I have always wanted to experience teppanyaki dining. When I saw that Groupon has a special deal for a six course teppanyaki lunch at Tokyo Teppanyaki on Chapel St, I couldn’t just ignore it. That particular voucher is no longer available however last time I checked (and this is last week) there was a nine course teppanyaki dinner version of the Groupon voucher. The reason I bought this voucher to begin with despite the appealing deal was because I was dining with a friend who for every meal we’ve gone out to eat, would not let me pay. I’ve had about enough of this behaviour so I decide to take my friend out to lunch with the Groupon voucher and that way at least I’d get to pay for once instead. Okay, so that problem was solved.
I decided to head over to the restaurant early because I just happened to be in the area, happily snapping away at some random objects at a nearby market. I realised that I was the first customer of the morning, when I noticed that the staff were having their lunch still. When they realised that I was a customer and not some lost tourist with a camera, the manager directed me to my seat.
The girls had stunning uniforms. I absolutely loved the fabric pattern and kimono/yukata design. Each girl had their own different obi as well, which I thought added a nice unique touch to it.
To start the six course we were served some tea, a small dish of pickled vegetables (above) and a entree plate with salmon sushi, chicken karage and a spring roll (below). I’m not a fan of raw fish, but for the sake of blogging, I forced the sushi down. Can’t say that I enjoyed it that much, but I tried to bypass the sliminess of it all and just appreciate the combination of flavours in general, minus the texture. I turned around to see if my friend was going to try it out and what do I see? I see my friend chewing on the parsley lol….*sigh*
Because it was more of a catch up session for my friend and I, we both really took our time to eat the food. This gave me a another chance to take in the restaurant interior and decorations. The place was quite lovely.
We had a super friendly chef who was originally from South Korea. He told us that initially he had applied for a job here as a waiter, but then the owner decided to take him in and train him as a chef instead. With four years of training behind him, our chef had some pretty smooth moves with the kitchen tools.
For the mains, I chose the calamari and chicken (bottom left) while my friend decided to have the prawn and beef tenderloin (bottom right). The seafood and meats were both cooked to perfection and lightly season which is how I like it. I’m not fond of overly powerful marinades and seasoning. The only issue I have is (and this had nothing to do with the restaurant) that the serving size for the meats was way too much for me. And to be honest if I was served the calamari on it’s own, I would have been quite satisfied.
When it came around to catching the omelette I was a bit nervous, but our chef made it really easy. I even caught the egg on the first try yay! As if that wasn’t enough, not long after making the fried rice, we were given another catching exercise but this time with bowls. It was much easier with the bowls however, I was still a bit scared of dropping food everywhere. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. (Below) is the finished fried rice.
Intially the place didn’t seem to be very busy at all but come 1pm and more people were beginning to walk through the doors in groups much larger than my own two man team. I had a great experience at Tokyo teppanyaki. For the $45 that was used to buy the six course lunch for two at Groupon, the food and experience was definitely worth it. Whether I or not I would pay full price for teppanyaki is another story. And it’s not because the food is bad. I just think that it this kind of teppanyaki (that is grilled meats) is to my liking. Having an okonomyaki on the other hand would send me into a world of happiness. So it’s really a personal thing. To me great food is something that tastes better than home cooking and even though there was nothing particularly wrong with the dishes served themselves, it just didn’t hit the right spot in terms of flavour. If I were to come back based on atmosphere and friendlly staff alone, then count me in. But if you consider dining to be primarily all about fantastic food, then I’d need to have a good hard think.
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