MickeyBlog Restaurant Review: Teppan Edo
People love raw meat.
I don’t know how else to explain the sustained appeal of Japanese cuisine in America.
After all, Japan is an island nation overflowing with seafood options. Unfortunately, in many parts of the United States, the fish…isn’t the freshest.
Thankfully, Central Florida resides near the water on three sides. So, Walt Disney World can do a bit better.
Here’s my review of Teppan Edo, the teppanyaki restaurant that always satisfies.
About Teppan Edo
You’ll find Teppan Edo at the World Showcase. Specifically, it’s a permanent fixture at the Japan pavilion.
Guests walk toward the legendary Mitsukoshi Department Store at the pavilion. Then, as you approach the restaurant, you’ll take the stairs to the second floor.
Here, you’ll notice a sign that indicates the locations of two beloved restaurants. On the right side is Tokyo Dining, while the left has your destination.
That’s right. Teppan Edo resides one floor above a section of Mitsukoshi!
But what is Teppan Edo? Well, I always make the lazy comparison to Benihana. That undersells it a bit, though.
Benihana is arguably the most famous chain restaurant that offers teppanyaki. This style of hibachi cuisine counts as interactive.
I say this because the chef prepares the food right in front of you. No, it’s not an open kitchen. Your table doubles as the grill for your meal!
Seriously, roughly thirty percent of the surface includes a cooking area for your chef.
Also, this cast member operates as an entertainer as well. The person will do cutlery tricks and build an onion volcano while you watch.
This interactive show will make the meal fly by. You’ll get so caught up in the food preparation that you’ll forget it’s the meal you’re about to eat!
So, I describe the teppanyaki at Teppan Edo as dinner and a show, albeit one that reeks of onions.
Because two restaurants share this space, the check-in process can feel a bit confusing.
Pay attention to the signs, and don’t be afraid to ask if you get turned around. The big hint here is that if you’re going right, you’re walking the wrong way.
Also, if you notice standard four-top tables or a giant HDTV, you’re in the wrong place. The “tables” at Teppan Edo are impossibly long and difficult to miss.
Teppan Edo also includes secluded sections, as you may walk past several dining rooms before you reach your table.
This modular design is unique for a Disney restaurant. Unfortunately, it also comes with a drawback.
Due to all the teppanyaki performances, it can get a little loud.
All the rooms come with open space dining, which means there’s not a door that closes, at least not that I’ve seen.
Teppan Edo works as a communal dining experience, thus the open space approach.
However, if you’re dining in a small party or by yourself, please be aware of this. You’ll almost certainly sit with complete strangers.
Think of the experience as like a Thanksgiving dinner where you’re sitting with distant relatives or someone’s new love interest.
I’ve never had a bad time interacting with others at Teppan Edo because everyone’s always so happy to be there.
Still, I want to alert you to this potential sticking point in case you’re internal by nature or follow your parents’ teaching of not talking to strangers.
Once you’ve situated yourself, a cast member will take your drink order, and yes, sake and Japanese beers are available!
Soon afterward, your chef will appear and perform some basic cutlery tricks. Next, this person will clean the grill, start cooking some vegetables, and tell jokes.
Here’s a video someone filmed from their dining experience:
During my visit, the chef acted much sillier and worked harder to entertain us.
I suspect that it’s like Jungle Cruise, where every cast member takes a different approach.
A Confession about Teppan Edo
Separating the food from the dining experience at Teppan Edo proves challenging. I get invested in the performance so much that the meal feels secondary.
The other factor I should mention here is that I’m the worst person on the planet to go to Teppan Edo.
I’m allergic to onions, don’t like raw meats or seafood, and despise the texture of rice.
However, that brings us to an essential point about the restaurant. Teppan Edo workers are terrific about special orders!
I ordered the NY Cut Steak and udon noodles. So technically, I substituted out everything else in my order for more noodles.
Ordinarily, I’d expect some snark about such a pushy meal order. It’s obnoxious, and I realize that.
I eat at Teppan Edo for my wife and friends. I’m not there for a good meal for myself. That’s why I’m always so surprised that I get one.
To wit, during my meal, the chef happily told me that he’d cook my dinner in a separate part of the grill. He even cleaned it first to ensure no onion taste.
Our Teppan Edo Meals
Then, this prince of a gentleman served me several delicious pieces of steak. He’d individually cut them, creating a kind of shish kabob.
Then, I ate the only legitimately Japanese thing on my plate, the delicious udon noodles. They’re soooo good!
I slightly prefer the noodles at ‘Ohana, but it’s a 51/49 situation.
My wife always relishes these rare opportunities to eat, you know, grown-up food.
I hold her back most of the time, causing her to think of sports bars as a big night out when we’re home. (Sorry, beloved.)
Here, she ordered Yasai, a dish with seasonal vegetables, noodles, and tofu. It also came with mushrooms, but she’s not a fan. So, she subbed in more veggies.
Have I mentioned that this place is terrific about catering to your wants?
Frankly, the service here rivals the entertainment or the cuisine. The cast members at the Japan pavilion have always treated us marvelously, even by Disney standards.
The other thing I should mention is the dessert course. You WILL want to order a finisher here.
I highly recommend the silky-smooth Mango Mousse Cake or the Matcha Tiramisu.
More people praise the Yuzu Mousse Cake, though. I suspect it’s the visual combo of gold flakes and chocolate rocks.
Dining here is less about eating and more about the experience.
You’ll pick this place when you want a fun night out. However, it’s that much better for large groups.
Of course, you’re going to be in a large group anyway due to the seating arrangements.
Still, you’ll love eating here due to the sheer volume of food that the chef slaps on your plate.
Of course, that goes double for fans of sushi, which we’re…not.