PHOTOS, VIDEO, REVIEW: Chef Mickey at Tokyo Disney Resort is a True Delight from Start to Finish
At three Disney Resorts around the world, guests can enjoy a buffet meal featuring Chef Mickey Mouse and his pals. Here at Tokyo Disney Resort, the high popularity of character meet and greets (particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic) has made our version of Chef Mickey a tough reservation to get — and now we understand why!
Located on the first floor of the Disney Ambassador Hotel, Chef Mickey fits the hotel’s Art Deco theme spectacularly, blending the classic style with Mickey Mouse motifs absolutely everywhere.
To the side of the restaurant’s entrance is a small mural showing Mickey and Minnie in their retro art style (as the Disney Ambassador Hotel opened in 2000).
The waiting area features a Mickey Mouse silhouette comprised of lights and mirrors behind Mickey Mouse figurines from over the years.
Right as diners step into the restaurant, they’re greeted with this retro-style clock.
The main room, including the buffet, exudes a classic atmosphere that transports guests back into the grandeur of the 1920s, with plenty of Disney charm to boot!
Speaking of Disney charm, the buffet cards are all shaped like Mickey heads, and the moulding features Mickey’s shoes and pants.
Sketches of various Disney animated characters through the generations are all over the walls.
Details extend right down to the chairs guests sit in, which also feature Mickey silhouettes.
And all over the buffet areas are little touches of Mickey Mouse, from a statue at the entrance to a bread-lookalike in the dessert area.
When guests arrive at the buffet, they are requested to sanitize their hands and don a fresh pair of gloves each trip. An automated machine which blows up a glove for contactless application is available for guests to use, as well as kid’s and large-size gloves.
A Cast Member will then hand guests a tray. Additional trays are available upon request.
Of course, you’re probably wondering how the food itself is. Well, rest assured, we tried everything on offer here at Chef Mickey, and you may be surprised as we were at the quality!
We chose the dinner buffet, which costs ¥5300 ($48.10) on weekdays and ¥5500 ($49.91) on weekends for adults. Guests have 90 minutes from being seated to enjoy as much food as they like.
Green Pea Mousse with Soy Milk Sauce
Starting off with small appetizers, we tried the green pea mousse with soy milk sauce, which can be described in no other way than true to its name. Green pea isn’t exactly a flavor I’d imagine working with mousse, and I can honestly say it doesn’t. Not in a bad way, just in a “why does this exist?” way.
Steamed Chicken with Tomato Sauce
Nicely cooked (albeit chilled) and marinated chicken meshed well with the tangy tomato sauce on top to create a delicious yet simple starter to our meal. Although I’m not sure why it’s called “tomato sauce,” it was really just diced tomatoes on top of the chicken pieces.
Marinated Seafood & Vegetables with Wasabi Dressing
I’m not sure where wasabi was supposed to factor in with this mini-salad, because it really wasn’t there. All I could taste was marinade and seafood. On the bright side, the single piece of shrimp was truly excellent, to the point where I wish they’d added a second shrimp per serving.
Smoked Salmon Salad with Ravigote Sauce
The salmon-veggies ratio was a bit off on this one, but the salmon itself was incredible! It practically melts in your mouth, as salmon should, and the ravigote sauce added a nice tang to both the salmon and veggies within.
Seared Bonito with Mustard Sauce
Another melt-in-your-mouth delicious choice, this time with a mustard marinade that balances juicy fish with a tangy kick. Definitely grab more than one piece if you come across this one; it’ll certainly be worth your while.
Pork and Cabbage with Honey Mustard Sauce
Cubes of pork together with cabbage and cheese? Sign me up for a whole bowl of this; it makes an excellent appetizer. Simple, delicious, and probably needs a scoop instead of tongs.
Chilled Capellini with Anchovy Cream Sauce
The first real disappointment of the night. There was absolutely zero flavor or presentation, just cold pasta on a soup spoon. There should’ve been more anchovy cream sauce.
Roast Beef & Gravy
Cast Members are on hand to cut each guest a thick slice of roast beef. Guests then may choose to add gravy or horseradish. And I have to hand it to the chefs at Chef Mickey — this was truly excellent! Perfectly cooked medium-rare, the juices were not lost on this one and, in fact, it pairs quite spectacularly with gravy so delicious it may as well have been shipped straight from America! It’s chewy, delicious, and definitely the highlight entree here at Chef Mickey.
