When it comes to recommendation from friends, most of them are pretty sceptical sometimes to the extend of informing us that it is a casual place....no wine list....service is so-so.....bla bla bla yada yda yada. Oh well what they don't really know is for good food...even if it means that I have to squat by the drain to enjoy it, I'll do it.
I believe....whenever there's a will...there's a way especially when I'm alwiz controlled by my stomach(s) and palate :)))))))
and to be safe, they'll alwiz recommend somewhere proper with a good wine list. :)))))) how thoughtful of them :)))
When we arrived, they were already patrons at the restaurant, some were already done and left and our reservation was kinda 2nd seating??? We've forgotten that Japanese have their dinner early. This isn't Spain or Greece
>.< I remembered I've almost dropped my head onto my soup while having dinner in Greece at 11pm. And in Spain I don't really do dinner but lots of Tapas and Manzanilla because dinner is just way to late!!!!
Head Chef introduced himself and bowed before he picked up his cooking utensils.
He reminded me of our dearie friend Doctor Chook. They looked like long lost brothers actually :))))) suddenly I missed the company of Dr. Chook, Emily and their lovely kids. Oh well the kids aren't kids anymore for the son is already a qualified Doctor and beautiful Leanne is based in London. Looking at friends' kids makes u realise u are AGING!!!! BAHAHAHHAHAAHA
this bottle was immediately picked up off the wine list :)))))))))) They have a sommelier here as well which was good. However even without sommeliers in Japan....most of the waiting staffs are very well trained to serve wines with proper glasswares and etiquettes.
Almost all teppanyaki session will start with this ritual to our delight....slow frying the special garlic called the "almond garlic". It's bigger than normal, has got a firmer texture and a rather mild taste compared to our local garlic which has got this really pungent taste and smell that hits you right away.
Oh well some ppl like it pungent but for fine and delicate food that we gonna have...it's better to have it gentle :))))
at the beginning of the meal, they'll usually serve you some appetizer. You will be surprised if it is not 100% japanese food because Teppanyaki was created to introduce Western food in Japan by a way of cooking it on the hot iron griddle.
hahahaha yes....now u know :))) Now I know too kakakakakakaka
hence the main course of beef is supposed to be steak :))))
While we were nibbling our delightful appetizer, chef was already done with his almond garlic...we could smell its beautiful nutty nose....and JS couldn't resist...he was so tempted to extend his fingers to grab a slice.
We were then presented with various salt for the meat. It may looked like a lot but they were salty at all, instead it gave a very mineral taste to your food. Just like himalayan salt...if u gonna use it to cook, u'll be very afraid that u have to add in a lot to give u the desired level of saltiness. So seriously...these kind of salts are not MEANT for cooking...it's to be used as table salt. It's an insult to use it for cooking.
Next were the ponzu and other dipping sauce. The amount of variety given which we hardly consumed because the beef on its own were already so yummy and not to be corrupted with other elements.
the name teppanyaki came from teppan = hot plate and yaki = grilled, broiled etc
that reminds me that teppan is like "dhit paan" in cantonese....translated to iron board/plate
next we have a beautiful chicken consomme with a dollop of celeriac mash at the bottom which was so so creamy and smooth. A sliced of grilled zucchini and sweet tomato. So simple and so dull looking but the taste was really intense.
by then I was seriously hungry.
what is that???? there's sweet onions, zucchinis and brinjals...but what's the white square ones?
Chef: "It's toufu!!!"
errrr I dun think I'm a fan but I was wrong. So wrong.
All the food were cut into bit sizes like this. That's so thoughtful :)))
the toufu was so yummy and crispy...vegetables were all caramelised...Wished there's more :)))))
Cheese!!! and it wasn't the first time that we saw cheese being grilled on a teppan.
2 pcs of crispy wheat rusk. The cheeses were later added on top of these rusks.
Like this!!!! the top coat of the cheese has got a thin crunch....while the cheese were melted entirely but not in a messy way at all.
Japanese salad of everything raw. including the baby sweet corn.
Finally we were served the amazing crispy fragrant almond garlic. JS was nibbling them like chips as fast as hamsters....-_-" chomp chomp chomp and soon he was stealing from my stack as well.
the chips were meant to be eaten with the beef, not on its own. Top each piece of the beef with slices of fried garlic.
I don't have to say much here....the sizzlessssSSssss~~~~~
Happy days are here :))))))))))))
and more vege went into the grill. The oil used on all the food were from the same batch of oil used to fry the almond garlic....how clever :)))) hence all vege were infused with that nutty flavour.
grade A5 beef and this one is from Nara. There are so many great breeders in Japan other than Kobe. I must say it depends on individual palate. By far the best beef we had were from Kyushu - the brown cow. Kyushu is famous for their No.1 Miyazaki, Saga and Kumamoto beef
Diamonds and blings have their 5C ratings and now allow me to explain the gradings for beef:
theres' the A and the 5....A = yield grade and 5 = quality grade.
The 5 quality grades are:
- meat color and brightness
- firmness and texture
- lustre and quality of fat
2nd round :))))))))))))
and some greens to go with all the fat. I tell u broiling vege in fats are so so delicious. I just don't know why and how this could be healthy :P
3rd round :)))) tee hee hee hee
more please :))))))))) and we want it more rare please
Yes like this :)))
u hungry yet??? coz I am :))))))))
it's not that the beef that's tiny....it's the HUMONGOUS Beans sprouts!!!
those from Ipoh kalah....-_-"
for dessert, JS couldn't have anymore food so he chose some simple fresh sweet fruits like a slice of papaya and strawberries. and me....HOHOHOHOHOHOHO.....
super yummy cherries flambeed and caramelized. a yin yang presentation in terms of temperature with the cold vanilla ice creams. What a satisfying meal :))))))
When I looked up....his work stations has already been cleaned!!! that's the thing about Japanese chefs, they clean as they work around. How neat!!!
Soon we were presented with gifts :)))))) of salt...
silly us thought it was lavender salt!!!!! orang kampung. Guess Chef beh-tahan he went in and took out the real thing to show us.
Wow it's purple salt from Iran!!!! then using sign languages he explained that he personally hack this salt off the block gently to produce the table salt that we have
just like how some bars in Tokyo hack ice blocks to produce whiskey ice balls. It's just too much of trouble to make ice balls.
Thank you Chef for the awesome meal u have prepared for us. So so so so yummy beyond words I couldn't search for a word to describe it. :))))
Icho Teppanyaki @ Nikko Hotel
Tel: +81 6 6244 2468