Kimonos

9.7 Overall Score
Sushi: 9/10
Service: 10/10
Decor: 10/10

Grade-A sushi | Disney-quality service | Beautiful decor | Perfect for late-night dining | Affordable pricing

Restricted hours | Smaller sushi selection

kimonos logo disney

Chances are, if you’re browsing Florida Geek Scene, then you probably live in the Sunshine State. And chances are, if you live in the Sunshine State, then you’ve probably been to Disney World a time or two. And chances are if you’ve been to Disney World a time or two, then you’re probably a fan of the brand.

I’m also going to assume that, since you’re visiting Florida Geek Scene, you’re someone who’s deeply steeped in geek culture. And if you’re steeped in geek culture, you’re possibly into anime, which probably means you’re an otaku, which obviously means you eat all things Japanese whenever possible. Which means sushi.

Therefore, if you’re here visiting the Florida Geek Scene website, it’s highly probable that you’re both a Disney and sushi fan. In that case, the answer is obviously Kimonos.

How’s that for deductive reasoning?

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Located at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort, Kimonos is an award-winning sushi restaurant that offers an authentic experience for a wallet-savvy price. And because it’s only open from 5:30-11:00PM, it’s a dinner-exclusive deal that comes with complementary karaoke; thematically, its late hours make it the perfect hangout after a nightly stroll around the Boardwalk area.

Don’t be fooled by its late hours and rich, cultural décor, however. Like most things Disney, Kimonos offers a professional atmosphere in a fun, entertaining package. One might call it a shogun’s dining experience, but at a samurai’s price.

My first impression of the decorum exceeded expectations. Kimonos features rich, dark colors intermingled with golds, whites, and autumn reds. Amidst lanterns, antique photographs, and flower arrangements are the namesake kimonos which hang from the ceiling in full, bloom-and-weave-patterned splendor.

For a more cultural dining experience, Kimonos offers low tables and near-to-the-ground seating; when I went for the first time with a group of friends, however, we were seated at a more traditional dinner table in order to accommodate our size. If there’s one thing you must take with you to Kimonos, it’s friends, especially friends who enjoy sushi. That way, you can order many different kinds of sushi and have it delivered on a single, shared plate. There’s much less savoring to go around if you eat alone.

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Once seated, I picked up the warm, moist, scented handtowl (oshibori) in front of me and proceeded to heat up my hands. Kimonos offers these little cotton cloths for both thawing and sanitary purposes, and my hands felt much more comfortable and moisturized afterward. Not that Kimonos is a cold restaurant, but the chill was definitely recognizable once I buried my mitts in the handtowl’s warm folds.

My party selected a variety of appetizers and sushi rolls to sample. I prepped myself with a warm bowl of Miso Soup—savory, light, and peppered with the slightest dazzle of scallions. While waiting on my sushi roll, I also tasted some of the Egg Drop Soup, finding it thicker and with a more pronounced flavor, permeated with a spike of cilantro. Both soups were satisfactory and without the cloudy, over-bearing flavor of lower quality soups I’ve tasted alongside other restaurants’ sushi.

Fortunately, my group was seated alongside the itamae’s (sushi chef’s) counter and I was able to watch him slice, dice, and roll together the fresh ingredients of our pending dinners. One thing I love about Kimonos is its active presence. Guests can see the sushi cabinet from almost any seat, and the waiters and waitresses went out of their way to ensure my friends and I had a pleasant and fun dining experience. In the course of thirty minutes, we had come to know each other’s names and even created running jokes between us. Disney courtesy and customer service certainly does not stop at the doorway of this restaurant; it blends seamlessly into it.

kimonos sushi rolls

While I didn’t take notice of any iconic character cameos within the restaurant itself (though there’s probably a hidden Mickey in there somewhere), the good old Disney magic definitely presented itself in the genuine smiles and playful banter between our table and the restaurant staff.

After a modest wait time—which passed quickly over soups and other appetizers—our sushi arrived, all served on one platter. This allowed us to share each other’s selections and sample a bit of everything. I quickly helped myself to a bit of Rainbow Roll, Banzai Roll, and Bagel Roll and poured some soy sauce into my tray for dipping. My impressions were as follows:

Bagel Roll

kimonosKimono’s Bagel Rolls are much larger and thinner than the standard-size sushi roll; this, however, allows it to contain more of the individual ingredients—smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber. It’s a wide roll that, at first glance, seemed difficult to fit into my mouth, but the endeavor was more than worth it. This Bagel Roll is juicy, crispy, fresh, and creamy, and I only regret I didn’t take more of them from my friend’s plate.

Banzai Roll

P1020154Made up of spicy tuna, sweet eel, and velvety avocado, the Banzai Roll surprised me with its savor. This roll is zinging with life and among the best eel rolls I’ve yet allowed past my teeth. Pleasantly, Kimonos’ eel is neither chewy nor crunchy, and holds a perfect balance between sweet succulence and moist meatiness.

Rainbow Roll

11282755_813115885447050_1709347795_nThis was my roll of choice and ironically the one I enjoyed the least; in retrospect, though, I have to wonder if that’s my fault since I requested regular tuna instead of the default spicy tuna in my roll. Much of the original flavor may have been lost this way, but I digress. The Rainbow Roll held to the standards I’d come to expect, but didn’t surpass them. Without the extra zing of the spicy tuna, it seemed to lose its juicy flavor for something much more bland and watery.

Finishing my last bite of sushi, I only regretted that I hadn’t ordered more—particularly another scrumptious Bagel Roll—for myself. After chilling in the restaurant for another ten minutes, my group set down its respective porcelain chopsticks, shot a last bit of playful banter to our wonderful waitress, and cleared out just before karaoke started up.

Kimonos doesn’t offer the variety of some competitors, but among Nigiri, Sashimi, sushi rolls, and a slew of appetizers, soups, and salads, there’s bound to be something you’ll love at this restaurant. In addition, the staff is willing to customize your order to a degree if, for example, you want a Rainbow Roll and not a Spicy Rainbow Roll (though this reviewer recommends eating the unadulterated original at the risk of tampering with its authentic flavor).

Kimonos is one sushi restaurant I’d gladly return to again… and again… and as often as my dwindling wallet would afford. Fortunately, this is one Disney dine-in that isn’t too pricy without reason, so if you’re in the Boardwalk area, or staying at the Swan and Dolphin, then it’s the only answer to your dinnertime stomach growls and geekified appetite.

Visit the official Kimonos website

Check out the Kimonos menu

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Author: Casey Covel View all posts by
Casey Lynn Covel (known online as “Cutsceneaddict”) is an award-winning, published writer, avid reader, and aspiring author. She runs a nerdy writing blog called Meek-Geek and founded PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts in 2012. When she’s not writing for Geeks Under Grace, Florida Geek Scene, Beneath the Tangles, or FROM JAPAN, she enjoys cosplaying, and has won several awards for her work. Follow her on Instagram for her latest cosplay endeavors. #meekischic

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