There’s not a whole lot to describe about the grilled vegetables. Some were a bit dry and could’ve stood to be replaced by the time we made our rounds at the buffet. The selection contains bell peppers and cauliflower.
Meanwhile, the tomato-braised chicken was (as standard for this surprisingly excellent buffet) juicy and tender. Combined with the tangy tomato sauce in which it lay, it made for yet another excellent addition!
Avocado Potato Gratin
The avocado flavor in this was particularly subtle, balancing nicely with the cheese and potatoes. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this, and I hope it’s a permanent part of the menu.
There’s not a lot of difference between the potato gratin and the seafood gratin. The fish and cheese came together quite well, certainly at a higher quality than seafood gratins I would find at my local Japanese convenience store.
Moving into the kids’ section, the meatballs were actually rather dry and couldn’t be saved even by the provided tomato or demi-glace sauces. Perhaps these also suffered from the fact that we got the last of a batch, but even so.
Chicken Nuggets & French Fries
Anyone who has ever ordered delivery of greasy food like chicken nuggets and French fries knows how poorly they keep for long periods of time, and Chef Mickey is certainly no exception. The fries were soggy and needed more salt, whereas the chicken was dry and was in desperate need of replacement. Kids should probably stick to the grown-up foods here at Chef Mickey.
Pasta with Soy Sauce, Bacon, & Colza Floret
For all of these additions, I really couldn’t taste anything except the pasta and a light cream sauce. Not awful, but not really great either. I was also surprised to find it cold, although that could be a side-effect of waiting too long between eating everything else and my greeting with Mickey Mouse.
Pad Kra Pow-Style Rice
Another dish where there’s little more to say than “meh.” It’s mostly just rice, after all. If you like gapao rice, you’ll probably enjoy this, but there isn’t a distinct flavor.
Corned Beef & Potato Salad
Who doesn’t love potato salad? I find it difficult to get actual potato salad in Japan because somehow the idea became “regular salad with a scoop of mashed potatoes on top,” but this is the real deal! Combine that with corned beef, and you have an excellent appetizer that I would eat a bowl of on its own. Plus, the corned beef is in the shape of a Mickey silhouette; how adorable is that?
Asparagus & Broccoli with Mango Sauce
Broccoli is an abomination unto mankind, so I chose to eat only the asparagus, and I still found there to be almost zero mango flavor anywhere. You can pass on this for sure, broccoli lover or not.
Like the Pad Kra Pow earlier, this is also mostly just rice. The difference is a hint of a mustard kick in there. From what I’ve gleaned, chirashizushi is essentially deconstructed sushi traditionally eaten on special occasions, with toppings that can vary. And sans-fish, it’s pretty much rice with a bit of a mustard kick. Give it a try!
Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad
Like broccoli, I think raw tomatoes are also disgusting. However, the strawberry and mozzarella make them much more bearable, almost as if you’re eating deconstructed Caprese. I was hesitant at first, but if you can balance your portion, then you’ll have a delicious salad for sure!
Roasted Pork with Mixed Berry Sauce
Unlike the roast beef, the roasted pork is not served on-demand for guests, which has the unfortunate side effect of making the meat rather dry if left out too long. Our first pass left us with a dry and bland piece, whereas our second round gave us a juicy and tender piece that combined well with the delectably sweet and tangy mixed berry sauce to leave us wanting a couple more pieces!
Roasted Fish with Burnt Butter Sauce
I’m not sure what “burnt” butter sauce is supposed to mean, but that’s probably the only note I have in regards to this. A delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cut of fish combined with the salty butter sauce is absolutely perfect and would make an excellent entree of its own if it came in a larger portion.
Steamed Salmon with Japanese Pepper
It’s hard to complain here as well; the salmon resembled the perfectly cooked melt-in-your-mouth pieces used in the salmon salads from earlier. And although there was hardly any pepper, we can think of nothing but positives for this lovely steamed salmon.
Shrimp Dumplings & Meat Buns
Although the steaming dish featured Mickey-shaped vents on the bottom, that’s about where the positives end. I was as surprised as you might be to find that distinctly Asian foods are where this restaurant tends to fall flat, with both of these buns being very dry and bland. Frankly, you’d be far better off going to your local Japanese 7-Eleven or other convenience store and picking up their meat buns and dumplings than eating them here at Chef Mickey.
