*This gluten free and dairy free dining experience took place in August 2019. It also includes information about fish/shellfish free, peanut free, and chicken & turkey free options too.
Dinner at Teppan Edo
Teppan Edo, located in Japan in Epcot’s World Showcase, is one of two table service restaurants in the pavilion. I honestly have avoided the Japan pavilion restaurants for a long time, due to some very bad experiences over the years. However, after after a much better experience at Katsura Grill for dinner in 2016 and reviews from friends and family, we’ve been wanting to give the table service restaurants a try. Recently, we were invited to join blog reader Sarah C. and her family for a meal at Teppan Edo. Both Brandon and I were excited to catch up with Sarah and her family and get to dine at Teppan Edo for the first time. So, it was a win-win all around!
Neither Brandon nor I have ever eaten at the table service restaurants in the Japan pavilion. So, this was our first time checking out the atmosphere here. Both restaurants are located in the same space on the second floor of the pavilion, just above the Mitsukoshi shopping area.
We got some great shots of the empty stairs going up to the restaurant entrance. One word of warning, these stairs are surprisingly steep and aren’t quite the standard stair size.
I can highly recommend the area just beyond the restaurants that offers a fantastic view of the World Showcase Lagoon. This was the perfect spot for watching IllumiNations.
As you can see, Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining are both in the same space — Teppan Edo to the left and Tokyo Dining to the right.
As we entered, we were both a bit surprised by how loud the Tokyo Dining area was. We both agreed that we’d like to dine there, but that we’d probably dine during lunch time when the restaurant is a bit quieter.
Teppan Edo features Teppan-yaki-style cooking, which means you’ll be seated at tables of 8 and will watch a chef cook your meal. This plays out slightly differently depending on special dietary needs (which I’ll cover in the food section of this review). With that in mind, you walk down a long hallway to rooms with 4 sets of tables that seat 8. Overall, this made for a much quieter dining experience than what we observed as we walked through the Tokyo Dining area.
The decor in Teppan Edo is fairly sparse. That’s because the real action is at your table watching the chefs cook and prepare your meal — all with Disney flare.
Because Teppan Edo is not owned and operated by the Disney Company, the restaurant does not carry an allergy-friendly menu. But, the manager and the chef at your table will take great care to ensure you have a safe and delicious meal. In fact, we were all impressed by how well they handled a multitude of dietary needs that included, gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, fish/shellfish free, chicken & turkey free, vegan, and vegetarian guests.
Essentially, you’ll choose a main dish, such as beef, chicken, salmon, or tofu, and the meals are prepared in front of you on a grill and served to each guest. Some portions of the meal, like the udon noodles and vegetables are prepared together and then served in individual portions to your table. But, of course, if you have special dietary needs this may be work a bit differently.
In the case of our table, we spoke with the manager and chef to ensure the grill was completely dairy free, as they do typically use butter on the grill — in addition to oil. Two of us in the group were gluten free, and the manager prepared our dishes in the kitchen instead of on the grill. So, while we got to watch all of the hibachi cooking fun — we were not served food from the grill (although we had a slight hiccup in this, in which I mildly glutened myself — more on that later in the review).
The grill was also made fish/shellfish free for Brandon — so anyone in the group who ordered seafood also had their protein cooked in the kitchen. The facility is peanut free, so that made avoiding nuts easy and knocked one allergen off our list.
We had two full tables of 8 guests each, and our table was composed of the meat eaters while a separate table included the vegetarians and vegans. If you’re curious about vegan options at the restaurant, I recommend reading Vegan Disney World’s review of Teppan Edo.
Teppan Edo serves some really lovely alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Their unsweetened iced tea was great (one of my fave drinks). And, the iced blood orange drink I ordered with sparkling water, blood orange, and gin was really refreshing. Sarah C. got the blackberry mojito (also shown here), which looked really good too.
Although I didn’t get a photo of it, some of the folks in our party ordered the Pina Colada, which was completely dairy free and vegan (and made with coconut milk). So, definitely chat with a chef about options if you have specific special dietary needs.
Before our main courses, everyone was served a salad. For those of us who were gluten free, we were served salad with a gluten free soy sauce vinaigrette. It tasted like it had rice wine vinegar in it, along with the GF soy sauce and was very light and refreshing. Sometimes a simple salad is all you need — and this one was a great way to start the meal.
