Walt Disney World’s latest signature restaurant is open in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Takumi-Tei is Japanese for “house of the artisan”, and the name is perfect for this artistic new dining experience. I was invited to attend the Grand Opening Celebration on August 6, and I was definitely impressed by the restaurant’s sheer beauty.
Takumi-Tei celebrates the five natural elements; earth, stone, washi paper, water, and wood. These are represented by five globes as you enter the restaurant. Each globe has a Haiku printed below it. Once inside, you will dine in a room that has a corresponding theme. Each room is decorated to match its element, and even the chairs are different colors to represent the element. The restaurant is not very large, but that is part of its charm. There is a calming feeling throughout the space.
My favorite of the five rooms was the Water Room. There is a working fountain in the far wall! The Water Room is where the Chef’s Table takes place. That is a nine course meal. The chef will join the group with the various courses to explain what they are all about. A meal at the Chef’s Table at Takumi-Tei is not something that you will rush through. It is recommended that you give yourself and your party at least three hours to dine. It is for groups of six to eight people, and the cost is $180 per person. A six course beverage package can be added for an additional $100 per guest. If you would like more information or to make a reservation for the Chef’s Table, call 407-827-8504 or email [email protected] Reservations for this exclusive dining experience cannot currently be made through the Walt Disney World website.
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Even if you are not dining in the Water Room at the Chef’s Table you need to give yourself plenty of time to dine. It is recommended that you plan at least two hours for a meal at Takumi-Tei. Once you see the menu, you will not be in a hurry. You can start your journey with an appetizer such as Miso or Hama no Kani (Crab on the Beach). The main course can consist of Wagyu beef, roast duck, sea bass, or another choice. The sushi is a work of art, and there is a great selection. If you’re the type of person who can’t decide what to order because everything sounds so delicious, the Omakase Tasting Menu could be the perfect solution. It includes several courses and a traditional Tea Ceremony.
Takumi-Tei also offers several specialty cocktails that were created to perfectly accompany your meal. There are also nonalcoholic specialties. If you would prefer wine, there are several international vintages available. There is also a good variety of Japanese beer.
If you are looking for a tranquil meal where you can slow down the pace during your Walt Disney World vacation, Takumi-Tei could be the respite that you need. The interior is striking, yet simple, and the food is amazing. Like much of the Japan Pavilion, Takumi-Tei is operated by Mitsukoshi U.S.A. If you are looking for an intimate setting within a theme park, this could be the place for you. It’s perfect for a special occasion, but it’s also perfect for “just because”. Takumi-Tei is family friendly, the staff is outstanding, and the surroundings are incredible. If you want to forget all of your preconceived notions about what it’s like to dine inside a theme park, Takumi-Tei will help you to do just that. It is that special.