11/15/13 Update: Menu updated.
Location: Katsura Grill is located in the Japan Pavilion on the left across from the Mitsukoshi Department Store and entrances to Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo.
Food Type: Japanese – Sushi, Teriyaki, Soup, Salads, etc.
Dining Plan: One quick service credit and some items count as snacks.
Unique Items: Most are either unique or only served in the Japan Pavilion.
- Air-conditioned indoor seating and peaceful, outdoor seating in the garden.
- Service is among the friendliest you’ll find at Walt Disney World. Orders are usually ready quickly.
- With $13 Combo Meals, you can find good value on the Disney Dining Plan.
- Extensive menu.
- Sushi is grocery story quality and teriyaki items are often fatty with a sauce that may be too sweet.
- “Picky” eaters may not find something they’re interested in.
- Limited indoor seating that is often cramped with those waiting to order.
Value: Below average to average. Portions are on the small side and prices equal to or higher than most other quick services.
Reputation: Better than this review would insinuate. A lot of people enjoy Katsura Grill and its predecessor, Yakitori House. I like several of the items that aren’t drenched in teriyaki sauce.
The Tonosama comes with teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, teriyaki salmon, steamed vegetables, and rice. They used to serve it with tempera vegetables, but no more. You can count the three bites of chicken just by looking at it. Amusingly, my first bite had a bone in it. The beef is fatty and drenched in unremarkable sauce. I do have positive words to say about the salmon and vegetables. Not sure how you screw up rice though. I’m surprised that Katsura Grill gets good reviews from people. I can usually see the value in something, even if it doesn’t particularly interest me or I don’t necessarily enjoy it. But in my opinion, there’s no upside here – it’s expensive, it’s not very good, and the portions aren’t particularly large. Three bites of chicken on a $13 combo?
Spicy Roll and Tsukemen Combo:
Tsukemen – Mixed Greens, Ramen Noodles, and Shredded Crab Stick. As far as I know, this is the full size portion. You’ve got a couple slices of cucumber on top in addition to the other advertised items. Underneath is a thin soy sauce dressing of sorts. I didn’t even realize it was there until I ate about half of it. Anyway, this was pretty good. There isn’t a whole lot to it – lettuce and ramen noodles. Both are served cold along with a few bites of fake crab. At the $6.95 price point I don’t think it’s worth the price, but it’s a nice accompaniment to the sushi. Since the sushi ordinarily runs $9, I rationalized this was an additional $4. It’s worth that.
This is the same sushi that you’ll find prepackaged virtually everywhere on property, including the resort quick service locations, Sunshine Seasons, and wherever else. It’s probably similar quality to your local grocery store, which makes it “less good” than the Kona Cafe Sushi Bar and (obviously) California Grill. I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it, but it’s perfectly decent. Not particularly imaginative, but the goal is obviously to appeal to the masses. Overall, this wasn’t a bad meal whatsoever at the $13 price point. That’s $3 or so more than you’d probably pay elsewhere, but it’s seemingly healthy and uses high quality, fresh ingredients.
Chicken Cutlet Curry:
The Chicken Cutlet Curry may look less appetizing than it tasted. It’s a brown curry with carrots over fried chicken and white rice. This was served piping hot and is quite a bit of food – a heartier dish than the sushi or teriyaki combo meals. It was spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. The coating on the chicken was thick and crunchy rather than light and crispy – not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and would order it again before the sushi or teriyaki options.
The pleasant surroundings outside. With the 90+ degree temperatures in the summer, outdoor seating isn’t particularly popular. There are a few tables inside, making it one of the few air-conditioned seating areas in World Showcase. A limited number of tables are also available inside.