Takumi Tei Review (Is this Lavish Epcot Dining Experience Worth It?)
In this article, we provide a review of Takumi Tei, a signature dining restaurant at Epcot. Takumi Tei has recently reopened and will begin accepting reservations on January 6, 2023.
Takumi Tei is a signature dining establishment at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion in Walt Disney World, offering Japanese-inspired cuisine. Takumi Tei is a relatively new restaurant at Epcot and is considered signature dining.
When the restaurant initially opened, guests could choose from one of the tasting menus or select a la carte items from the menu. Since the restaurant reopened, I thought we’d look at some of the menu updates and take a look back at our experience.
However, since the restaurant reopened, they are only offering two Omakase tasting menus:
- Kiku – The Omnivorous Course (starting at $250.00 per person)
- Haus – The Plant-based Course (starting at $150.00 per person)
Omakase means chef’s selections. Some of the selections include A5 Wagyu, lobster tempura, sashimi, and a choice between two desserts.
When we initially dined at Takumi Tei, we ordered the Omakase tasting menu. Below, we’ll reflect on that experience and have a look inside the restaurant.
Takumi Tei has an extraordinarily subtle yet elegant interior. The mood is relaxed, and you are treated as an honored guest during your dining experience.
When we arrived at Epcot this evening, we weren’t expecting a dining experience that would take longer than two hours. Not only is a meal at Takumi Tei expensive, but it’s also a time investment.
Related: Signature Dining at Walt Disney World
If you are familiar with the layout of the Japan Pavilion, you know the Mitsukoshi department store is toward the right side. Takumi Tei’s entrance is on the far right-hand side of Mitsukoshi. (I mention this because it’s somewhat difficult to locate.)
When you arrive at Takumi Tei, you will enter a corridor where different earth elements are displayed. A hostess pointed out a few of them and provided a mini-history before seating us.
This Kimono displayed in the foyer was a lovely touch.
There are several dining rooms in Takumi Tei, each representing one of the elements. We were seated in the room representing earth.
Here is another one of the rooms.
Toward the front of the restaurant, there’s a private dining room where the chef’s table is located. Reservations for this room must be booked by phone.
Only one group of guests per evening can reserve this special dining room. Therefore, they prefer to have a party of six to secure it. However, they will accommodate special requests on a case-by-case basis.
As our host shared details about dining at the chef’s table, I couldn’t help but think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.
After being seated, we were presented with a menu. If you want to review the Takumi Tei menu, it’s available here on Disney’s site.
Several Japanese Whisky selections were available:
- Yamazaki 12 Single Malt
- Ichiro Malt and Grain
- Nikka Coffey
- Kaiyo The Single 96
- Hibiki Harmony
- Hakushu 12 Single Malt
A friend joined me for dinner. Our server discussed the options and recommended the Hibiki Harmony. It was brought out in a modern presentation with one large ice cube.
We also tried the “seasonal watermelon cocktail” which unfortunately wasn’t listed on the menu. While similar to a margarita, it was elegantly presented with a watermelon ice cube and rind garnish.
I don’t drink often, but I found this one of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time. The drink was not too sweet, not too sour, and pleasing to the taste buds.
Before our meal started, a server brought warm washcloths to freshen our hands. This kind of attention to detail impressed me throughout the dinner.
Since we had reviewed the menu before our visit, we had already decided on sharing the Omakase Tasting Menu and then ordering a few a la carte items if possible.
Our server agreed that this was acceptable since we planned to try other menu items. However, as of this update, those a la carte items are not available. So it is expected that everyone will order their own tasting menu.
Takumi Tei’s Omakase Tasting Menu comes with seven different courses. It is a dining experience in itself.
The courses are as follows:
- Otoshi — imagined daily by the chefs of Takumi-Tei
- Temari Sushi — Chef-selected assortment of oceanic delicacies
- Nikomi Wagyu — Roasted Bone Marrow, Braised Wagyu
- Hashiyasume — Palate cleansing course
- Wagyu Tabekurabe — Japanese and American Wagyu selections
- Suiren Dani — Japanese Water Cake
- Tea Ceremony — Traditional ceremony featuring Matcha Green Tea
*Some of these courses might have changed since our initial review.
Our meal was nicely paced and lasted a little over two hours. You’ll want to allow plenty of time to enjoy such a lavish meal.
Our first course of the tasting menu at Takumi Tei starts with an amuse-bouche. Since we split the course, we were each given this potsticker-style appetizer. Usually, you would receive a more significant portion.
It was a tasty bite that was appropriately seared. Inside, the filling was creamy and offered a nice texture.
The second course of the Omakase Tasting Menu was a Temari Sushi. It was elegantly presented with fine garnishes and the usual accompaniments.
