One of my favorite places in Epcot to dine is one of the places that I don’t hear people talk about very often – Tokyo Dining. Located on the second floor of Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion, Tokyo Dining offers interesting food options, and you can often snag a dining reservation at the last minute. I’ve never had a disappointing meal here. So, what makes Tokyo Dining so special?
First, the atmosphere in Tokyo Dining is top-notch. The décor is sleek and contemporary, yet comfortable. The restaurant also offers fantastic views of World Showcase with gigantic floor to ceiling windows on one side. Don’t feel like gazing out at the torii gate? Request a table next to the sushi counter and watch the chefs work their magic. Another thing that I really love about this location is that, since it is on the second floor, I feel much more removed from the chaos of World Showcase. To me it is a nice, quiet(er), getaway from the hubbub of people.
Second, the service at Tokyo Dining is impeccable. We had two servers during this visit – one was a seasoned veteran and the other was earning her ears. The trainee actually did all of the work, with the trainer simply observing. This trainer/trainee situation did not impact the quality of service we received in any way. One thing that we’ve consistently found at Tokyo Dining is that our servers are the politest people we interact with on our entire trip. Prepare yourself to hear, “Arigatou gozaimasu!” (that’s “thank you” in Japanese) a few dozen times during your meal.
Third, there’s the food. And boy do I love the food! To be fair, I’m a fan of Japanese cuisine. However, I’ve taken less-adventurous friends and family here and they didn’t have a problem finding something to eat. (See the full menu here.) Two great standbys for more standard fare include the Teriyaki Butter Grilled Chicken and the New York Strip Steak. I’ve had dining companions who have ordered those meals, and neither one disappointed.
When it comes to appetizers, I’ve only sampled the Sesame and Chili Edamame. It was good, but largely forgettable. I probably won’t waste valuable stomach space on it again. On the other hand, I will ALWAYS find space in my stomach for the sushi!
Sushi is what I generally order when dining here, and I have no immediate plans to change that. On my most recent visit, I ordered the Spicy Crunchy Roll, which is half tuna roll and half salmon roll, topped with tempura crunch and dynamite and volcano drizzle. I cannot communicate to you how much I loved this! (My mouth is watering right now…) The crunch of the tempura mixed with the spiciness of the drizzle was absolutely amazing. If they still offer this on my next trip, you can bet that this is what I’ll be ordering.
Right now, Tokyo Dining offers eight different kinds of sushi rolls and three sashimi choices. There are also eight Nigiri sushi options (single pieces), and an interesting Omakase Nigiri menu item. This particular offering gives you six different pieces of Nigiri paired with complimentary garnishes for $20. If you like sushi, you’ll definitely find something to order here. (If you’ve never tried it, maybe now is the time!)
Moving on to the other menu options, my husband chose to order a dish we’d never tried – the Durock Tonkatsu Pork Rack. This consisted of panko-crusted Durock pork with tonkatsu red wine sauce and grilled pineapple. Unfortunately, it looks like Disney recently updated this menu item to the Kurobuta Tomahawk Tonkatsu, so what my husband ate just a short time ago is not exactly what Tokyo Dining is offering at the moment. However, the description is almost identical. (They now use Berkshire pork instead of Durock.) Regardless, this was a flavorful dish with a good ratio of panko breading to pork. The grilled pineapple was a nice touch, and my husband reported that his meal was absolutely fantastic. (He cleaned his plate entirely and never actually gave me a bite! Not that I shared my sushi with him…)
One of the things I love about Tokyo Dining is that they always have some interesting alcoholic drink options. On this particular visit my husband was the adventurous one. He ordered the Ringo Caramel, which consists of vodka, sake, green apple, and caramel sauce. (I wasn’t in the mood for something quite this rich.) He said that it tasted like one of those caramel apple suckers that you can find around Halloween. (I’m not entirely sure how to interpret that feedback, but he did drink it all.) I don’t think we’ve ever visited Tokyo Dining without ordering at least one of the special drinks.
Although we’ve never dined here with children, I want to point out that they have a children’s menu that is slightly more creative than what you’ll find most places. Whether this is good or bad depends entirely upon you and your kids! You can find the old standby of Chicken Nuggets (Chicken Tempura Nuggets, no less!), but they also offer a Chicken Teriyaki Burger, Kurobuta Sausage Dog, and California Roll. All of the kids’ menu items come with soft-serve ice cream.
Lastly, I feel bad ignoring the dessert options, but we’ve never actually had any of them. (Shocking, I know!) They offer Green Tea Mousse Cake, Ginger Mousse Cake, and Soft-Serve Ice Cream, but we’re usually either too stuffed or we have our eyes on some other kind of sweet treat in World Showcase. Besides, I just don’t understand dessert that isn’t chocolate.
Tokyo Dining remains one of our favorite places in Epcot, and it is probably one of our most-visited. Have you enjoyed a meal at Tokyo Dining? Think you’d give it a shot in the future? I’d love to hear about your experiences!