Lunch at Tokyo Dining

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While visiting Epcot with family recently, we were “stuck” in Mitsukoshi at the Japan pavilion due to one of the areas notorious afternoon storms. Fortunately, we could access the elevator to the restaurant upstairs without getting drenched, so we decided to have a late lunch while we waited for the rain to move out.

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We were able to walk up to the hostess and be seated immediately, which was nice because we were all quite hungry at that point. We ordered some drinks and looked over the menus to see what stood out to us.

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My mom isn’t the most adventurous eater and does not eat seafood, so before we got too comfortable, I made sure she could find something on the menu she would like. She decided on the Chicken Teriyaki from the Lunch Special menu.

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For $19, you get a LOT of food, and these meals may be one of the best values I’ve seen in the parks. While the images show both the Chicken Teriyaki and Beef Yakiniku with some sides, the menu only states that entrees come with Miso Soup. As it turns out, they do indeed come as the menu shows, with Sukiyaki Beef Rice, Noodle Salad, and Sunomono Salad in addition to the stated Miso Soup.

While I didn’t try any (I tend to pass on anything Teriyaki flavored), my mom said the chicken was really good. She tried a piece of my aunt’s beef dish and was glad she ordered the chicken instead. I will say, it looked more appetizing than the Teriyaki Chicken Karaage we ordered at the nearby Kabuki Cafe during Holidays Around the World.

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The Sukiyaki Beef Rice was very tasty, and a nice change from plain rice. My last experience with Sukiyaki Beef was in the Sukiyaki Beef Pan at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The sukiyaki beef on its own would be part of my own lunch entree, so we’ll get more into that shortly.

tokyo-dining-sukiyaki-beef-riceSukiyaki Beef Rice

The Noodle Salad had pieces of imitation crab in it, so my mom passed it off to her boyfriend. I think my aunt ate hers, but if not, she passed it off as well. Paul seemed to like it enough, but I had so much food in front of me, I didn’t think to taste it myself.

tokyo-dining-noodle-saladNoodle Salad

The Sunomono Salad was well received, though. Of course, we’re big on cucumber salad in my family.

tokyo-dining-sunomono-saladSunomono Salad

Beef Yakiniku Lunch Special came with the aforementioned sides, as well as a Garlic Sweet Ginger Soy Sauce. My aunt was a big fan of the sauce.

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Paul ordered the Sushi Sampler, which features Tuna Nigiri, Salmon Nigiri, Shrimp Nigiri, California Roll, Spicy Roll. Having enjoyed sushi here before, we knew it was good, though relatively safe and standard compared to local places. This sampler is a good value for the price at $12.95, offering a nice little assortment so you’re not locked in to a roll or two.

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I ordered the Bento Box Lunch Special, and holy mackerel it is huge. It comes with Panko Chicken Cutlet, Tuna Tartare Salad, California Roll, and Sukiyaki Beef. And Sukiyaki Beef Rice. And Miso Soup. I also received a side of the Garlic Sweet Ginger Soy Sauce for my cutlet.

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The Panko Chicken Cutlet was excellent. Even though the meat is pounded very thin, it retained its moisture. It came fresh from the fryer, leaving the panko nice and crisp. I wish they would serve this at Katsura Grill, perhaps with some udon.

tokyo-dining-bento-box-lunch-special-panko-chicken-cutletPanko Chicken Cutlet

The Salmon Tartare Salad was not my favorite. The flavor wasn’t overly-fishy to me, but texturally I just didn’t like it. I would have much rather preferred it prepared like the Tuna Salmon Sensation that used to be served.

tokyo-dining-bento-box-lunch-special-salmon-tartar-saladSalmon Tartare Salad

The California Roll was exactly what one would expect, simple yet still good.

tokyo-dining-bento-box-lunch-special-california-rollCalifornia Roll

I liked the Sukiyaki Beef with its subtle sweetness and light vinegar acidity. This would make for a great meal served on top of the rice that’s served alongside.

tokyo-dining-bento-box-lunch-special-sukiyaki-beefSukiyaki Beef

The Miso Soup had a good amount of green onion and seaweed in it. As my mom sipped from the bowl, she asked what Miso is. I told her it was fish broth and she almost did a spit-take. I then told her it was actually from soybeans.

tokyo-dining-miso-soupMiso Soup

Because I love eel, I had to order the Eel Nigiri. I love the rich flavor of eel and paired with the sweet eel sauce.

tokyo-dining-eel-nigiriEel Nigiri

The lunch specials all come with your choice of Green Tea Ice Cream or Vanilla. My Aunt and I each ordered the Green Tea, while my mom stuck with Vanilla. The Green Tea flavor is subtle to me, but it’s all my mom can taste and she isn’t a fan.

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Paul ordered the Green Tea Cheese Cake. The picture below is from the adjacent Teppan Edo, and it’s served the same way at Tokyo Dining, topped with Raspberry Sauce. If you order it next door at Katsura Grill, it is served plain.

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Here are the menus:

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In all, we all enjoyed our meal and experience at Tokyo Dining. Even among some pickier palates, everyone found something to their liking and were pleased with their food. I was really impressed by the value of the Lunch Specials, and personally would happily order the Bento Box again, despite not being crazy about the Salmon Tartare Salad (there are no substitutions with the lunch specials). They run the lunch specials until 4:30, so you can still get the deal and enjoy an early dinner. Of course, there is still plenty more to choose from on regular menu if none of the selections strike you. I think Matt will want to stop by for lunch himself soon since he missed out this time…

Have you been to Tokyo Dining? What do you like to order?

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9 responses to “Lunch at Tokyo Dining

  1. It’s been so many years since I ate there but I do remember ordering one of the bento boxes. Japanese food in general reminds me of home (my grandparents were all Japanese) but with so many options around the World Showcase, I don’t eat in that pavilion very often. I try to make the most of our one or two trips a year by eating at all the non-usual spots.

  2. That salmon doesn’t even look “tartare” to me. Isn’t tartare supposed to be raw?

  3. Ricardo – When you only visit once or twice a year, you definitely have to be more choosy!

    V – Based on the mild flavor, I believe it was raw (I struggle with cooked salmon), but it was like it had been pureed in a food processor to arrive at the texture it had.

  4. I’ve never eaten here despite having visited Teppan Edo multiple times! It looks like a pretty good value … however, I generally love salmon tartare, but that is the most upsetting-looking salmon tartare I’ve ever seen.

  5. Agreed – I was hoping for actual chopped raw salmon, like how it was in the Tuna Sensation a few years ago. This was reminiscent of cat food. But if you’re looking for Japanese an something more formal than Katsura Grill but quicker than Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining is a good bet, especially on property. 🙂

  6. I love it and pick it every time over Teppan Edo because it’s always much more relaxing. Also, the sesame dressing on the salad is delicious and the vegetable tempura is something I can never finish because it’s just so much food.

  7. I agree with the relaxing factor. I also like that you have a bit more portion control! 🙂

  8. Alicia Gardos

    Miso soup is frequently if not always made with a broth called dashi which is made of kelp and dried fish flakes, so it is indeed fish broth.

  9. Understood – I’ve had versions made a few different ways. And no matter how Tokyo Dining’s is made, it’s fun to freak my mom out!