TAKUMI-TEI – Japan Pavilion Epcot Part 2.
Part two of our visit to the remarkable Takumi – Tei restaurant which opened in July of this year as the latest addition to the Japan Pavilion.
To continue: Perfect food needs to be accompanied by excellent beverages and as you can imagine Takumi – Tei have some terrific Sake, Wine and Cocktail options, not to mention the remarkable Japanese Whisky which now rivals the Scottish variety. Takumi – Tei will tailor a beverage tasting menu to accompany the Omakase experience or you can try some individual showstoppers such as the Kochi: Joto, Yuzu, Citrus Sake, Rum, Fresh Mint, Yuzu Juice and Orange, a Japanese style Mojito. Light, refreshing and so well balanced. We also chose Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, taste notes describe it as being like “Summer Rain” on your palette, excellent. If you want “Theatre” then choose the Sakurajima which arrives in its own smoke box and is a Kaiyo Japanese Whisky Sour with Smoked Cherrywood.
Private dining is also available and a great option in the Water Room, where a stone waterfall appears to flow through the table. As with all the rooms at Takumi – Tei, this room is beautifully designed and great for that extra special occasion.
We pick up the Omakase experience after the fifth course when we were blown away by the Japanese Tabekurabe A5 Wagyu Strip Steak paired with American Jackman Farms Wagyu Strip Steak. Not sure we have enough adjectives left to complete the meal, but we will give it a try.
Sixth Course: Suiren Dani – Water Lilly Valley which consisted of a Japanese Water Cake, Rose, Kinako Crumb. This was such a delicate dessert which had unusual but very pleasing mild taste profiles that provided a perfect foil for the preceding dish. Beautiful almost artisan presentation completed the course.
Japanese Tea Ceremony. To finish off our evening we were given a real treat by way of the most memorable of Japanese cultures, the Tea Ceremony. Now we know in Japan the ceremony has many more elements and stages but the shortened version we experienced at Takumi – Tei had for us no less value or refinement. Kimono dressed cultural representatives take you through every precise movement and explain the pieces of equipment needed to enact the ceremony. A Chakin or cloth to wipe the tea bowl – A Tea Bowl as a drink receptacle – A Tea Caddy to hold the Matcha Green Tea – A Tea Scoop carved form a single piece of bamboo and A Tea Whisk again made of bamboo used to mix the Matcha with hot water.
We learned how to hold our bowls and turn in the palm of your hand to display the correct view of the bowl and received a touching blessing from our now Japanese friends. This was a perfect end to a perfect night. As mentioned, before we believe the sheer beauty of the restaurant will astound you whilst providing signature dining on steroids and much more. This is a true dining experience, perfect food beautifully presented, the best in service and a unique opportunity to actually experience what it would be like to eat in a Japanese restaurant without leaving the park or the U.S.A.
As we left the restaurant some three hours later and returned to Epcot, we were already planning our return and in true Disney tradition we took a little bit of their magic with us. Please read part one of our review at : http://www.orlandofoodcritic.com/blog/takumi-tei-japan-pavilion-epcot/