Our grand circle tour of World Showcase for the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts continues in Japan, with the Takumi Table Food Studio. This Walt Disney World dining review features real world photos of every food and dessert on the menu, and offer our reviews & thoughts on each dish.
To be honest, I don’t have a ton to say about the Takumi Table Food Studio. Since there are only two items on the food menu, I figured doing this would be quick and easy, like shooting (taiyaki) fish in a barrel. It doesn’t hurt that those two items are relatively interesting, and have some potential.
Japan doesn’t exactly have the best reputation at the various Epcot festivals, usually slotting in a rung above both Mexico and Italy on the “worst of” booth lists. However, since both of those are against-all-odds comeback stories for this year’s Epcot Festival of the Arts, perhaps it’s the same deal with Takumi Table?! You’ll have to read on to find out…
Here’s what’s on the menu at Japan’s Takumi Table Food Studio:
Taiyaki: Fish-shaped Japanese Sweet Stuffed Pastry with Red Bean Paste and topped with Whipped Cream and Sesame Custard
Sushi Donut: Donut-shaped Sushi featuring Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Avocado and Masago accented with Citrus-soy Gelée and Wasabi on the side
Now let’s take a look at our photos and reviews of each food item…
First up is the Taiyaki, a fish-shaped Japanese sweet stuffed pastry with red bean paste and topped with whipped cream and sesame custard.
We’re big fans of wagashi, and are pleased that the taiyaki, which is an incredibly popular snack in Japan, makes an appearance on the menu for Festival of the Arts. While azuki bean jam is by far the most common filling for these, it’s also my least favorite option–and probably the least appealing to Western palates. This is probably why it’s accompanied by custard and whipped cream, which definitely can help bring it to your tastes.
This is roughly five times what the same thing would cost in Japan, and that still qualifies as a “good value” by Epcot festival standards. However, if you factor in airfare to Japan, this is like 100 times cheaper, so there’s that. Setting that aside, we’d recommend this if you want to try something different and culturally authentic.
We’d also love to see the Momiji Manju version of these cakes make an appearance at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. They’re a delightful taste of fall, and an approachable taste of Japan.
Next up is the Sushi Donut, featuring salmon, tuna, shrimp, avocado and masago accented with citrus-soy gelée and wasabi on the side.
I was all ready to dismiss this on the basis of the gimmicky presentation, but this is the best Epcot festival sushi offering in a while. The salmon and tuna were both fresh (the former having a nice fattiness to it), and the accompaniments gave it an interesting flavor. The rice is still supermarket sushi caliber, but the overall dish is above average. It probably helps that these are freshly-prepared by sushi chefs in the Food Studio.
Finally, we thought the Masu Sake in a Traditional Personalized Wooden Cup is worth mentioning. We didn’t buy this, but saw a few people who did, and it appeared to be a fun and engaging way to interact with the personable Cast Members from the Japan pavilion.
Cast Members write your name in Japanese on the square wooden cup, and then ladle in a large serving of sake. For “only” $10, it doesn’t seem too expensive, but perhaps these Epcot festivals have warped all of our sense of value.
Here are your other options in terms of drinks at Japan’s Takumi Table Food Studio:
Sapporo Draft Beer
Masu Sake in a Traditional Personalized Wooden Cup
Melting Snow Cocktail: Sake, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, and Japanese Calpico
Overall, the Takumi Table Food Studio is not as bad as a normal festival offering from the Japan pavilion, but with only two items that are so-so, it’s difficult to get all that enthused. It’s worth stopping here for the Taiyaki if you want to try a popular Japanese dessert, but otherwise, you have better options at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. With that said, this booth has made some strides at the various festivals in the last couple of years, and we hope that trend continues.
What do you think of Japan’s Takumi Table Food Studio? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Would you like to see a more ambitious–or at least longer–menu from the Japan booth at any of these Epcot festivals? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!