By BRIDGET SCOTT Sister shows forged in mercy AN ACT of generosity 20 years ago still rings clear at the…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
A record 200 foreign riders from 28 countries will compete in this year’s Sunshine Cup mountain bike race, which starts on Thursday and ends on March 8.Olympic medal winners and World Champions such as Manuel Fumic have made the trip to the island for the event. “I’m a great fan of your island,” said Fumic, a two times World Champion and seventh in the recent London Olympic Games, during a media event to launch the Cyprus race.The Sunshine Cup has been running since 1997 under a different name but was renamed in 2006.This year the first race is the Afxentia Stage race and it has been organised for the past 16 years as a UCI Race, which makes it one of the oldest, if not the oldest existing stage race in Europe, organisers said. This race will run until March 1.The second race is taking place at Amathous Archaelogocal Site, in Amathounta, Limassol and is of Class 1 in the UCI Calendar. It will be staged on March 8.The Cyprus Sunshine Cup has been a standard fixture in the early season racing schedule for many riders including 2011 World Champion and 2012 Olympic Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy, 2008 Olympic Champion Sabine Spitz, the Ghost Factory Racing team with its riders Lisi Osl, Alexandra Engen and Katrin Leumann, the Giant Pro XC team with its riders Fabian Giger, Emil Lindgren, Henk Jaap Moorlag, Michiel van der Heijden and the Liv Pro XC Team with its riders Jolanda Neff and Maja Włoszczowska and many more.According to the organisers, tourism would also benefit.Christodoulos Papachristodoulou, of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, said: “Besides the immediate return which is the visits and hotel accommodations, there is also an indirect benefit for Cyprus from the event, which comes from the media promotion abroad in countries like Germany, where cycling is popular”.The organisers said Cyprus was a perfect setting for mountain biking due to its impressive routes, excellent road network and fine weather, “all of which play an important role when foreign athletes and teams choose their destination.More info at www.cyclingcy.com and www.facebook.com/CyprusSunshineCup.
Demerara River report– as investigations show some exceeded Dutch firm in bridge-building experienceBy Jarryl BryanFollowing admission by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure that it single-sourced a contract to carry out a feasibility study into the new Demerara River Bridge to a Dutch company, questions have arisen regarding the grounds for Government disqualifying all the other companies which initially had bid.During a recent press conference, members of the parliamentary Opposition poked holes in the Government’s motives. PPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeira and Member of Parliament Juan Edghill affirmed that while companies which had their bids annulled were experienced in bridge construction, Dutch company LievenseCSO was not.“The Ministry said it acted with the knowledge of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board, and the bid that was received from the company was found to be the best technically and (was the most) fiscally sound bid that had been received,” Edghill stated at the press conference. “Now, if it’s sole-sourced, what are you comparing it against? C’mon Minister, stop the lying! If you are saying this (company) is sole-sourced, what are you comparing it against?”Edghill went on to demand copies of the evaluation reports of the 22 companies and the Tender Board minutes reflecting the decision in favour of the company. And noting that letters have to be written to companies which were part of an annulled tender, explaining the reason for the decision, Edghill demanded copies of those letters.The Ministry is yet to take up the Opposition’s challenge to release the evaluation report, despite issuing a press release on Saturday which corrected its prior inaccurate statement regarding the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) role in funding the project.Without that report, however, this newspaper conducted its own investigations into the background of the other companies, and highlighted the construction projects of at least three of them.EgisOne such bidder was French engineering firm Egis Group of Companies. This firm has completed a number of projects, including the Žeželj Bridge in Serbia — a piece of infrastructure which cost 60 million euros. It is a project partially funded by the European Union.Bridges which were built in Serbia and France by French company EgisAccording to the project document, the French company had to build the bridge along with associated connecting infrastructure. This included the construction of a road and the removal of an existing temporary bridge.Another bridge the company built was the Confluences Bridge crossing the Maine River in Angers, France. The complex design of the bridge, which cost some 27 million euros, includes a main span in excess of 150 metres that is suspended from an axial arc by radial lines.China ShandongChina Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Ltd, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Shandong Hi-Speed Group, was another bidder for the contract. The group has the distinction of designing the world’s longest known cross-sea bridge.Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Ltd designed this world record bridge in ChinaThe bridge is an important link between China’s eastern port city of Qingdao and the offshore island of Huangdao. According to the Guinness Book of World records, the six-lane Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is 26.4 miles long and is designed to withstand the impact of a 300,000- tonne vessel.Ballast NedamNetherlands-based Ballast Nedam is known for its work in neighbouring Suriname and countries around the world. A few years ago, the company was selected to build the Berbice River Bridge, but the agreement was later cancelled.Some of the company’s major projects have included bridges. One such bridge is the billion-dollar two-lane Confederation Bridge in Canada. The bridge, which was constructed with 62 piers, is 11 metres wide and 12.9 kilometres long.The other companiesNetherlands-based Ballast Nedam built this bridge in CanadaThe bids of these and other companies were opened on December 8, 2016 by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB). Seven European and four Chinese companies had signalled their interest. Several of these overseas companies had partnered with local firms.The other companies were Politechnica Ingeneria Architecture of Italy, in association with Marcelle Gaskin and Associates of Guyana; Howson Consulting Engineers of the United Kingdom; COWI of Denmark; IPRO Consulting from Germany, and Mott Mc Donald of the United Kingdom in association with SRK Engineering and Consulting.The Chinese bidders include China Harbour Engineering (CHEC); China Railway First Group, and Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Communications, Planning, Design and Research. India-based Rites Limited had also taken a shot at the bidding process.VIKAR Enterprises of Trinidad and Tobago; CTE, in association with NV Rustwijk and Rustwijk of Suriname; WSP Caribbean Limited from Trinidad; and the Guyana-based Stunning Nisi Inc. NMN Group of Canada, in association with CEMCO of Guyana, had also expressed interest in conducting the feasibility study for the new bridge.They were also joined by Sener of South Africa; Japan-based Stantec, in association with Pedelta; Proficenter from Brazil; Stuart Consulting Group; along with Rahmad and Associates from the United States, and CBCL Ltd from Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sir Alf Ramsey – 1 World Cup, 1 League title – Sir Alf Ramsey is the only English manager to ever lift the World Cup and that is enough in itself to earn the title as the greatest boss on this list. Prior to this historic achievement he led Ipswich Town to the First Division title and has a statue built in his honour outside of Portman Road as well as one in the tunnel at Wembley. Sir Bobby Robson – 1 FA Cup, 1 UEFA Cup, 2 Eredivisie titles, 2 Primeira Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup – Sir Bobby Robson is fondly remembered around the world having won trophies in four different countries. He has also come closest to replicating Sir Alf Ramseys 1966 achievement when he led England to fourth place at World Cup Italia 90. 6 Brian Clough – 2 League titles, 4 League Cups, 2 European Cups, 1 UEFA Super Cup – One of the most famous English managers ever, who is best known for winning back-to-back European Cups with Nottingham Forest in the 1980s. Brian Clough also led Forest and local rivals Derby to domestic glory as well as having spells in charge of Hartlepool, Brighton and, infamously, Leeds United. 6 6 Bob Paisley – 6 League titles, 3 League Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup – Bob Paisley is Liverpools most successful ever manager, winning an astounding 14 trophies in nine years on Merseyside as the Reds dominated football at home and abroad. He is, perhaps harshly, only remembered as Liverpools second greatest manager ever behind Bill Shankly, despite having a fuller trophy cabinet. Roy Hodgson – 7 Swedish Allsvenskan titles, 1 Danish Superliga title – Click the arrow, right, to see how Roy Hodgson compares against the English greats … Bill Nicholson – 1 League title, 3 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 UEFA Cup – The legendary ‘Bill Nick’ built one of the greatest club sides in English football history, leading Spurs to the first double of the 20th century in 1961, at a time when people thought it an almost impossible feat to achieve. 6 6 6 On January 1, England manager Roy Hodgson celebrated 40 years in management, leading to FA chairman Greg Dyke paying him a glowing tribute.Dyke praised Hodgson, who oversaw England’s worst ever World Cup in 2014, one of the “great English coaches”.He said: “What a fantastic achievement – 40 years coaching at the level he has puts him up there with the great English coaches, much revered people like Sir Bobby Robson, Dave Sexton and Don Howe.”Since becoming a manager at the age of 28, Hodgson has been in charge of 19 clubs or countries including Inter Milan, Liverpool, Switzerland and Blackburn Rovers.Arguably his greatest achievement at club level was guiding Fulham to the final of the UEFA Cup before losing to Atletico Madrid – a feat that earned him the LMA Manager of the Year award.But how does he compare to the English greats of management? talkSPORT looks at his record compared to the most decorated English managers of all time.Click the arrow above, right, to see how Hodgson measures up.
