Our attention turns to Teppan Edo, the popular teppanyaki restaurant that’s operated by Mitsukoshi above their department store in the Japan Pavilion. The upstairs space is shared with Tokyo Dining. If you’re looking for the elevator, it’s located underneath where the “g” is in “Dining” and while small, will take you right up.
Tokyo Dining, which I’ll review separately, offers a traditional menu in a contemporary atmosphere. See this post for an update on everything going on around the Japan Pavilion.
At Tokyo Dining, ask about a window table for a fantastic view of the promenade.
There’s also an opportunity to watch the sushi chefs throughout the meal.
Teppan Edo, on the other hand, offers more of an industrial vibe with several rooms containing the tabletop grills.
Four grills are typically housed in each room with eight chairs around them. Any review you read of Teppan Edo will point out that your party of less-than-eight will be seated with others, which seems to turn some people off from making a reservation. As someone that enjoys terrorizing strangers with odd questions, it’s one of my favorite things about the experience. And you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to dine with the King of Disney blogging, whoever that might be. On the plus side, nobody is really facing each other like you’ll see at Biergarten and most parties include at least one Chatty Kathy. Just put them on the end as a sort of buffer.
Both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining open at 12pm each day and around 11:52am, there’s a short ceremony welcoming the first guests of the day to the restaurants. It’s a fun little thing if you have an early reservation and arrive in time to see it.
Here’s the current menu:
Prices are on the high side, making this a good candidate for those on the Disney Dining Plan as most entrees come in around $35. The restaurant also does not participate in Tables in Wonderland, which may affect your decision about whether you want to eat here or at Tokyo Dining next door, which does accept the discount. That’s probably a testament to the restaurant’s continuing popularity and the premium that you’ll pay to dine at Edo isn’t much more than other Epcot restaurants. At Kobe Steakhouse, which is a similar teppanyaki concept with two nearby locations, the Scallops will run you $25 versus the $35 paid here. At Kobe, six ounces of Chicken costs $19 compared to the $30 you’d pay here for eight ounces. And the Filet Mignon is $26 at Kobe compared to $36 at Teppan Edo. On the other hand, we saw a $30 Chicken Fettuccine “lunch special” at Tutto Italia, while Little Italy, which is located next door to the local Kobe Steakhouse, charges $17 for the same dish. So while Teppan Edo is on the spendy side, it’s obviously par for the course if you’re considering an Epcot restaurant.
Meals begin with a small “Garden Salad,” which is basically a blend of lettuce tossed in a ginger dressing. One tip: if you ever have the misfortune of moving to the Orlando area, check out Makoto Ginger Dressing at your local grocery store. It’s incredibly addicting. Teppan Edo’s is only “okay” in comparison, but it’s a few crunchy bites that are a good way to keep the meal moving.
It also gives everyone something to do while the appetizers are delivered to the table. This is a plate of the $14 “Wafu Ribs – Sake, Soy Sauce, Ginger-braised Pork Ribs,” which I don’t think I would recommend. With three ribs, the portion size is small and the meat was dry and fatty. I feel like you’ll be grabbing a glass of water just looking at that rib on the left. There’s not a whole lot of value here.
For $12, the “Assorted Tempura – Shrimp and Seasonal Vegetables” is a better proposition, I think.
But with two shrimp and a couple of vegetable slices, there isn’t a ton of value here either.
The batter is appropriately crunchy and while it’s a little on the salty side, the delicious, citrus-y sauce is what carries the dish. Later on in the meal, it helped spice up the rice a little bit too.
A variety of drinks are offered.
The $12 “Shochu Squeeze – Your choice of Fresh-squeezed Grapefruit, Lemon, or Orange Juice mixed with a cold glass of crisp Shochu on the Rocks.”
It’s “fresh-squeezed” because you have to do it yourself, which is kind of hilarious. But it is incredibly fresh with the sweet and sour flavors of the grapefruit juice mixing in nicely with the neutral spirit.
I’ve never ordered a cocktail that I’ve been particularly impressed with in Japan and that streak continued on both of my recent visits. This is the $12 “Violet Silk Martini – Vodka shaken with Purple Pear and Lime Juice…A sophisticated taste for the palate.” It was weak, syrupy, and artificial-tasting.
It might be smarter to try something like the $18 “Sampling Sake Flight – Karatanba (Dry), Hana Awaka (Sparkling), Nigori (Unfiltered Sweet).”
It’s a great way to taste the different flavors in a variety of sakes and the presentation in the wood cradle is elegant.
More cocktails. I almost always try something because the various drinks always sound good, but they’re typically very weak even when the ingredients are supposed to be completely alcohol.
Sapporo Black is actually pretty good with your typical roasted malts, chocolate, and cocoa. Very drinkable.
Wine as well.
A precious pot of tea will set you back just $3 and is a worthy investment.
One interesting thing that I hadn’t noticed on previous visits – The $18 Volcano Roll is “Grilled California Roll topped with Shrimp, Scallops, and Volcano Sauce.”
