The Japan pavilion at Epcot has always been one of my favorite places in the World Showcase, especially with its Mitsukoshi store full of all kinds of interesting finds and unique snacks. As a huge fan of Japanese food, I was thrilled to hear that a new, more authentic restaurant was coming to the pavilion.
I was fortunate enough to be able to dine at Takumi-Tei during my last trip to Disney World and it has become one of my new favorites restaurants at Disney World.
The restaurant is located on the first level of the pavilion’s main building, next to the huge store. You’ll find the entrance down a small pathway next to little zen garden.
Five themes are represented throughout Takumi-Tei: Earth, Water, Stone, Paper, and Wood. This starts with the entrance way leading you into the restaurant with each element showcased in displays featuring a haiku.
Washi Paper Room
Each theme is reflected with its own dining room. We were seated in the Washi Paper Room, a beautiful room that’s much lighter than the other themed rooms (Not that the other ones weren’t also beautiful and interesting rooms.) The back-lit walls feature Mount Fuji and Japanese cherry blossoms.
I had watched and read many reviews before coming to Takumi-Tei. With it not exactly being the cheapest restaurant at Disney World, I wanted to make sure not to order the wrong then. With that being said, my expectations were high and luckily the food did not disappoint.
Most of the reviews I saw were about the Omakase Tasting Menu (priced at $150 per person), I didn’t really want to spend that much on one dinner. However, I do plan on trying the tasting menu on my next visit.
The refined menu consists of Appetizers, Main Courses, Maki Sushi, Nigiri, Sashimi, and Desserts. There’s also a list of wine, Japanese beer, and specialty cocktails.
The meal starts with an Otoshi, which is basically a one-bite dish. This is something not on the menu and is created daily by the chef.
Ushikai no Shukaku – Cattleman’s Harvest
The Japanese A-5 Wagyu Ribeye was served with Potato, Lotus Root, Baby Shiitake Mushroom, Cippolini Onion, and a Arima Sansho Pepper Reduction. While it doesn’t look like that much food, it’s surprisingly filling, but not to the point you feel stuffed. Basically, it’s the perfect amount of food.
Listed under the Maki Sushi portion of the menu, this stunning sushi roll looks like an art mosaic. Inside the roll is Tuna, Yellowtail, Asparagus, Tobiko, Red Shiso Sauce, and a Lemongrass Ponzu sauce. The fish tasted incredibly fresh and the sauce was delicious. As a huge sushi fan, I would highly recommend it and will probably make sure to order it again the next time I eat at Takumi-Tei.
We also ordered the Takumi Sashimi, which includes Tuna, Toro, Salmon, Yellowtail, Uni, and Ikura. While the sashimi was good and definitely tasted high quality. I probably wouldn’t order it again, but this is mostly because the other two dishes were better and there’s much more I want to try on the menu.
While sake is the main star of the drink menu at Takumi-Tei, with most cold and warm options available, we opted to try two of the specialty cocktails.
The Sakurajima is made up of Kaiyo Japanese Whisky Sour with Smoked Cherrywood. This unique cocktail is presented in a glass smoke box embedded with Cherrywood and I really wish I had been able to get it on video. The drink is served smoking (which soon fades away) with a few whiskey rocks in the glass. The smoky flavor definitely comes through in the drink, but it’s a really good drink if you like that kind of thing.
The Kami Cocktail was my drink and probably one of my favorite cocktails I’ve ever had at Disney World, if not any restaurant in general. The drink includes Roku Gin, Sayuri ‘White Lilly’ Nigori Sake, Calipco, and Lychee. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and served with a cute tiny origami swan.
Takumi-Tei is a gorgeous restaurant with delicious, beautifully presented food and excellent cocktails. While it’s located inside a theme park, once inside the restaurant, you feel like you’re in a completely different world, one with delicious, high quality food and a zen atmosphere. The service is also exceptional, probably some of the best you’ll find just about anywhere.
At the end of the meal, you’re given a little parting gift of tiny sugar candies. These are presented in a small glass bottle in a drawstring bag.
One thing also to note is the service when it comes to allergies. I’m allergic to avocado, pineapple, and basically any kind of melon. (Fortunately, not deathly allergic though.) The manager herself came to the table and made sure to clarify exactly what I was allergic to since I had only mentioned “melon” to the server and the Otoshi for that night had squash, so she wanted to make sure that was okay for me to eat (I guess it may be somehow related to melon.)