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Walt Disney World Dining Review: Tokyo Dining at EPCOT

EPCOT’s World Showcase has a lot of dining locations. But I often find myself thinking “I don’t want to eat at any of these places.” Don’t get me wrong there are definitely some great options. I just feel that with most of the restaurants there’s a lot left to be desired. Almost like they haven’t reached their full potential. It’s also hard to get excited about a lot of them when you know there are some great options right outside the gates at the Boardwalk, Yacht & Beach, Swan and Dolphin resorts. Well I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised with my recent experience at Tokyo Dining at EPCOT.

Above the Mitsukoshi Department store in the Japan pavilion lies two restaurants. Most think only Teppan Edo is up there but Tokyo Dining also shares this floor with its sister restaurant. Teppan Edo is an Hibachi style restaurant where they cook your meal in front of you with a theater like presentation. I have eaten there before and enjoyed my meal. Nothing I couldn’t get at my local Benihana but still not bad.

Tokyo Dining had never really piqued my interest. But during a recent trip when deciding where to dine on a particular evening my party and I had an “aw heck let’s just give this place a shot” moment. Now, I can say that I am glad we had that moment.

The restaurant space itself is quite nice. It has big windows in the front looking out onto World Showcase lagoon. The space brings a modern feel that also includes Japanese touches. But nothing is in your face. A refined theming.

The main room at Tokyo Dining
The main room at Tokyo Dining brings a modern feel with Japanese touches.

Our service was exceptional. Our server was very friendly, prompt and always cognizant of us. Which is something I always appreciate in a server.

The menu had familiar dishes and wasn’t too overwhelming. Since Flower and Garden was going on when I dined at Tokyo Dining we had been eating our way around the Showcase before hand. Because of that we opted to not get a starter. The first of the main dishes was the California Roll. It was a simple sushi roll for $14 but this one was executed well. Sushi is a big part of the menu here and from the main room you can see the sushi chefs preparing the rolls fresh.

The California Roll
The classic California Roll.

A second sushi dish was ordered as well. This was the “Fresh Sashimi Sampler” which included Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, and Seabream and cost $16. If you don’t know what sashimi is, it’s basically a raw piece of fish without the rice like you’d get in a sushi roll. It’s of course a much bigger piece that you would get in the middle of a roll. This had two or three slices per fish variety. While it seems like a simple dish it really is all about the freshness of the ingredients. You could definitely taste how fresh the fish was which made this dish a winner.

Fresh Sashimi Sampler
The Sashimi Sampler stood out in large part because of the freshness of the fish.

I myself opted for the bento box. This was pretty much the best of all worlds. A bento box is the device the meal is served it and it allows one to taste a little bit of several different things. This bento box came in at $34 but you got a lot for that price. It included: Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, New York Sirloin Steak with Garlic-Ginger Sauce, Chicken Teriyaki, Tuna and Salmon Poke Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing, Tuna Roll, Salmon Roll, Shrimp Nigiri Roll, and Vegetable Roll. One thing to note about this was that the bento box was actually served in two separate pieces. One contained all the hot items and the other all the cold. I thought this was a cool option and a way to make sure the food you were eating was at its proper temperature.

The Bento Box
The Bento Box offers a little bit of everything.

My least favorite part about the bento box was the chicken but that was still quite tasty. The sauce on it was great, the meat was just a little dry. The steak was great as well. You were given a few different pieces of sushi which is nice to have some variety. And your tempura was also a mix of vegetables for some variety too.

I will say the star of the bento box was the Tuna and Salmon Poke Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing. The dressing was to die for and the raw tuna and salmon was a great element in the salad. If that was the only thing I got, I would’ve been ok with it. But luckily there was a whole slew of other tasty items included!

Overall I was very pleased with the meal from start to finish. What started as a “whatever” kind of meal when it was booked turned into a new favorite. I will definitely be going back to Tokyo Dining and the next time you find yourself saying “where should I eat in EPCOT?” considering giving this place a shot.

 

 


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