Ballyshannon is set to feature on a special SKY TV programme on tomorrow, Thursday, with a film crew from IRISH TV capturing all the music, melodies and madness from the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival.The one hour programme ‘Out & About in Ireland’ on SKY TV channel 201 this coming Thursday at 9.00pm is packed with wonderful features from across the country and will showcase all the energy and atmosphere surrounding the famous festival celebrated in the birthplace of legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher.“Our weekly programme ‘Out & About in Ireland’ is getting a phenomenal reaction right around Ireland with a very loyal viewership every week in the UK and USA also,” commented IRISH TV producer Pierce O’Reilly. “We love coming to Donegal especially when it comes to music because there is such a rich tradition of music in this county whether it’s traditional, rock or folk and whether it’s a small gathering in a pub to a big festival like the Rory Gallagher Tribute in Ballyshannon.”Speaking about the SKY TV programme, Barry O’Neill, organiser of the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival stated, “Firstly it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the region but it’s also great to be able to highlight a different side to Donegal, a rockier, more contemporary element,” he said.The programme will feature lots of the magical melodies from the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival the IRISHTV show will also sample tasty treats from the Burren Slow Food Festival in Co. Clare, take on the Croagh Patrick 7 Day Challenge in Co. Mayo, and test its handicap at the K Club in Co. Kildare.The weekly IRISH TV programme ‘Out & About in Ireland’ has an audience reach of 26 million viewers across Europe and a growing worldwide online audience every week. www.irishtv.ie has received over 4 million hits on its website in six months. The show can be viewed on SKY TV channel 201 or on Freesat 403 tomorrow, Thursday, June 7th at 9.00p.m and will be repeated again the following Sunday and Monday night at 7.00p.m. Alternatively you can watch the entire show online at www.irishtv.ie. RORY GALLAGHER FESTIVAL TO FEATURE IN SKY TV SHOW was last modified: June 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:RORY GALLAGHER FESTIVAL TO FEATURE IN SKY TV SHOW
3. Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Distance covered: 47036m 2. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – Distance covered: 47619m 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 12. Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord) – Distance covered: 45689m 20 20 7. Richard Almeida (Qarabag) – Distance covered: 46469m 20 14. Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord) – Distance covered: 45382m 20 11. Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP) – Distance covered: 45725m 15. Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow) – Distance covered: 45111m 20 19. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – Distance covered: 44415m 20 20 10. Fernando (Spartak Moscow) – Distance covered: 45868m 6. Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Distance covered: 46685m 20 8. Luca Zuffi (Basel) – Distance covered: 46267m 20 13. Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht) – Distance covered: 45431m 20. Michael Lang (Basel) – Distance covered: 44332 metres 4. Vinicius (APOEL) – Distance covered: 46985m 20 9. Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – Distance covered: 46175m 16. Jean-Paul Boetius (Feyenoord) – Distance covered: 44983m 5. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – Distance covered: 46772m Putting a shift in is a sure-fire way of getting yourself into the fans’ good books.Now that we are four games into the UEFA Champions League group stage we can see which players have been pulling their weight in terms of running stats.Here, talkSPORT have put together the top 20 players that have covered the most distance in this year’s competition with some Premier League stars featuring.Scroll through the gallery above to see the players in reverse order. Who comes out at number one?Statistics from UEFA. 18. Scott Brown (Celtic) – Distance covered: 44728m 20 17. Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow) – Distance covered: 44808m 20 20 1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – Distance covered: 48052m
