In Japanese the word Ichiban (一番) means ‘number 1’! I’ve discovered recently that Tokyo Dining in EPCOT has become my favorite World Showcase restaurant for many reasons. Number 1 is that the food is delicious and seems to have been greatly improved over the years. The title of favorite was recently held for many years by Chefs de France but I have started to fall in love with the food at Tokyo Dining.
Up until 2007, the restaurant was called Tempura Kiku and the Matsu No Ma lounge which was a great place to get a snack. It was pretty good if you’ve never experienced Japanese food and fun to experience the culture. Tokyo Dining is now a traditional sushi restaurant that serves sushi, tempura and some grilled items such as steak, grilled chicken and you can sometimes find special items on the menu. Even the Beers and deserts are authentic Japanese style. You can sample Green Tea cakes with chopsticks while sipping your Sapporo Beer.
Your experience begins by being greeted with a traditional greeting based on the code of etiquette in Japan which requires bowing and a special greeting based on the time of day. We received a greeting of konbanwa, which means ‘good evening’ from the gracious staff. We sat down at a table with a wonderful view of the World Showcase Lagoon. You can’t get better than that!
For appetizers we decided on a great called the Dragon Monster Roll, which has Avocado, Cucumber, Cream Cheese topped with Eel, Smelt Roe, Micro Green, Eel, and Dynamite Sauce. With that we ordered some Omakase Nigiri. Nigiri is sushi consisting of a small ball of rice smeared with wasabi sauce and topped with raw fish or other seafood. We had 6 sushi comprised of Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Seabream, Crab, and Scallop. It was very delicious.
For the main course I had Shrimp and Crab Tempura which is Lightly Fried Seafood and Vegetables with flavored Sea Salts and Seasonal Vegetables. Since it was my birthday the staff all came out and sang a traditional Japanese birthday song.
Not only is the food delicious but it’s a great place to watch Illuminations, if you are lucky enough to get a window seat. Plan your reservation for 7:30ish and linger long enough to see the show. You can also hang out on the outdoor deck on the top floor for a spectacular show.