The former home of Tokyo Dining in EPCOT got a glow up. Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya opened in late summer 2023 and was an immediate hit. This new table service experience is a celebration of Japan’s seasonal festivals, where each month brings a new celebration to your table.
When you enter the hostess area, you’ll find a mural depicting three iconic Japanese festivals: The summer’s firework spectacles, spring’s ethereal cherry blossoms, and autumn’s serene moonlit nights. The seasonal themes are echoed in the main dining spaces.
As Tokyo Dining, the restaurant was designed as one big, open dining space. Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya took that same space and divided it into two very unique dining rooms.
The first room features an open-concept sushi bar where guests can watch as the chefs create their gorgeous dishes. There are booths in this area as well with digital screen “windows” that show Japanese landscapes that change throughout your meal to showcase the three seasonal festivals.
The main dining space is brightly-lit with natural light from the wall-to-wall windows This is definitely one of the best views of the world showcase. The fireworks view from here must be incredible!
This is an Izakaya-style dining location. Izakaya is a traditional gastropub where dishes are meant to be shared. Not to be confused with “family style” meals where large portions of everything are brought to the table and shared. Izakaya-style dining features small dishes meant to be sampled by everyone at the table.
Currently Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya is not on the Dining Plan.
Those unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine need not worry. The menu features photographs of each dish paired with it’s description and there’s plenty of options. The menu offerings include starters like Kara-age Chicken and Edamame, chef’s specials like the Fune (sushi boat), and specialty rolls, classic noodle bowls, and plenty of sushi options. Then there’s the izakaya menu, where the restaurant derives it’s name from. There you’ll find various tempura options, Grilled Wagyu Gyoza, and if you’re feeling bougie – you can sample the 4oz A5 Wagyu imported directly from Japan($120). There’s also a specialty cocktail list curated specifically for the restaurant. Sake and Japanese whiskey are the two mainstay liquors here, along with a variety of Japanese beer or wine options.
There’s no shortage of options on this menu.
We started with some drinks and edamame because, well, you just can’t have sushi without edamame. My companion ordered the Violet Sake cocktail and I ordered straight up sake. I will refer to what happened next as the “sake spectacle.” Our drinks arrived and our server placed a small wooden box down in front of me with an empty small glass set inside it. She then poured sake into the glass until it overflowed into the box and the box was also full to the brim. She proceeded to explain this “sake spectacle” to this sake novice.
At Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya they serve sake as overflow pours. I had no idea what this meant, but it is apparently a long standing tradition where restaurants in Japan pour sake so that it overflows from the glass into the masu (the little box) as a way to thank their loyal customers. So, if you order sake here, be prepared to drink a double.
Sadly we had to skip the Fune sushi boat. We were a table of only two and we try not to be wasteful just for the sake of a review. So we kept it simple and stuck with the sushi menu this time.
The fish being used here is high quality stuff. The menu offers 3 different cuts of bluefin tuna imported from Japan.
Otoro: this is the belly cut the Bluefin Tuna featuring intense fat marbling resulting in a rich, melt-in-your-mouth buttery flavor and tenderness not found with any other fish.
Chu-Toro: this cut is less fatty than otoro but is still perfectly balanced fat content, resulting in a smooth, buttery taste.
Akami: this is the least fatty of the bluefin cuts but still high quality and flavorful.
Obviously, I splurged on the Bluefin Otoro nigiri ($26.00) and I have zero regrets. It was one of the most delicious bites of food I’ve ever had. No lie. We also enjoyed the Golden Philadelphia roll from the Chef’s Special menu and the Snow Crab California roll and some Salmon nigiri as well.
Everything was delicious and I can’t wait to go back and sample even more of the menu.
I think that Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya is now the best sushi option in Disney World. You can’t really compare it to Takumi-Tei because most people can’t spend $300 per person for dinner. So if you’re a sushi fan, definitely give this one a try.
I would consider this one of the highest quality meal option available in EPCOT. While most of the menu isn’t outrageously expensive, there are some pricier outliers like the Sushi Boat ($300) and the 4oz A5 Wagyu ($120). I would still consider this to be more of a splurge meal than a budget meal.
If you’ve got picky eaters in your party that turn their nose up at sushi, I honestly think there are enough approachable options on the rest of the menu to satisfy them while you enjoy some nigiri.
We completely enjoyed everything about our experience at Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya and I cannot wait to go back and sample more of the menu.