Review: Teppan Edo: Epcot
When the hardest part of writing a restaurant review is endeavoring to discern what were the negatives and struggling to name even one, what can one conclude that the meal was a 5-star event.
Such was the case with Teppan Edo, the Japanese teppanyaki restaurant located in Epcot’s World Showcase. Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine, typically cooked on a propane-heated surface grill and in front of guests, similar to hibachi which has a charcoal or gas flame.
Whether teppanyaki dining is new to you or you are a seasoned connoisseur of such cuisine, Teppan Edo will not disappoint. From the warm and welcoming service to the amazing food to the entertaining and talented chefs, this restaurant is at the top of its class.
The restaurant consists of several rectangular dining rooms, each housing four tables, each table seating approximately ten people. Guests are seated with other diners outside their own party which also adds to the overall experience. And while sparsely decorated, the dining rooms are too alive with spectacle to feel sparse. The black/red color scheme is attractive and elegant. And something my dining companions and I immediately noticed was the cleanliness of the room. The floor, table and chairs were immaculate.
Our server Naoka was friendly and diligent, her smile never wavering. Mana, her assistant, was our server-in-training. And although she was still earning her mouse ears, she was every bit as efficient, courteous and endearing as her trainer. They explained that the table grill would be heated to 500 degrees and warned us to be careful. They were responsible for taking orders and serving beverages and appetizers. Both women seemed to genuinely want us to enjoy our time at their restaurant and were very focused on providing whatever we needed.
For starters, we shared the Assorted Tempura, a wonderful sampler of lightly battered chicken, shrimp and vegetables accompanied by a Japanese dipping sauce. The batter was crispy and light enough to not overpower the freshness of the goodies they enveloped but give them a lovely texture. The chicken and shrimp were incredibly tender. Similarly, the ginger-based soy sauce was seasoned enough to add a subtle zest but delicate enough to not mask the fresh flavor of the vegetables.
Next we were introduced to our talented Teppan chef, Akira. He was lively, comical and delightful, joking with the guests, providing engaging conversation and ensuring we had a good time at his table. From the onion “volcano” he created to his juggling of wooden spice holders, he had us all laughing and fixated on his antics. On top of that, he prepared the most delectable meals (despite the fact he claimed this was his first day on the job and that he had quickly watched a dvd in the kitchen so he’d know what to do).
All entrees at Teppan Edo consist of Udon noodles, mushrooms, onions and zucchini. They are brilliantly seared and grilled to perfection so that they burst with flavor. It is for you to choose what you would like added to this medley: chicken, shrimp, pork loin, filet mignon, sea scallops or combinations of two of these items. My companions and I each selected a different item and then shared and compared: chicken (tori), shrimp (ebi) and pork loin (ton).
The shrimp were amazing. Large shrimp perfectly grilled with a light seasoning. They couldn’t be more satisfying. The chicken was tender and juicy, again seared to perfection. The pork loin was lean and delectable. Although the meals were so flavorful and savory they could stand on their own, they were accompanied by a trio of sauces: ginger for the vegetables, mustard for the meats and a white sauce for seafood. And while the ingredients were so delicious they didn’t need sauces, the sauces still enhanced the flavors so perfectly that each bite was savored. They were the perfect complements to the meal.
The quality of the food was apparent. While there was no denying Akira’s skills, the ingredients were beyond fresh and lean. And it definitely showed.
Because the portions were large, we were unable to order dessert although the green tea pudding looked and sounded refreshing and seemed to be a sweet end to a fabulous dining experience.
If there was anything negative to be said perhaps it would be something rather slight: because of the exhaust fans and steam and sizzling sounds, the room can be rather loud which makes the chef and server, at times, rather difficult to hear. Besides that, this reviewer cannot find anything but a garden of delight in Teppan Edo.
Food: Incredible. Has to be some of the best and freshest food on Disney property.
Atmosphere: Simple but classy and clean, clean, clean
Service: Our servers and chef seemed so proud of their restaurant and their desire to make our meal a pleasurable event seemed genuine and unyielding. First rate
Tips: Do your taste buds a favor and GO!!!!