Tokyo Dining: A Hidden Jewel in Epcot Dining

by on October 3, 2017 10 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Epcot

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?

Tokyo Dining menu

Tokyo Dining is a great restaurant for a last-minute ADR.

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.

Tokyo Dining view

The floor to ceiling windows in Tokyo Dining offer an amazing view of World Showcase.

Tokyo Dining sushi counter

You can watch the chefs prepare the sushi while you wait for your food. (Photo copyright – Disney)

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.

Tokyo Dining menu

The Tokyo Dining menu seems to update fairly regularly.

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.

Spicy Crunchy Roll

Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the Spicy Crunchy Roll!

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…)

Durock Pork

The Durock Tonkatsu Pork Rack – imagine it without the blurriness. I had a scary “let’s-try-to-break-the-camera” moment that led to this masterpiece. (Photo bad; food good.)

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.

Ringo Caramel

There’s almost always at least one weird drink option at Tokyo Dining.

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!

Posted on October 3, 2017

10 Responses to “Tokyo Dining: A Hidden Jewel in Epcot Dining”

  • I have to disagree – I recently dined at Tokyo Dining and would say it is one of the WORST places in World Showcase to eat. The service was terrible – came to take our order for drinks and just took one persons (from a group of 6 of us) and then walked away. The waitress returned, then asked if we wanted to order, when she had not even asked the others about their drink orders. The meal was not very good either – things overcooked. Finally, the dessert options are poor. They used to have better options, but have since downgraded. I would not return here, and would recommend Teppan Edo over this meal, hands down. Also, if you are using the dining plan, the menu becomes even more confusing, where certain things count toward appetizers and entrees, but then other things do not. Very confusing! One positive thing, however: watching Illuminations from the restaurant is excellent. Probably the only things I would recommend… but then you can see it from the balcony without having to dine here, too. Overall, there are MUCH better options in World Showcase (La Hacienda in Mexico; Tutto Italia in Italy) that are much better than Tokyo Dining.

    • by Angela Wilhelm on October 3, 2017, at 2:03 pm EST

      I’m sorry you had such a disappointing experience! A bad dining experience can really put a damper on things. I’ve dined at Teppan Edo as well, and while we liked it, we’ve always gravitated back to Tokyo Dining. At least the nice thing about World Showcase is that there are tons of dining options, so if one place doesn’t work for you, there are always others to try!

  • I think this is a great, fun option if you like sushi. We go here just about every trip and share several different rolls, and we’re booked for our upcoming trip in a few months. In my experience, the service has always been good and over the top friendly. We skip dessert here too – there are too many amazing dessert options in Germany and France to waste stomach space on what they have.

    • by Angela Wilhelm on October 3, 2017, at 2:05 pm EST

      It’s funny you say that because on our last trip to Tokyo Dining we went straight to France afterward for dessert! 🙂

  • My family LOVES Tokyo Dining. It is a must-do on every trip!

  • Tokyo Dining is truly a hidden gem. Good and friendly service with excellent food. I could say that however about most of the sit-down restaurants at Epcot. Tokyo Dining is on our family favorite list.

  • I would say it’s actually pretty mediocre. Not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but nothing memorable. Having just spent a month in Japan I would place it on the same level as getting a bento from lawsons or a decent eki-ben at a train station, but no where near the quality on average I got on average from restaurants there.

    Sure great in a pinch and usually available as an ADR, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.

  • Maybe we’re just spoiled by the high quality of Japanese restaurants in New York, but we’ve never found any of the Japan Pavilion restaurants to be better than mediocre. There are so many better dining options inside and nearby Epcot (and better Japanese places outside the Disney bubble) that we don’t even consider it an option anymore.

  • Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never seem
    to get nearly anything done.

  • Great place for Illuminations viewing. We reserved so we’d be halfway through dining at 9:30. Servers paused while diners went out onto the second story balcony for best visibility.