My husband and I visited the new sushi restaurant at Epcot in Disney World, Shiki-Sai's.
The Japan Pavilion spot offers a $300 sushi boat and a $100 sushi bridge — we ordered the latter.
Our meal, which included a little bit of everything on the menu, cost $400 and felt worth it.
The Japan Pavilion at Epcot in Disney World is sometimes overlooked around the World Showcase. But there's a new restaurant in the pavilion that offers sweeping views of the lagoon (and the evening fireworks display).
Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya replaced the pavilion's Tokyo Dining restaurant and serves everything from mouth-watering sushi to Japanese-inspired dishes like grilled skewers and udon noodles.
Disney fans have marveled over the restaurant's $300 sushi boat. Sushi isn't my favorite dish, but Japanese delights like savory noodles and A5 Wagyu beef are among my great food loves, so my husband (a huge sushi fan) and I visited Shiki-Sai for dinner during its soft opening in August.
Here's what it's like to eat there.
Shiki-Sai is an izakaya-style restaurant.
A Japanese izakaya is similar to a gastropub or tapas restaurant, where guests come together to socialize and share food together.
Shiki-Sai recommends guests order several different dishes and try a bit of everything for an authentic experience, so that's what we did.
The murals at the entrance are stunning.
At the entrance to Shiki-Sai, there are four murals lining the walls: one for each season.
The murals are designed to look like the art on ancient Japanese scrolls. They show traditions and cultural activities inspired by Japanese history, along with some beautifully drawn animals.
We started our meal with a variety of appetizers.
We started our meal at Shiki-Sai with several appetizers, including a $12 serving of Japanese-style fried chicken (karaage) and $20 grilled Wagyu gyozas.
Everything we tried was delicious, from the $8 garlic edamame to the $9 grilled eggplant topped with miso sauce.
One of my favorite dishes was an assortment of skewers.
The assorted kushi (grilled-meat skewers) cost $30 and included delicious beef, chicken, and shrimp.
This was one of my favorite dishes — each meat was cooked perfectly and the beef was so tender it melted in my mouth.
We didn't try a $300 sushi boat, but we sprung for the $100 sushi bridge.
Because we wanted room to try a variety of dishes on the Shiki-Sai menu, we opted for a $100 version of the sushi boat — a bridge-shaped platter filled with an assortment of sushi and sashimi for two to four people.
My sushi-loving husband proclaimed this was some of the best sushi he's ever had. I even enjoyed the cucumber roll and a roll made with Wagyu beef.
We also tried traditional Japanese-inspired dishes like udon noodles and okonomiyaki.
In addition to sushi, starters, and grilled meats, Shiki-Sai has a menu of izakaya-inspired items.
We tried the $30 kamo udon (noodles topped with braised duck) and the $28 okonomiyaki, a savory pancake topped with bonito flakes.
The Japanese-whiskey highball and sake flight were also highlights.
The restaurant has an impressive sake menu and cocktails that incorporate Japanese flavors like shochu soda.
I stuck to cabernet sauvignon, but my husband ordered both a Toki Highball — an $18 cocktail made with Japanese whiskey — and a $30 sake flight.
The coasters that come with specialty drinks are also beautiful replicas of the entryway murals.
I'm not usually a dessert person, but I loved the options at Shiki-Sai.
I'm not always a lover of sweet treats, but dessert at Shiki-Sai was something special.
We tried a delicious green-tea soft-serve ice cream for $6 and an Ichigo Parfait with layers of cheesecake, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream for $18.
I found myself going back for more bites of both.
Shiki-Sai may be the best place at Epcot to watch fireworks.
I've watched Epcot's evening fireworks from all over the theme park, but the view from our table at Shiki-Sai was something special.
Timing a dinner reservation so that you're seated near the large windows in the dining room is a perfect way to enjoy the show. Shiki-Sai even played the audio throughout the restaurant, making it easy to follow along.
The restaurant celebrates the seasonal festivals held in Japan.
Shiki-Sai's decor shows guests the beauty of seasonal Japanese festivals like Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, which takes place in summer.
Along with the check at the end of the meal, we were given a colored strip of paper called a tanzaku and invited to write our own wish for the festival and hang it on a tree at the exit.
Since the menu, festival inspirations, and celebratory activities are supposed to change seasonally, the dining experience is supposed to be different throughout the year.
Our meal cost $400, but we could go back for way less.
Because we wanted to try several starters, sushi, izakaya-inspired dishes, wine, cocktails, and dessert, our meal cost $400.
When we return to Shiki-Sai, we probably won't spend that much money again, but we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, so it felt worth it.
Next time, I know we'd be content sharing a few starters, sushi rolls, and skewers and enjoying the impressive drink menu while we take in Epcot fireworks.
Read the original article on Insider