Teppan Edo is a table service steakhouse in Epcot at Walt Disney World. The restaurant is in the World Showcase Japan pavilion on the second floor of the the Mitsukoshi Department Store adjacent to Tokyo Dining. In this post, we’ll share food photos and thoughts about our meal. We’ll also discuss how Teppan Edo compares to both other World Showcase restaurants and “authentic” teppanyaki in Japan.
As we walked to our seats, I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback walking past all of the other seating areas. There were multiple rooms, each with multiple teppanyaki stations, branching off the long main corridor. We’ve been inside the upper level of Mitsukoshi Department Store to eat before, but I had never realized just how far back it goes. I guess I should’ve realized this, as the store has a massive footprint on the lower level, too…
The layout still caught me off-guard. I was expecting more of an intimate experience, and this has to be one of the more massive restaurants in World Showcase. While we were ultimately seated in one of the smaller rooms on the left with only two stations, I still started to wonder how the huge size would impact service at Teppan Edo.
One thing to note about Teppan Edo is that it’s communal seating. Each station seats 8 people, so if you’re a part of less than 6, you’re going to have table-mates. If that doesn’t sound appealing, the good news is that it’s more like a curved bar than the tighter arrangement of a place like Biergarten. It didn’t bother us at all, and most guests are more focused on the chef than conversing with others, anyway.
When it comes to World Showcase dining, the biggest quibbles tend to be that restaurants are not authentic or are types of cuisine to which they have easy access at home. To the former point, it’s tough to say whether Teppan Edo is or is not authentic teppanyaki (it is not hibachi).
Teppanyaki is not as widespread in Japan as American restaurants might make it seem, and the larger performance-centric teppanyaki restaurants are usually in tourist hubs and aimed at foreigners. Teppanyaki is more an American thing than a Japanese one, but the concept has evolved over time to gain some traction in Japan. Still, teppanyaki restaurants highlighting showmanship are of American origin.
As such, Teppan Edo is probably better described as a half American, half Japanese fusion concept. In terms of being a Japanesesteakhouse, another blow to Teppan Edo’s authenticity comes in the size of the restaurant. The vast majority of restaurants in Japan are intimate establishments that seat fewer than 20 people, and this includes most “real” teppanyaki.
As for guest access to teppanyaki restaurants in the real world, the same could be said for at least half the restaurants in World Showcase. While almost every cuisine in World Showcase could be found in major cities, the selling point of these restaurants is usually something other than just the food. When it comes to Teppan Edo, the comparison we most frequently see people make is to Benihana. It’s been ages since I’ve dined at Benihana, but I think Teppan Edo offers something more.
Usually, the ‘something more’ that World Showcase restaurants offer is a superior themed environment. In the case of Teppan Edo, the main unique wrinkle is service. This is unfortunately undermined a bit by the restaurant’s sprawling size, but it’s still there. Even if you live near Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles you probably don’t have many restaurants that strive for authentic Japanese service.
The main way that’s felt by guests is the fun interactions with the chefs. They are fun, funny, and bring a lot of (for lack of a better term) swagger to the dinner table. This show component is quite enjoyable–we had fun watching the chef perform his “tricks” and we’re grown adults. We can only imagine how kids would react to it! This is definitely one very compelling reason to book a meal at Teppan Edo.
The service at Teppan Edo also feels like a bit of a mash-up, with the servers having typical reserved politeness and attentiveness, but the chefs being more showy and ostentatious. I suspect the latter is to appeal to American expectations of teppanyaki and to make the experience more fun. In a truly authentic setting, the chefs would be more restrained and focused on precision. Nonetheless, Teppan Edo has arguably the best service of any World Showcase restaurant–other than Tokyo Dining.
Now, let’s take a look at what we ordered during our meal at Teppan Edo…
Since we were on the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, we both ordered drinks, because why not?!
Both of our drinks were sugary, weak, and unimpressive. While these were “free,” I actually regretted not just getting a Coke or something caffeinated.
For appetizers, we started with the Wafu Ribs: sake, soy sauce, and ginger-braised pork ribs.
These were tasty, with a subtle ginger flavor and fairly liberal application of soy sauce. (To that end, they were certainly authentic!) The glaze was a nice twist on what would’ve been delicious and tender ribs on their own. We’d recommend this.
We also ordered the Assorted Tempura with shrimp and seasonal vegetables.
This was average tempura. The batter was a bit thick, crunchy, and slightly over-salted, but it was still an okay dish. Not something we’d go out of our way to order in the future, but we’d get it again if we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan and it were included.
For her entree, Sarah ordered the Hotate. This consists of cold water ocean scallops served with garden salad, udon noodles, vegetables, and sukiyaki beef rice.
The scallops here were tender and the grill gave them just a hint of texture to complement the smooth center of the scallop. No hint of rubberiness, and fresh flavor. This was pretty close to perfect.
For my entree, I ordered the Filet Mignon. This is a 6 oz tenderloin usda choice served with garden salad, udon noodles, vegetables, and sukiyaki beef rice. If you want to sacrifice the cut, 7 and 8 oz steaks are also available.
My steak was likewise close to perfection. A great cut of meat, expertly grilled.
The udon noodles, cabbage and other veggies, and rice were all fine, but with the appetizers and a large lunch earlier in the day, these were not the focus of our meal. With that said, none of these things are the reason you’re dining at Teppan Edo–think of them as filler and you’re setting about the appropriate level of expectations.
Cuisine-wise, Teppan Edo is largely on the mark. We’ve heard complaints that the dishes here are under-seasoned, but this is par for the course in Japan. This is particularly true at countertop grills (teppanyaki and otherwise), where the fresh, quality ingredients should not need to be masked by seasoning.
Beyond that, Japanese dishes tend to use less seasoning than other Asian cuisine, with rich flavors achieved by other means. In the case of the steak, the biggest different would be that most steakhouses in Japan would use Japanese beef (wagyu) with better marbling. I was still very satisfied with my steak, and far prefer Teppan Edo’s low-key approach to the over-salted, over-buttered steaks that are common elsewhere at Walt Disney World.
For dessert, I had the Green Tea Mousse Cake. This features alternating layers of delicate green tea sponge cake with a light and fluffy green tea mousse, topped with a lush covering of fresh whipped cream.
The cake was underwhelming and felt like an afterthought. The green tea flavor was too subtle, and the dessert just seemed low-quality. It’d be a fairly forgettable option even at a counter service restaurant.
Overall, Teppan Edo is not a bad option, and something we think would work well for larger groups seeking a convivial environment, good service, and a fun show element. We find the food to be very good by World Showcase standards, but it’s not particularly adventurous or inventive. This is the closest thing World Showcase has to an American steakhouse, so that definitely might appeal to some people–especially those on the Disney Dining Plan. It’s very much a personal thing, but when paying out of pocket, Teppan Edo would be our third choice among restaurants in the Japan pavilion alone. Tokyo Dining is more to our style experience-wise on the table service end, and Katsura Grill is one of the best counter service options in World Showcase.
What do you think of Teppan Edo? Do you think teppanyaki like this is a fun experience or a gimmick? Where does Teppan Edo rank in terms of World Showcase dining for you? Have any favorite foods here? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!