Takumi-Tei, Epcot, Restaurant Review
Takumi-Tei: True Fine Dining at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort has its fair share of upscale dining experiences (which it refers to as Signature Dining); however, there are precious few restaurants that truly live up to the label of fine dining. Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is one of these and Takumi-Tei at the Japan pavilion in Epcot is now another.
One of the Finest Culinary Experiences at Walt Disney World
Dining at Takumi-Tei is much more than just a top notch culinary experience. From the moment you approach the podium to check in, you will know that you are in for a unique dining and cultural experience.
After you are greeted at check-in, your host will take you down an entrance hallway and explain to you each of the special rooms that await you inside this very immersive Japanese restaurant. Our room was the Paper Room and we were escorted to our table by our hostess after she provided a brief overview of the meanings of each room in Japanese culture. The Paper Room held six tables — three on each side — with a central aisle leading in and out of the room. Decor is very minimalist Japanese and traditional music plays in the background to serenade your dining experience.
The Servers at Takumi-Tei are Respectful, Knowledgable and Very Attentive
Our server team was comprised of two hostesses, both of whom were excellent and provided a wonderful experience for our family — including our 11-year-old daughter. As this was the Paper Room, our daughter was treated to an origami lesson at the table, which included a customization of her name written in Japanese characters upon completion. An excellent and unexpected experience.
A Well Conceived Japanese Menu
The menu at Takumi-Tei on the night we dined was comprised of many appetizers (including sushi and sashimi), along with main courses of several wagyu beef options, duck, sea bass, tempura prawns and a tasting menu.
My daughter and I chose the Jackman Farms Wagyu Beef and my wife had the Tempura Tiger Prawns. All of our entrees were excellent. On the night we dined, the steaks were cooked well to order, if not very slightly under. The prawns were excellent and service was quick and efficient. Presentation is exactly what you would expect from an upscale Japanese restaurant and portion sizes were just right.
There are two dessert options: a Yuzu Japanese cheesecake and a Japanese Water Cake. Both of these were excellent as well and portioned perfectly. Not too much and not too little. The rosewater agar water cake was the winner for me and I would highly recommend it.
Unique Drinks and Desserts that Complement a Great Dinner Experience
I should also mention the drinks menu, which contains a great selection of sakes, Japanese beer and Japanese whiskeys. I opted for the cherrywood smoked whiskey and it was quite nice — very smooth and not over smoked. A nice touch with a bit of show as it arrives in its own smoke box.
As a fine dining restaurant, menu prices here are on the upper end of the spectrum. The Jackman Farms Wagyu Strip Steam came in at $68.00 and the Tempura Tiger Prawns were $44.00 (the lowest priced entree on the menu). They was an option to upscale my beef dish to the A-5 Wagyu, but I declined the offer to see how the standard menu offering fared. I was not disappointed, so use your discretion as to whether or not you would like to opt for the $27 upscale beef.
As a point of reference, our dinner for two adults and one 11-year-old, with one appetizer, three entrees, three drinks (two alcoholic) and two desserts came to approximately $340.00.
Considering a Walt Disney World Vacation?
As a Luxury Disney travel expert and author, I blog regularly about upscale Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist