Disney Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 04-05-2012
Everyone has their favorite places to eat at Walt Disney World, and we’re no exception to that rule. Ours is Teppan Edo at Epcot.
We discovered Teppan Edo, as it's now called, many years ago, on one of our first visits to Walt Disney World as a couple, and we were hooked on it immediately. Back then, it was called Teppanyaki, but after a name change, and some cosmetic changes to the decor, it emerged as Teppan Edo. Thank goodness the changes didn't have any impact on the food or entertainment, both of which we always find to be excellent.
Epcot - Teppan Edo
One of the chefs at work at Teppan Edo in Japan.
I'll say now that part of the attraction of Teppan Edo for us is that there's nothing similar where we live. I know that, for a lot of people, teppanyaki-style dining is something can easily be found close to their homes, so finding it at Walt Disney World isn't that exciting, but not us.
For those who haven't experienced teppanyaki-style dining, essentially your meal is cooked in front of you by a chef on a boiling hot teppan griddle, hence the name. At Teppan Edo, there are eight seats at a huge table, surrounding the griddle on three sides, with the chef on the fourth side. That means that, if you're in a group of less than eight people, then you'll be seated with other people. That’s never been an issue for us, and we've met some wonderful people over the years, and had a lot of fun with them.
The fact that your food is cooked right in front of you is only half the fun, as the chefs always put on a wonderful show for their guests. It's impossible to know what they'll do, but over the years we'e seen a steaming "Mount Fuji," made out of a set of onion rings, and a hidden Mickey. You may even get to see a choo choo train! The chefs are exceptionally inventive, and even when you don't have kids on your table, they're still there to entertain.
Because of the style of cooking, it’s worth knowing that everything is cooked on the same grill, and that could be an issue if you have allergies. Be sure to advise Disney beforehand, when you make your Advanced Dining Reservation, and again when you arrive, if there are any such issues. Equally, vegetarians take note – you may see meat being cooked in front of you. I don’t eat meat, and that’s taken some getting used to over the years.
So what’s the food like? Well, one simple answer I could give is “excellent,” but I’m sure you’d prefer me to elaborate on that, and justify my beliefs! All menus are subject to change at any time, but appetizers here usually include some Japanese traditions, like the miso soup, a traditional soybean paste soup, which we always order, along with assorted tempura (deep-fried seafood, meats, and/or veggies), and we’ve been impressed with this in the past.
Of course, there’s also a selection of sushi, including some samplers, if you’re not sure of what you like. There’s the old favorite the California roll, made up of avocado, cucumber, crab, mayonnaise, seaweed, and sushi rice. It’s not an expansive choice, but if you’re looking for sushi, you may be better off at the neighbouring Tokyo Dining. If the choices sound too exotic for you, then you may find a garden salad on the menu, which comes with your choice of original ginger dressing or creamy sesame dressing.
When it comes to entrees, everything is served with seasonal vegetables with udon noodles, and steamed white rice. Again, the menu can change from time to time, but you’ll always find some meat, and fish, along with yasi, the fresh seasonal vegetables. There’s plenty on offer for non-meat eaters, and last time we visited, I tried the swordfish steak, and was very impressed, both with the way it was cooked, and the size of the thing! Other options may include sea scallops, and shrimp. Meat eaters will find plenty too, usually filet mignon, sirloin steak, pork loin steak, and chicken breast are on the menu.
Epcot - Teppan Edo
The sushi sampler at Teppan Edo.
There are also combination entrees: Nihonbashi - sirloin steak and chicken breast; Asakusa - sirloin steak and large shrimp; and Ueno - chicken breast and large shrimp. I’m sure that they used to do a fish combination entree, but sadly that’s gone from the menu for now. The names of the combination entrees, by the way, are all neighborhoods of Tokyo, which I think is a lovely touch.
Kids won’t go hungry here, with a choice of either chicken breast, large shrimp, or fresh seasonal vegetables.
Sadly, we usually tend to find after we’ve finished our entree we’re too full for much else, but I have tried the ice cream, although I’ve never been brave enough to try the more exotic Japanese flavors. I guess I’m just a traditionalist when it comes to my desserts! Green tea pudding, and chocolate ginger cake may be other offerings on the menu. For us, this is one of those restaurants that sums up the essence of Epcot. It transports you to a far away place, allows you to experience cuisine you may not usually get at home (certainly in our case!) and, even better, it also adds in an element of fun, making this a great choice for all age groups. Is it any wonder we keep going back every time we visit Walt Disney World?
Updated 04-05-2012 - Article #791
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