Mick McCarthy has admitted his Republic of Ireland side avoided their ‘worst result in a long, long time’ as they scraped past Gibraltar in his first game back as manager on Saturday.Jeff Hendrick’s first-half strike ensured the Republic started their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in the best possible fashion, but it was a laboured display from the Irish on the Iberian Peninsula.And McCarthy, who previously captained the nation during his playing days, says he was just happy to come away from a ‘horrible’ game with all three points. 3 There are six live commentaries across the talkSPORT network this week. Find out what they are and where to hear them, below… “A win is a win at the end of the day.“In all honesty, we could’ve had our worst result in a long, long time, so it was very much job done from our point of view.”McCarthy likened his side’s task in Spain to that of a non-league outfit eyeing a giant killing against one of England’s big sides in the Cup.He added: “You ask any Premier League side who goes to a non-league side in the FA Cup if they really, hand on heart, enjoy it? Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move RANKED ADVICE “I don’t like them whatsoever, and I’m sure that’s the same with my players.“We’re then stuck between a rock and a runway, not a rock and a hard place.“The conditions were just awful, the wind was all over the place.“These type of games are just not enjoyable. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade “It’s an even worse feeling when they get knocked out – but luckily we got the job done.“They [Gibraltar] contributed to the game, they’re an athletic side who battled hard for each other.“I’d have taken 1-0 before going on the plane to Gibraltar though all day long.”Next up for McCarthy and co. is the visit of Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night, with a bumper crowd expected for the 60-year-old’s homecoming in Dublin. LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT shining Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Ireland’s match winner Jeff Hendrick celebrates with the travelling fans at the final whistle after the win against Gibraltar Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow no dice 3 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury “It’s going to be a big crowd, so we’re hoping to get another three points on the board,” he said.“I’m loving being back in the manager’s hot seat, working with lads on the coaching field and managing them.“It is of course extra special to be back with the FAI.” Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, he said: “It was great to be back, but the game was horrible.“We were playing on a plastic pitch to start with. gameday cracker Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars BEST OF Montenegro vs England (Monday) – talkSPORTFrance vs Iceland (Monday) – talkSPORT 2Czech Republic vs Brazil (Tuesday) – talkSPORT 2West Brom vs Birmingham (Friday) – talkSPORT 2West Ham vs Everton (Saturday) – talkSPORTPortsmouth vs Sunderland (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2 REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card LIVE on talkSPORT McCarthy’s second debut as Ireland manager was not a match for the neutrals 3 McCarthy agreed to become Ireland manager until after Euro 2020, when he will be replaced by Stephen Kenny REPLY
Manchester United superstars David De Gea and Paul Pogba are set to demand salary increases at Old Trafford, according to The Times.The duo are well aware they are both set to incur a 25 per cent pay cut should the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League next year. Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions BEST OF Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card ADVICE 1 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury tense The club are currently sixth in the table and the most likely club to miss out with Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Arsenal also vying for the final two top four spots.De Gea has already suffered from the pay cut clause United have in their players’ contracts but it would be a first for Pogba, who has helped them into Europe’s elite competition on two occasions since his 2016 transfers.And the duo, both wanted by Real Madrid, are set to use the situation to their advantage and demand increases to their base wage with Manchester United worried they could lose the duo for minimal fees if they don’t comply. Paul Pogba and David De Gea in training at Manchester United huge blow shining no dice Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars REPLY Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City REVEALED gameday cracker LATEST FOOTBALL STORIES REVEALED Spanish goalkeeper De Gea’s £200,000 deal runs out in 2020, while World Cup winning midfielder Pogba sees his contract up in 2021.It’s a further complication for new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who is trying to get his side out of their current slump – his first major test since taking the reins permanently earlier this month.
