Ever found yourself strolling around World Showcase and felt a little hungry? We’re sure you have! EPCOT can really work up an appetite!
There are a LOT of options in EPCOT and that can be a bit overwhelming — especially when you’re just wanting to snag a quick lunch. Well, head on over to the Japan Pavilion with us because today we’re REVIEWING Katsura Grill! Should this quick-service spot be your next EPCOT meal? Let’s find out!
Katsura Grill is a BEAUTIFUL counter-service dining location nestled in the gardens of the Japan Pavilion. Get ready for a surprisingly varied menu of sushi, teriyaki, and more.
We’ve really enjoyed our experiences at Katsura Grill in the past, but it’s one of many great options in EPCOT (How do you choose!?). So, let’s see how it’s holding up!
As we mentioned, this is a beautiful restaurant. The outside seating is very picturesque with well-maintained gardens and relaxing water features.
The building is also themed like a traditional Japanese structure with an exposed beam roof.
The inside area is relatively small so be warned that indoor seating can fill up QUICK — especially when it rains.
The seating is comprised of standard wooden tables with chairs, shared tables, and outdoor seating. Many of the outdoor tables have umbrellas.
Like most quick-service spots, you pick up your food from the counter, and utensils and paper napkins are self-serve.
But enough about the gorgeous atmosphere, let’s talk about the eats!
Before we chow down, let’s take a look at the menu.
You’ve got a number of Japanese options at this spot including Sushi, Noodle & Salad, and Osusume (or Recommended Menu) options.
You can snag your choice of Side Orders as well — including the surprising option of Yuzu Miso Wings. The Kids’ Meals feature a few teriyaki options and you can wrap up your meal with a Dessert!
And, of course, you’ll find a selection of Beverages and Alcoholic Beverages on the menu.
So, what did we try? We tried something from almost EVERY section of the menu, starting with the Tokyo Sushi Combo for $12.
This combo comes with four pieces of California Roll and three pieces of Nigiri.
The California Roll had a very bright and fresh flavor. Some of our pieces had more rice than others, but it was overall tasty and hit on all the expected notes of a Cali Roll. The cucumber gave it a great crunch!
The Nigiri was also tasty with good quality fish and a solid fish to rice ratio. We also found that the sushi rice was seasoned well. The dish comes with pickled ginger to help cleanse your palate between pieces.
Sushi-lovers will likely enjoy this dish but we thought it should have more pieces or variety for the price. If you’re used to more creative sushi rolls from your favorite local spot, you might be unhappy with what $12 delivers here.
Next, we opted for the Tonkotsu (Pork) Ramen for $13 — a fitting dish for a trip to the Japan Pavilion.
This noodle soup comes served with Pork and Vegetables!
The broth was VERY good for this dish; we thought it had a rich and savory quality to it. The pork was also very tender and the dish was well-salted without being TOO salty. There were a LOT of noodles and they were cooked well. This ramen won’t leave you hungry!
We really liked the broccoli and the pickled ginger as well, but we wish there could be more of this. If you’re looking for a warm meal during your EPCOT day and you appreciate ramen flavors, you might want to give this one a try.
Our final entree comes from the Osusume section — the Chicken and Beef Teriyaki for $16.
This dish served with Steamed Rice and Mixed Vegetables is a long-time DFB go-to so we were excited to snag it this time.
The teriyaki flavor was delicious and we preferred the beef to the chicken. Both were good but the beef highlights the sauce a bit more (and the sauce is the best part). The rice was steamed well and we loved using it to soak up the teriyaki sauce.
The chicken was a bit on the dry side and the vegetables were well-cooked, but a bit bland. Still, if you like a sweeter teriyaki, this is a filling and tasty portion.
We snagged two sides to go with our meal. The first was the Edamame for $4.50.
This dish came served chilled and it was very good! It might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but if you love edamame, this dish does the trick. None of the beans were too mushy or firm and you get some salt so you can adjust to taste.
We were also happy with the portion for the price but found ourselves wanting more when we were done with it.
And, as if the ramen wasn’t enough soup, we went for the Miso Soup as well for $3!
The broth of this soup was very light and the miso flavor was strong, but not overbearing or too salty. The portion was very well-balanced! The tofu was on the firm side and some pieces were a little chewy, but if you don’t mind tofu, it was well done.
You also get a LOT of seaweed in your serving so you get a little bit of nori with every bite. Warning though, if you DON’T love seaweed, it’s hard to avoid.
And we wrapped up our meal with the Yuzu Cheesecake for $4.50.
We’ve had this treat before when it first came to the menu and LOVED it. And it’s stood the test of time! The consistency is super creamy and the flavor profile is sweet but not overly rich.
It culminates in a surprising explosion of citrus and fruit flavors. Our only complaint? We wish the piece was just a biiiiit BIGGER!
Whew! Full yet? Let’s see if you should visit this spot.
Nosh or Not
You SHOULD stop by Katsura Grill if…
- You love Japanese food! This spot does a lot of Japanese basics very well. It’s not the MOST authentic spot in the Pavilion (That prize goes to the pricy and still-closed Takumi Tei.) but for the price, the flavors are solid.
- You don’t want to fight for a table. When it’s comfortable outside, Katsura Grill has PLENTY of seating.
- You’ve got a mix of small and big appetites. Katsura Grill has a solid combination of HEARTY eats and lighter portions.
You should SKIP Katsura Grill if…
- You’ve got picky eaters. Though this spot does have a few choices for picky eaters, those who aren’t fans of Japanese eats might want to head elsewhere.
- You want a nicer, sit-down meal. Though we love the eats here, it is a quick-service restaurant and doesn’t have the more relaxing vibes of a full table-service meal.
- You’re eating your way around and EPCOT festival. There are a LOT of amazing eats to try at EPCOT festivals and Katsura Grill might not be worth sacrificing the stomach space or budget. Head to the Japan booth at a given fest to get your Japanese food fix.
This spot is predictable with recognizable and somewhat Americanized Japanese eats. Nothing on the menu is too surprising, but everything is tasty. It’s better eatin’ than your mall’s Japanese spot, but that doesn’t mean the food is too different from the kind of eats you might be able to find at home.
There are a LOT of restaurants in EPCOT…like, a lot. Add a festival and this park has seemingly ENDLESS options for what to eat. Does Katsura Grill beat out all of the other options? No, but it could be worth the stop if you’re craving some Japanese basics.
We also have to call out the atmosphere one more time. Because this restaurant is tucked in the back of the pavilion and has a solid amount of seating, you can often have a quieter, more private meal — as long as you’re not visiting during peak mealtimes.
Overall, we typically enjoy a visit to Katsura Grill with its tasty flavors and choices of light and hearty portions. In a park with arguably the best food in Disney World, it might not stand out, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a great meal.
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What do you think of Katsura Grill? Tell us in the comments!
The post REVIEW & PHOTOS: Katsura Grill Is a Hidden Gem Worth Trying In EPCOT first appeared on the disney food blog.