Brandon’s salad was also vinaigrette based, but it had sesame oil in it too. He raved about the salad and said it was one of the best salads he’s had in a long time.
For the two of us who were GF, we were brought a bottle of Kikkoman gluten free soy sauce. This was great to have on hand for the rest of our meal.
After our salads, the fun really began. Our chef, Masayo, started cooking vegetables that would be the base of the Udon noodle stir-fry for the table. Chopping, dicing, and creating fun shapes like an onion volcano are all part of the cooking experience.
Each step along the way, she talked to us about the cooking, and what fun things she was creating. The vegetables even turned into Mickey Mouse for a few minutes while they cooked!
And, of course, here is the onion volcano erupting!
The Udon noodles and vegetables also turned into the Tree of Life from the Animal Kingdom as they cooked along too. As you can see, the presentation was excellent. The whole experience is really interactive and fun.
During the meal, the group asked if we could have some plain vegetables cooked on the side with some gluten free soy sauce since the two of us who were GF didn’t get any of the asparagus, red peppers, and mushrooms prepared on the grill. The chef was happy to accommodate — only we all forgot to ask about using separate cooking utensils.
Essentially, I ended up eating a few bites of the vegetables before I realized the cross-contamination mix-up. This was entirely my fault for not being cautious — and a testament to even the most experienced of GF and celiac diners sometimes making a mistake and not being vigilant. If you have a special dietary need, I would recommend only eating items from directly from the kitchen (if it needs to be prepared that way) to avoid any mishaps. While I didn’t get horribly sick — thank goodness — I did give myself a bit of a stomach ache later that night. Again, this was entirely my mistake for not asking. And, next time, I will stick only with items from the kitchen.
For those who could enjoy food prepared on the grill, they were served a medley of vegetables and Udon noodles. Brandon raved about this and was a huge fan of the flavor combination. It included zucchini, spinach, carrot, and onion. Brandon happens to be allergic to cabbage, and we were told at the time of this review that they are not using cabbage in the stir-fry.
These noodles were prepared dairy free, peanut free, fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, and chicken & turkey free.
For Brandon’s main protein, he chose the filet mignon. This was also cooked on the grill and grilled to the guests temperature preference (in Brandon’s case, medium). It also included soy sauce on it. If you’re gluten free, you can get gluten free soy sauce for your steak too. Brandon said the filet was excellent and that he’d definitely get it again. This filet was prepared dairy free, peanut free, fish/shellfish free, cabbage free, and chicken & turkey free.
For my entree, I chose the salmon. It was prepared in the back kitchen and was served with stir-fry veggies that included zucchini, carrot, onion, and spinach. I also had steamed white rice too. This was made gluten free and dairy free.
Overall, this was a fantastic entree, and I would definitely get it again. The salmon was really well-cooked with a nice crisp exterior. The stir-fry veggies were so delicious, and I probably could have eaten another serving of them. And, the white rice was a nice carb compliment to the dish. All in all, I was really pleased with how tasty everything was, and I might actually have a hard time not ordering this again — it was that good.
For dessert, the restaurant does carry fresh fruit. I skipped dessert. But, Brandon ordered the Ginger Mousse Cake, which included layered sponge cake with ginger mousse and a ribbon of rich chocolate icing to top it off. While Brandon liked this, he said he probably wouldn’t order it again — mostly because it wasn’t particularly memorable. That being said, if you like light and simple (and not overly sweet) flavors, I think you might enjoy the simplicity of the desserts at Teppan Edo.
Both Brandon and I were blown away at how delicious and fun the entire experience at Teppan Edo was. The manager and chef were both very accommodating and minus my own personal mistake on not being vigilant it was a really wonderful experience. (Side note, the manager did come talk to me after the error too, so she was aware of the situation). We can’t thank Sarah C. and her family enough for inviting us to join them for dinner. We enjoyed not only the food and atmosphere but really loved getting to spend time with their whole family for food and fun! It was a great experience, and we’re looking forward to going back to Teppan Edo again.
Have you been to Teppan Edo? What was your experience with their special dietary needs options?