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PRIORITY SEATING SPOTLIGHT
Japan's Teppan Edo Restaurant
Last Updated: March 2008

One of the things that my husband and I love about Epcot is the World Showcase. Where there are opportunities to learn about different cultures, through the performers, through the cast members and especially through the restaurant offerings. We had made our reservations for what was called the Teppanyaki Dining Room the first day we could, and were heartbroken when it looked like Japan's new Teppan Edo wouldn’t open in time for our Thanksgiving 2007 trip. When we learned it would be, we took heart. Upon arriving at Teppan Edo, our spirits soared. It was a wonderful experience, one that we would love to go back to again and again.

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Onion Volcano erupting

Our reservations were for November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. Having been to Walt Disney World for the first time together three years before, we figured that the crowds would be huge - little did we realize that it was insane! We had a reservation time of 7:50 p.m., and arrived about 7:20 with lots of time to spare. It was getting cold (or as cold as Florida gets in November), and we had to swim upstream once inside to find the check-in desk, and then try to gauge the flow to find one of the hostesses. Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining share not only the same floor above the Mitsukoshi Department Store… but also the same hostess stand, which makes things complicated, especially when both restaurants were booked full- between the time we tried to get checked in and the time we were actually checked in at the hostess desk, they went from seating times of 9:50 to being unable to serve everyone, and a lot of guests were unhappy…

We were seated about 10 minutes after our time, which in reality was not bad at all. Teppan Edo seats family style, with eight at a table, and four tables per room. We were seated with a family of four, and a separate couple enjoying an anniversary trip. The chef’s assistant, Yumiko, took drink and food orders, and passed around hot towels for us to wash our hands with, and then came back with appetizers for those who were on the dining plan. Chris and I decided to not use our credits for this meal, and decided to share an order of Nihonbashi Teppan-Yaki, which was a combination of sirloin steak and chicken breast. We were a little worried about the spices of the sauces that would accompany the meal, as I have a rather unusual food allergy, but Yumiko said not to worry, everything would be fine.

Iron Chefs!

Then Chef Nagatoshi, from Osaka, appeared at the table with the raw components of our meals. He went down the list of sauces, checking with my husband and me to see what exactly we could and could not eat, then proceeded to cook our shared meal first, so that there would be no possibility of something popping into our food. After cooking ours, Chef Nagatoshi then proceeded to cook the rest of the table’s food at the same time, showing off his knife and presentation skills… We had bouncing vegetables, flying shrimp across the grill, a flaming volcano from a whole onion, Odon noodles trying to ‘escape their fate’, knives bouncing from cook table to table to hand, all the while Chef Nagatoshi conversing with the table about their meal, where they’re from, how they’re enjoying their time…. After the meal was served, Chef Nagatoshi took the time to pose for pictures, a la Iron Chef Japan!

Everything was extremely flavorful, even without the sauces, yet familiar enough to be acceptable to everyone- no shark fin or squid ink ice cream here! We were given a mustard sauce, a soy-based sauce, and a teriyaki sauce, while our dinner companions were given an additional white sauce; the main dishes were served with noodles, a variety of vegetables, and sticky rice, while the children’s meal consisted of either pre-made chicken breast or shrimp or vegetable croquette served in a space shuttle tray that you could also purchase in the shop below.

We had a wonderful time, and we were lucky to be blessed with good “neighbors” who were interested in conversation. No matter the number of your party, unless you make a table of eight, you will be seated with others outside your party, and while we were having a good time cracking jokes and sharing stories, I did notice that other tables were relatively silent. After our meal was finished, Yumiko came back and took the plates and the checks, and we were free to enjoy Illuminations from the balcony outside. It was a wonderful end to a delightful experience, and we’d recommend it to anyone looking for something outside the theme park norm.

Chef Nagatoshi

To find out when you can plan your Advance Reservation for Teppan Edo, go to the PS Report.

Editor's Note: I would like to thank Christie Gibrich (bk_junkie on the DisneyEcho) for volunteering to do this PS Spotlight.


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Copyright© 2008 Scott L. Thomas All Rights Reserved.