REVIEW: Lunch at Horizon Bay Restaurant “Buffeteria” in Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea is known for its vast array of dining options, which range from the normal to the downright bizarre. Fortunately, for those with less adventurous palates, there are several options for familiar Western cuisine at a reasonable price. So as Tom Corless and I sailed across the seven ports of Tokyo DisneySea for the Soaring: Fantastic Flight opening day, we decided to go for something familiar that neither of us had tried before, at Port Discovery’s Horizon Bay Restaurant!
Horizon Bay Restaurant is what Disney refers to as a “buffeteria”, where you take prepared items on plates and pay for them at the counter. Until very recently, this restaurant played host to a delightful character dining experience that has now sadly gone to join The Legend of Mythica at Tokyo YesterSea.
So, let’s dive in on this oft-overlooked counter service experience!
Horizon Bay Restaurant (July 2019)
Horizon Bay Menu, including the “Select Five” Set – ¥2040 ($18.86)
The entrees are very meat-centric, so not a bunch of huge meal options for vegetarians. The Tokyo resort isn’t particularly known for catering to vegetarians and vegans. Options do exist, but they’re mostly salads.
So now you can gather your choices. There were several different choices, so Tom and I had quite the variety by the time we hit the register.
Corn Chowder – ¥430 ($3.97)
There were some mixed opinions on this. Personally, I liked it, but Tom wasn’t so enthusiastic. When you think of corn chowder, this isn’t what normally would come to mind. It’s very sweet and thick. If you’re excited about American corn chowder, maybe avoid this. This is your typical corn soup taste in Japan.
Vegetable Soup with Pasta (Soup of the Day) – ¥390 ($3.61)
There’s not much special here. They use character pasta, there’s chunks of vegetables, it tastes fine. But beware the name, because there are also chunks of meat in this “vegetable” soup. We were actually surprised when more meat came out on the spoon than actual vegetables at one point.
Bread – ¥210 ($1.94)
The bread is actually quite nice. There’s a cute Mickey Mouse silhouette cast in the roll (although the darkness varies by the batch), and I think the only bad thing I can say is that I personally wished the butter was saltier. It makes for a refreshing choice if you get sick of sticky white rice in your travels through Japan. You can opt for the rice for the same price, if you wish.
Grilled Salmon with Tomato, Octopus, and Squid Sauce – ¥1130 ($10.45)
I think we were both pleasantly surprised at how good this salmon was for only $10. The sauce compliments it quite well in my personal opinion, but Tom wasn’t as much of a fan of combining them. The salmon was well-cooked and not dry at all.
Baked Chicken with Gravy and Orange Sauce – ¥1130 ($10.45)
This was my favorite of the two we had. The chicken was baked to just the right amount to stay juicy, the potatoes under were nice and buttery, and the sauce was an excellent compliment for just about everything on the plate. This item is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a heartier portion, which is a rare sight in Japan.
Coffee Cake with Souvenir Plate – ¥800 ($7.40)
Now, we come to dessert. I’m not a huge coffee person, so I deferred to Tom for this one. He seemed to like it quite a bit! It’s almost a coffee sponge roll cake (which is a very common dessert type in Japan), being very fluffy with an excellent taste of coffee. As for the souvenir plate, the design was not overwhelming and I think fits the event well. When you get these plates, Cast also provide you with a protective bag at no charge so you can return it to your home safely. Tokyo Disney Resort does several of these plate designs per year for every seasonal event (for Disney Pirates Summer, in this case), and most of the designs are quite well done. It’s about large enough to put a slice of cake on or maybe a small pizza slice.
Seasonal Mousse (Blueberry) – ¥430 ($3.97)
This was my favorite item I tried. I loved everything about this, from the design to the taste. I mean, look at it and tell me that isn’t just adorable! The blueberry taste was not at all artificial or chemical, the sauce was a delicious pairing, and it really is an excellent finisher to this set.
The themeing is extraordinary, as with most things at Tokyo DisneySea. Blending nautical with a sort of early 2000’s industrial-futuristic idea, Horizon Bay is a unique dining experience for the decor alone.
Suspended over the entrance is this incredible submarine that bears a strong resemblance to a fish. I’d argue this idea actually inspired the SeaRider design at the nearby Nemo & Friends SeaRider attraction.
This is the style of the area we dined in. It’s very open, with a clean, yet rugged look throughout. The massive windows let in a good amount of natural light and provide an excellent view of Port Discovery. On the ceilings, you can spot nautical flags adorning the ceiling.
Even the restroom doors get in on the act!
One of my favorite decorative pieces was in the second dining room, which is much darker and has a lower ceiling. This room has four World’s Fair-esque posters on the wall, featuring New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco. All four of the posters were incredible sights to behold, and in fact make just visiting Horizon Bay worth it.
Overall, Horizon Bay is a solid choice. It may not be my absolute number one dining experience at Tokyo DisneySea, but I would dine here again, and recommend it to those with less-adventurous tastes, or those who miss Western food. You’re very unlikely to be disappointed by the delicious selections here. Especially at the reasonable prices they offer! So when you sail in to Tokyo DisneySea’s Port Discovery, consider dropping anchor at the Horizon Bay Restaurant!