The presentation was exquisite. A warning here, the wasabi is high quality. So make sure to use it sparingly. It was a wonderful spicy-hot addition to the sushi.
Our sushi was Tuna, Toro, Salmon, Yellowtail, Uni, and Ikura. I enjoyed the ability to try all the options offered on the regular menu.
Our appetizer, the bone marrow short rib, was the third course of the meal. It looked like more of an entree. Our short rib was packed into a roasted bone containing delicious bone marrow.
The preparation was stunning with the broth brushed plate, spicy wasabi sauce, and grated ginger.
The short rib had a texture similar to a roast. But it did have a unique taste and was complemented by the bone marrow underneath. A serving spoon is brought to the table with the dish for scooping out the bone marrow.
A palate cleanser was brought to the table during the middle of the meal. It was a cucumber flavor that was cold and refreshing.
Our entree, the Wagyu Tabekurabe, was the star of the tasting course. After eating so much already, I wasn’t expecting this large platter.
This entree compares American and Japanese Wagyu. The American in the picture is the less fatty option on the left-hand side. The Japanese version is on the right and is heavily marbleized.
The chef prefers to cook this item medium-rare. But we were given a choice so we went with medium-rare.
On the center of the plate, there were lobster mushrooms. They were out-of-this-world delicious. Curried potatoes and onions sat toward the back of the plate.
In addition, the entree came with a pleasant reduction that enhanced the flavor of the dish instead of overpowering it.
Moving on to the dessert course, we have the Suiren Dani. This dessert is a Japanese rose water-style cake with a crumb topping. We found the dessert visibly appealing, and the rose petals were edible.
I wanted to give it points for being so unique, and I didn’t feel let down by the dish because I was so full. However, it didn’t provide that sweet indulgence feeling you would normally get at the end of this type of meal.
After the fact, I was grateful for not adding a ton of dessert calories. But I did end up at Boardwalk’s Screen Door store about an hour later, picking up a slice of chocolate fudge.
And after some thought, that shouldn’t have happened. So it is my only complaint about the meal. However, it wouldn’t keep me from returning.
*Since this meal, the dessert options have changed. Now you have a selection of desserts with the Omakase Tasting Menu. Per the menu you get:
“Green tea accompanied by your choice of: Chestnut crème brûlée, or Strawberry yuzu sorbet served over plant-based shiso jelly, or Monaka daifuku with ice cream and kinako crumble.”
Speaking of green tea, we were presented with a special Takumi Tei tea ceremony at the end of our meal. Our server brought out a pot of hot water and ingredients to brew green tea. She reminded us that we were honored guests and told us she was grateful to share the evening with us.
After preparing the tea, she presented us with a beautiful clay cup. During the presentation, there was a mention about how they offered you a special cup to drink from and that it was a valuable ware. The cup had an intricate floral design and a lovely shape.
Of course, this is a Matcha green tea that might remind you more of a cup of coffee than actual tea. It is not sweet to the taste but felt cleansing. I couldn’t imagine a better way to end our meal.
Our server also brought me a souvenir. I don’t know if this is part of the entire experience. It wasn’t mentioned on the menu. But it was the sweetest gesture.
It was a tiny capsule of rock candy and a thank you note on the loveliest Japanese card.
Since we had ordered the tasting menu to share, we also ordered the Sashimi preparation off the regular menu. This dish was pleasing, not only aesthetically, but it tasted as good as it looked. It was, perhaps, one of the most stunning orders of sushi I’ve ever been presented.
And we’ve eaten a good deal of sushi at Disney World alone:
In the center of the platter, the salmon was formed to look like a rosebud. And that’s Uni draped across rings of cucumber. Yellowtail is towering toward the center, along with Tuna. Ikura and Toro are placed elegantly around it.
I could revisit Takumi-Tei and order this alone and be completely happy. Hopefully, we’ll see some of these a la carte options return.
Overall, we had a lovely evening at Takumi Tei and other than dessert, I genuinely felt this lavish dining experience was worth the high price tag. However, you’ll want to consider if such a meal is also worth setting aside the time for during your visit.
Whatever you do, I wouldn’t plan much before or after this meal. You wouldn’t want to go into this kind of dining experience feeling pressured to be somewhere.
For more dining, you might enjoy browsing our list of Disney dining reviews. Or you might enjoy some of these individual reviews:
- Via Napoli Review at Epcot
- Be Our Guest Review
- Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby Review
- Skipper Canteen Review
- Tiffins Restaurant Review
For other types of dining, you might like to read about every character dining meal at Disney World. Or you might enjoy our list of the best Disney Springs Restaurants.
Are you planning a Disney World vacation? Some of our recent articles include planning a split stay at Disney World and the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort.
In the Comments
Are you considering a meal at Takumi Tei? Did you find this review helpful? Have you had the chance to dine here? What did you think?