But you can watch everything being prepared right there on the grill with two large scallops and a decent number of shrimp served alongside the eight pieces of sushi. The spicy sauce smells as good as it tastes on the grill and I think this is the best start to your meal available. Very shareable.
The show elements are what help set Teppan Edo apart from similar experiences.
Perhaps outside of Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, you won’t see more smiles than you will around the grills at Teppan Edo.
Kids are typically enthralled by what can best be described as a show with all kinds of tricks.
Nobody’s going to be bored here. Of note is that the restaurant is typically one of the loudest you’ll find at Epcot or elsewhere as 32 people, four chefs, and four servers are crowded into each small room. I’ve never found that to be a particular problem with so much attention paid to what’s happening on the grill, but Teppan Edo is not the best spot for an intimate conversation.
There’s quite a bit of food involved as the chef prepares just about everything at once.
You’ll go from this.
To this in just two minutes.
Entree-wise, there are eight main choices, three different combinations, and then a variety of pricey “Enhancements.”
My favorite entree is the $35 “Hotate – Cold Water Ocean Scallops.” Each entree is accompanied by Udon Noodles, Vegetables, and Steamed White Rice.
The Scallops are incredibly tender with a delicious grilled seafood flavor and just a little bit of crispiness on the outside. Truly delicious.
The $37 “Asakusa – Steak and Shrimp.” Shrimp are expensive here…adding just five of them to your meal as an “Enhancement” will set you back $15 and they’re not particularly large. The combination should be the regular portion of the NY Cut Steak along with just a couple bites of Shrimp. Still, not a bad investment for two dollars.
On the plus side, the tender steak was expertly-grilled to a nice medium rare and while slightly under-seasoned for my tastes, still flavorful with the natural juices of the beef
If you’re willing to forgo an ounce of meat and don’t mind paying two more dollars for the pleasure, then you have the opportunity to select the Filet Mignon, which is six ounces of USDA Choice Beef Tenderloin. This is the real deal grilled to a nice medium – incredibly fresh and flavorful with a depth of flavor that you’ll rarely find from one of Disney’s standard “New York Steaks.”
The side of Udon Noodles and Vegetables is more substantial than it probably looks in the picture. Often times, these sorts of noodles “feel” a little slimy with a really strong soy flavor, but that’s not typically a problem at Teppan Edo with the onions and zucchini helping to add structure to each bite.
A small bowl of fluffy white rice is also provided.
On the left is the “Yum Yum Sauce,” which is a creamy mixture of secret ingredients that enhances just about everything it touches. This time around, my Scallops tasted so good on their own that I didn’t do a lot of dipping. The same could be said for the Filet Mignon, but it’s hard to resist the lure of the Yum Yum. The Ginger Sauce is sweet and zesty with a little bit of white wine vinegar and garlic involved. I think it tastes best alongside the seafood, though I think most people leave the sauce largely untouched.
Dessert is easily Teppan Edo’s weakest link.
I had family in town that were on the Dining Plan, so we basically had to order something.
The $6.50 “Green Tea Mousse Cake – alternating layers of delicate green tea sponge cake with a light and fluffy green tea mousse, topped with a lush covering of fresh whipped cream” is surprisingly bland with a lot of sugar and a mushy texture. Unfortunately, it’s probably the best of the bunch.
The $6.50 “Ginger Mousse Cake – layered sponge cake with ginger mousse and a ribbon of rich chocolate icing to top it off” was the worst of the three. These are obviously defrosted, which is a shame after enjoying some of the freshest food available at Epcot.
And the $6.50 “Mango Mousse Cake – mango-flavored sponge cake with a smooth flavorful mango mousse decorated with a tropical glaze.” On the plus side, all of the desserts are light, even if “spongecake” seems like a reference to the flavor rather than the texture. With so many goodies available around World Showcase, I’d probably wait to try something somewhere else, perhaps either at the Boulangerie in France or Karamell-Küche in Germany.
Overall, Teppan Edo is a fun restaurant that should shine brighter than most similar opportunities available back home, which isn’t something that you can always say about Epcot restaurants. Portions are on the smaller side for the most part, though I found my Scallops to be particularly filling at a price that’s similar to or less than what you’d pay for that much food elsewhere. The Filet Mignon is also signature-quality beef at a price that’s much lower than you’d pay at Flying Fish or Monsieur Paul. And with all of the great snacks available at Epcot, leaving less-than-completely-stuffed might be a good thing, particularly if you don’t want to carry leftovers around for the rest of the day.
Service might be the best at Walt Disney World. You’ll have a dedicated server in charge of taking and delivering drink orders along with most of the appetizers and desserts. And the chef is right there in front of you the entire time, both cooking the food perfectly and providing a lot of entertainment. Kids are typically enthralled with everything that’s going on. I’m not always in the mood for Teppan Edo, but I’ve enjoyed every visit and the quality is typically consistent from meal to meal and year to year, which is uncommon at most other Disney restaurants. I do wish there was something a little more unique about the restaurant’s interior or that the grills were spaced out a little more, but those are two small gripes.
I’m expecting that the new signature restaurant planned for the Pavilion will raise the bar even more.
We’ll check out Mitsukoshi Department Store next.