Teppan is one place I have been meaning to check out sometime, but somehow it never happened. In fact, I knew about this place almost a year after it opened and when I was invited to check out their sushi festival with a special chef, I did not know what to expect. My tryst with teppanyaki cooking is when an outstanding Hibachi chef showed off his cooking skills in a Japanese restaurant in the US, an experience that I am yet to have anywhere else, so I did go in with a lot of expectation.
We started off with Mojaco maki, a dish dish that turned out excellent, both my friend and me polished off the eight pieces between us. It was salmon, tuna and cream cheese rolled inside an omelette and served like a sushi, while it may not be a real sushi, it was great. The next one, a more traditional prawn maki, rolled with the seaweed was pretty good too, but we kept talking about the first one! Then came a grilled tofu that really did not catch our attention too much, but the next two dishes, an Ebiyaki, which is prawns grilled with Japanese seven spices was simply outstanding, while the tempura fried prawns, though a simple dish, was superb.
We then moved to the Teppan counter and the chef got ready to show off his skills and prepared our dishes. We had a chicken and prawn fired rice that had lots of other condiments on top of it making it a supremely good fried rice, while the two sides, a chicken and a prawn, both of which we let the chef choose for us, turned out brilliant. We then had some lamb racks, that were cooked in a jiffy, the chef would not tell us how it was done so quickly, but it tasted superb. Desserts turned out to be equally great. We were stuffed, but we kept stuffing ourselves from the dessert counter, which is like a mini buffet. A superb brownie, a decent creme brûlée and what not. But what took us by surprise was the WASABI ICE CREAM. If you know what wasabi is, then you have to try this ice cream, just the way it is conceived is mind boggling and its got the flavor of the wasabi and the gentleness of the ice cream and it plays tricks on your brain.
While the Teppan tricks were no way close to the ones I have experienced, the chef did two card tricks, that were brilliant. He did do a couple of egg tricks and they were nice ones, but I could not help but compare my previous experience, so I was not really impressed.
A Teppan dinner is an experience. With live cooking right in front of your eyes, a small community dining (if you are a group of 8, you get your own grill with a dedicated chef)! While it is not right to compare the tricks experience with US, where we paid three times as much, the food was in no way inferior.
While the chef tells us that they do offer something for the vegetarians, I am not sure how happy they would be, but if you have never had teppanyaki dinner experience before, now is as good a time as before.
Yes, it is very expensive, a meal for two should cost about Rs. 2500, but that is because lots of stuff is imported, with the heat of the live kitchen right in the center of the restaurant, the A/C needed is almost three times as much and the live kitchens have a suction, so even though the chef was playing with fire right in front of you, we did not feel the heat at all.
Sushi festival or not, Teppan is now on my radar for excellent food.
Teppan is on the first floor of Benjarong restaurant on TTK road!
What I would order:
Tempura fried prawns
Grilled prawns with Japanese seven spices
Wasabi ice cream
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