! We know that some DON’T like it hot, so you’ve been warned. The “spicy” in the name definitely holds true here.
We had to be careful not to fill up on this, though, because we had to save our appetite for the main event — the entree! The choices are fairly standard hibachi fare. You’ve got various steaks to choose from, along with shrimp, chicken, scallops, and veggies.
You can also order combinations or additional entree add-on enhancements.
The Kids’ Menu features smaller portion sizes with plenty of choices to please even the pickiest of eaters.
We decided to try three proteins from the regular Entrees menus. Each of these entrees comes with Sunomono Salad. This is a sweet pickled cucumber and seaweed salad. And it was wonderful! The cucumbers are pickled like homemade bread and butter style pickles and were a really fresh flavorful way to start our meal.
Our chef soon got to work! This is the main draw of these style restaurants — dinner AND a show! These chefs are masters of their craft and do a phenomenal job not only cooking your meal but giving you a show to go along with it.
And yes, there WAS an onion volcano. Is it even hibachi if there is no onion volcano? It’s so much fun because the chefs really play it up. Your volcano might even turn into a choo-choo. Who knows! 🙂
We were then served Udon Noodles and Vegetables, which come with each entree we ordered. The noodles were thick and doughy, and quite filling! The veggies include Onions, Carrots, Zucchini, and Fresh Spinach. Both the noodles and vegetables are cooked in butter and soy sauce and seasoned with salt and pepper.
That’s one great thing to point out about this style of cooking — you’re watching exactly what goes into your food. You can see too that it’s all relatively HEALTHY, especially compared to other Disney World restaurants out there. Fresh veggies, meats, rice with simple seasonings — it’s a very balanced meal and not a deep-fried thing in sight (we happen to love deep-fried things but sometimes you just want some veggies, y’know?). This is a solid choice for folks watching carbs (just ask if you can substitute your rice and noodles for something else).
Speaking of carbs, each entree also comes with Steamed White Rice.
Yum Yum and Ginger Sauces are on hand when you’re ready to do some serious dipping! Ginger is typically recommended for dipping meats and Yum Yum is good for dipping, well, everything. It’s more of a mayonnaise-based sauce and goes particularly well with the veggies, in our opinion.
Veggies and sides out of the way, it’s time for the star of the menu — the proteins. We started with the Julienne Steak for $35. It’s 8 oz. of thinly sliced beef strips, served with the previously-mentioned sides. Oh, yeah!
Hey, it’s a Not-So-Hidden Mickey!
For our steak, we requested medium rare and that’s close to what we were served. Considering your chef is cooking multiple meats, seafood, and other proteins at the same time that all require different temperatures of doneness, it’s impressive how well the food is prepared.
The portion size was good, too, and the steak was so flavorful! The meat picks up a nice flavor from the sear on the grill. Although it didn’t need any additional flavor, we’re fans of the sauces and dipped away. Both sauces were good, but the ginger sauce did bring out the meat’s flavor a bit more. We think this was probably our favorite of the three entrees we tried.
But wait, because we were just getting started. We also ordered the Ebi, which is 10 oz. of grilled shrimp, served with the same accompaniments. Now shrimp isn’t usually too much to get excited about, but we can’t deny that this was some pretty awesome shrimp!
The portion size was also good, and the shrimp were big and plump! These are great dipped in that Yum Yum sauce, FYI! The Ebi is $30.
Our final protein choice was the Tori, which is 8 oz. of boneless chicken breast, with the same sides. And just like the previous meats, this chicken was cooked perfectly and was VERY tasty.
Here’s a tip, though: the chicken is even better with (you guessed it) the Yum Yum sauce, and it’s our favorite that we tried with that sauce.
Yes, this was a lot of food, but there’s no way we’re skipping out on dessert. We had several items to choose from, including Mango Mousse Cake, Chocolate Tofu Mousse, Matcha Tiramisu, and Soft-Serve Ice Cream. Not the most inventive dessert menu but actually quite similar to what you might find at a hibachi restaurant near you.
We’re big fans of mango here at DFB, so we totally went for the Mango Mousse Cake for $9. This is a Mango-flavored sponge cake with Mango Mousse filling decorated with a mango glaze. It was served on a raspberry drizzle. You want Mango Heaven? THIS is it!
The beauty of this cake is that it’s light and fruity. It didn’t make us feel over-full — especially after all that other food we ate! The middle layer was sort of like a mango curd, which just took it up an extra notch! If you’ve had a rockstar mango curd before, you know it’s tart almost like lemon curd. So basically, we loved it. And yes, it was very mango-y, but not to the point that it was TOO much. It gave us visions of our beloved mango pie at Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom, but as a light, airy cake.
It was the perfect dessert to end the meal on!
Nosh or Not?
You might want to visit Teppan Edo if:
- You want a meal that comes with its own entertainment.
- You’re celebrating a special occasion.
- You want food that will please a variety of eaters but is still fairly simple.
You might want to skip Teppan Edo if:
- You want a more unique dining experience. You CAN experience similar restaurants back home.
- You don’t like typical hibachi fare.
- You don’t want to sit with strangers during a meal.
We’re sure there was a time when Teppan Edo was considered an original dining experience, but most of us have easy access to hibachi grill restaurants now. But the truth is we still love going here, because it’s fun, and the food is consistently good.
We also didn’t find the plexiglass to be bothersome at our table. In fact, it was kind of nice to have the extra space! We had a great meal from start to finish, and the cast members working at Teppan Edo were on top of their game. Our servers had refills ready before we needed them, and we were offered to-go boxes for leftovers. The chefs were SO much fun and kept the mood cheery with their jokes and tricks. If you have kiddos with you, this is also a great meal for them. The chefs do a great job entertaining kids while they cook.
As far as value, this is on par with many other sit down meals, especially in EPCOT. In fact, if you’ve eaten at your local hibachi place, you might realize it’s relatively close in price to what you’d pay back home! Hibachi doesn’t come cheap, but for Disney, this isn’t too bad.
What Teppan Edo really comes down to, for us, is if we want to spend our time and money eating something that really isn’t all that different from hibachi we can get back home. The chefs are skilled and you’re getting a Disney World level of service, but it’s basically the same. BUT, at home or at Disney, it’s still a fun meal with well-made food. So it really comes down to your personal preference. The reason we continue to return here, despite it not being that original of an experience, is the food is reliably good. We can’t say that about a lot of restaurants in Disney World.
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Have you dined at Teppan Edo since its reopening? Let us know in the comments!