The Dingwall dive continues to make the headlines.Alex Schalk’s tumble in the box against Celtic has brought him a two-game ban for simulation and the Dutchman has now apologised for cheating, saying it was out of character and he can’t explain why he did it.The striker will be hoping to draw a line under the matter but he should be aware that controversial decisions live in the memory for more than just a few days. Former Celtic boss Ronny Deila will testify to that after saying he’s still haunted by the handball that never was when his side was gunning for that treble. In the capital, Hearts star Callum Paterson may still be sidelined with injury but Cardiff City have reportedly stepped up their bid to sign the right-back. City rivals Hibs are gearing up for the Scottish Cup semi-final and former boss Alan Stubbs says Jason Cummings can be key for them now that he has become more mature.That’s the same Jason Cummings who was stripped down to his underpants tackling a wrestler in the club canteen on Tuesday.
Share This!Catching many folks by surprise, Takumi-Tei, the newest signature dining location operated by Mitsukoshi in Epcot’s Japan pavilion of World Showcase opened this week for a “soft-opening” period. The restaurant will open in full with reservations on July 16, but we were able to check out the prized Chef’s Table experience just a few days into operation. In short, we all found it to be one of the best dining experiences at Walt Disney World (watch out, Victoria & Albert’s) – check out the rundown of our meal below, and as always, click each photo for a better look at the magic!AmbienceEvery meal at Takumi-Tei starts with a brief introduction to the restaurant’s concept, via the entrance hallway; here, you’ll encounter the five natural elements celebrated by Japanese craftsmen: earth/clay, water, paper, stone, and wood. The restaurant’s five dining rooms each honor one of these elements in their theme, with distinct decorative accents on the walls (and even the accent colors of the dining chairs!), with the chef’s table located in the private Water Room.Our dining experience took place entirely in the Water Room, a positively relaxing respite from the chaos of the theme park just a few walls away. Between the tempered, soothing soundtrack of traditional Japanese music, the feature waterfall lapping at the rocks at the head of our dining table, and the visual flow of the room (sleek and modern with touches of nature), I was lulled into a state of tranquility right from the outset of the meal. The custom dining table, which seats eight, carried through the terminus of the waterfall’s resulting creek, with inset Japanese maple leaves adding a pop of color to the otherwise muted palette.The chef’s table experience is traditionally offered for parties of 6 to 8, but because it’s still early days, an exception was made for our smaller group. We were greeted by our outstanding server, Shoko, and then assisted throughout the meal by several others. We had visits from the restaurant manager and the general manager during the course of our meal, as well, with each course presented and explained by the chef. From a service perspective, this was Extra with a capital E – absolutely fitting for the quality of the meal. Shoko and her team were doting without being cloying; I never felt like I was being watched, but every need we had, from drink refills to the pacing of the meal, was perfectly managed.KaisekiThe Chef’s Table experience at Takumi-Tei is billed as a nine-course kaiseki experience reflective of the traditional Japanese multi-course meal, generally viewed as very fancy and upscale, akin to many haute cuisine dining experiences you’d find elsewhere. Kaiseki meals are marked by their dedication to hospitality, honoring the guests dining, that also honors nature with local, fresh, seasonal ingredients and flowers and natural elements incorporated throughout. Traditionally, kaiseki were meant as the meal served prior to a tea ceremony (also the case here), building to one of Japan’s utmost traditions.This all probably sounds incredibly austere and intimidating to those who’ve never had this experience before, and truthfully, you feel the sincerity and importance of the meal at nearly every moment. But – and I say this with the utmost respect to Victoria & Albert’s – it is the exact opposite of Victoria & Albert’s brand of “stuffy” and “uppity”. I never felt like our meal at Takumi-Tei was being fancy for fancy’s sake – it was a true reflection of the respect the chef paid towards her ingredients and guests; a momentous meal meant to celebrate so much. The food is certainly fussed over, but much like the service, it never felt over-the-top or as if they were putting on airs to impress. Don’t fear the fanciness here – I think it’s a truly accessible way to try one of the world’s most revered