The ramen, on the other hand, wasn’t all that bad! Certainly not up to par with going to an actual ramen restaurant, but serving the noodles and broth separately to ensure freshness was a smart move for sure. With how filling ramen is, it was also nice to be given a small portion only.
Of course, the real reason any of us go to buffets is for the desserts! And Chef Mickey certainly delivers with several items to top off your meal!
Disney Easter Matcha Tiramisu
You’d be surprised how delicious of a combination matcha and coffee are, and they shine together in the Disney Easter-themed tiramisu. Very fluffy and soft, as tiramisu should be, and a nice way to commemorate the season as a plus.
Panna Cotta with Melon Soup
All I could taste was honeydew, which I’m not a big fan of. It was pretty decent for panna cotta, but if you’re not all about honeydew then you can pass on this one for sure.
If you’ve ever had flan, you’ll understand exactly how Japanese pudding works. We just had a dessert almost identical to this one at Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall a couple weeks ago, and just like that one, the custard flavor was mild at best, and combined with the burnt caramel sauce creates a rather bland dessert compared to the others on offer.
This is where we hit the other end of the spectrum regarding flavor. The passionfruit taste was so extreme that I couldn’t even taste the chocolate, and felt like I was just getting punched in the face with the tart fruit flavor. Get anything else except this, I’m not even kidding. The tartness sticks with you, almost like sour candy. They really should tone this down a few notches.
Tokyo Disney Resort typically serves strawberry mousse as one of its “souvenir mug” desserts, and this one is no different, with an almost sickeningly sweet strawberry flavor. I’m surprised that Japanese tastes would accept this, they aren’t usually big on ultra-sweet. Definitely a better pick than the passionfruit and chocolate mousse, but certainly overpowering nonetheless.
A choice of pineapple, honeydew, and orange slices were available to Guests as well, all of which are just about as you’d expect. No positives or negatives except I’m not a huge honeydew person.
Japan has this weird habit of making every cake a sponge cake, very fluffy and light. It’s a shame, I enjoy rich, thick cakes and it’s so difficult to find them here. The strawberry shortcake is no exception, with standard plain icing and strawberry chunks on top and in a central layer. Not bad, but not my favorite either.
Chocolate, Strawberry, & Mango Roll Cakes
All three of these come with their signature item on top—a piece of chocolate, a strawberry, or a piece of mango. And all three taste exactly as described, with no real notes other than “where’s my rich cakes?” once again. If you like any of these flavors, you’ll enjoy the roll cakes, but they’re nothing overly special.
Unlike the salad containing mango sauce earlier, the mango tart actually lives up to its name, with a delicious and crumbly crust combined with mango pudding on top that just dances on your taste buds! This one is a must-have for sure!
Donald’s Birthday Special Drink
But of course, we came to Chef Mickey’s to give this absolutely adorable drink a try! For Donald’s birth month in June, they’re selling this drink that looks just like the iconic duck, with his head made of vanilla ice cream, a beak made of lemon slices, a cherry tongue, and an edible candy hat! The drink itself consists of Calpis (a yogurty lactic acid beverage) dyed blue along with pineapple jelly at the bottom. Mix it together for the best flavor combination! Plus don’t forget to eat the hat, it tastes like Pez!
Because of COVID-19, Mickey Mouse and friends aren’t roaming around the restaurant, instead holding a socially-distanced greeting. Guests are assigned a time close to when they enter and get about a minute and a half with the Mouse himself! And he was adorable as ever, gesturing to ask how we’re enjoying our meal and humoring us with a video and a couple photos!
If you choose to have your picture taken by Cast Members, you can also pick up your photo in a souvenir book. Guests are free to use their own camera as well to take pictures with Mickey.
All in all, we can’t recommend visiting Chef Mickey at the Disney Ambassador Hotel enough! The experience was truly a delight from start to finish, and despite its high price tag is well worth your time and yen. Reservations can be booked online via the Tokyo Disney Resort website.
You can take a full tour of the buffet at Chef Mickey, as well as meet Mickey with our Tokyo Reporter below.
Are you excited to visit Chef Mickey when you return to Tokyo Disney Resort? Have you visited before? Let us know in the comments below!
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