dining experiences in the comfort of a theme park.The MealEvery diner at the Chef’s Table is presented with a customized menu, which was artfully packaged for us as we departed. Each course of the meal was presented, as mentioned, by our chef, explaining the ingredients and meaning behind each dish. Out of respect for the meal, I did not take notes during each course, as I usually would with a meal this complex, but we were allowed photos, and below, I’ve done my best to explain each course served.One of our group chose to partake in the beverage pairing ($100), while another sampled a carafe of sake recommended by our server. Each guest choosing to drink sake was afforded the opportunity to select a cup of their choice – a really great touch on the service side that was completely unexpected. I sampled two of the menu’s non-alcoholic beverages along with our meal, both of which featured fresh juices and were suitably light for a long meal after a hot summer day in the parks.OtoshiOur first course was an amuse-bouche that the menu mentions will rotate daily – on our particular day, we met a salmon “roll” with crispy salmon skin. Incredibly crunchy, the noise of eating each piece of salmon skin pierced through the serene atmosphere of the room and broke the ice a bit, all the while introducing a slight brininess to the otherwise sweet and delicate salmon that really awakened our palates as we embarked on our meal.Mozaiku RollA small sushi course, this mosaic-esque square roll filled with small portions of tuna, yellowtail, asparagus, and red shiso rice, topped with tobiko (flying fish roe) was served atop a lemongrass ponzu foam emulsion. The red shiso rice enveloping the asparagus in the corners of the mosaic gave the dish a slight anise flavor, but overall, the fish here was a little lost – light in portion, it was tough for even the strength of the tuna to shine over the brightness of the lemongrass ponzu sauce. Our group thought the sauce was excellent, but should’ve been used as an accent atop the roll, rather than a base – the mosaic is beautiful, but the true fish flavor would’ve shown a bit more.Hama No KaniBilled as “crabs on the beach”, this dish is meant to evoke crabs crawling through the sand of a beach. The plating on this dish absolutely stunned our table – the simple visual of the crab claw peeking its way through the glass-encased sand was just beautiful. Ponzu-poached crab sits alongside a claw and a tiny soft-shell crab (“crab snack!”, exclaimed Shoko, who also told us you can buy these in Mitsukoshi by the bag – tempting!), sitting atop frisee dressed in leek gel, heirloom tomato, watermelon radish tsukemono, and dotted with sesame pollen atop a plum wine reduction. There’s a ton going on in this dish, but each ingredient playfully juxtaposes a natural sweetness inherent to their core with a preparation highlighting another facet of their personality. Everything here was best when consumed together, as you’d expect. The plum wine reduction brought a deep caramel-like note to the base, while the frisee with leek gel added pepperiness, with the brightness of the pickled watermelon radish and acidic tomato singing in harmony with the sweet and delicate crab.Misoyaki OchazukeThe last of our seafood courses, this comfort “soup” course really blew me away with complexity hidden in its simplicity. In this dish, we were presented with misoyaki glazed seabass, sitting atop karikari sushi, shirasu (small whitefish), tsukemono (pickled radish), toasted nori, shimeji mushroom, all topped with an ocha dashi broth (green tea and fish stock combined in harmony, poured tableside). The soup aspect of this dish is steeped in tea flavor, with mild earthy notes elevating the flaky, mild seabass and the umami bomb of the misoyaki glaze and nori with the shimeji mushrooms. The crunch of the karikari sushi and sesame bits added a bit of textural variety to an otherwise smooth-eating dish. Of the seafood courses, this was the most interesting to me – it took great effort to elevate a simple soup dish to something far more complex than a menu read of “fish in broth” would indicate.Kamo RosuOur first meat dish of the evening centered around marinated duck breast, sliced and served atop kabocha squash puree, edamame beans, Japanese mizuna (similar to mustard greens in flavor), cured duck egg yolk, and a grape reduction. Served under a glass cloche, enveloped in smoke, the aroma absolutely permeated the room long after the smoke had dissipated, though it only offered a slight kiss of the flavor to the duck itself. The duck breast was well-seared, perfectly paired with the sweet grape reduction, squash puree, and the peppery greens. I was very impressed with how pungent the duck egg yolk crumbles were on this dish – the creaminess brought to the plate from these tiny bits of yolk really brought each bite together.HashiyasumePrior to the main event, we were served a palate cleanser consisting of cucumber gelee with plum sauce and pickled ginger sorbet. These were strong, refreshing flavors paired together that left as quickly as they arrived – a perfect interstitial in the meal.Wagyu TabekurabeThe final entrée course is really the star of the show – top-grade Japanese A5 Wagyu strip steak paired with Jackman Farms American Wagyu strip steak and a variety of accompaniments. On our secondary “salt block” plates, we saw roasted cippolini onion, curried potato, seasonal mushroom (morels, for us – everyone agreed these were the best thing on the plate!), yuzu kosho, fresh grated wasabi, and an Arima Sansho pepper reduction. The Jackman Farms wagyu, a Florida local specialty, was the pinnacle of what we think of as “steak” – wonderfully charred, with a strong flavor that paired well with the curried potatoes and cippolini onions. The Japanese A5, though, was the true star – intricately marbled with fat, melting like butter with every bite, it was simply divine on its own, but really outstanding when paired with the yuzu kosho and wasabi both cutting through the richness of the beef. The peppercorn sauce was more sweet than savory, which helped keep the dish from veering into the “salty” range. The pure extravagance of the A5 and real grated wasabi (reserved for special occasions) alongside the previous Morel mushrooms (highly coveted by chefs, and rightly so) really marked this dish as one to remember.Suiren DaniReminiscent of water lilies, this dessert featured the uber-trendy Japanese water cake, topped with rose soaked in sake syrup, kuromitsu (a brown sugar syrup), kinako crumb (a graham cracker-esque crumb made from roasted soybean flour). The water cake itself doesn’t have much of a flavor (which is the point!), but the sheer novelty of the cake’s beauty and wonder really does the trick. The kinako and kuromitsu are the predominate flavors, with a play on salty-sweet at the fore. I loved that this dessert was not cloyingly sweet, a perfect grace note to a vast and varied meal.Tea CeremonyThe last event of the Chef’s Table meal, nearly all of the servers in the restaurant, it seemed, came to join our dining party during the ceremony. Our tea master explained the tradition of the tea ceremony and its 1,000 steps, and was also kind enough to note that they’ve simplified it a bit to reflect the original traditions and meaning for this experience. We watched as our server carefully scooped the matcha into cups, added a splash of hot water, and whisked to froth it properly. Then we were taught how to properly honor the tea before drinking, before finally taking a sip of the ceremonial-grade matcha. Served alongside dragonfruit and beet mochi stuffed with red bean paste, this was a delightful end to our meal, with a tempered sweetness that offset the earthy matcha well.Final ThoughtsOverall, our meal at Takumi-Tei lasted just about two and a half hours – for nine courses, this seemed very reasonable. The price for all of this? $180 each (plus tax and gratuity, of course). All things considered, this was – and I’m whispering this so no one at Disney hears me – a great value for a meal of this quality at Walt Disney World. It is far and away a better value than its closest counterpart, Victoria & Albert’s, with a similarly high level of doting service and a far less stuffy atmosphere, to boot.Each course escalated in intensity from most mild in flavor to boldest, crescendoing at the wagyu course before de-escalating to the subtle grace notes of the water cake and the closing tea ceremony. At its core, this food is very accessible to even pickier eaters – Takumi-Tei is a steakhouse, after all, and Japanese food’s traditional focus is on quality ingredients shining in relatively simple preparations. Most dishes have traditional analogs within upscale American cuisine – steak and potatoes with roasted onions is literally the centerpiece of the menu, after all.One thing to note – all of these dishes are available in full or as part of courses within the main dining room. The omakase seven course experience in the main dining room features a largely similar menu, with just a few additions rounding out the Water Room chef’s table experience. The manager of the restaurant did mention to us that should we return, they would make an effort to not repeat dishes for guests (unless they want the same meal!) – this ensures that this is a repeatable high-quality experience, and not just a one-off for you.All in all, I can’t wait to return to Takumi-Tei, both for a meal in the main dining room, and for another chef’s table experience. It was the perfect blend of education and entertainment – immersion in a cultural experience that didn’t feel like a chore; the perfect blend of classic Epcot ideals presented in culinary form.