Right! Ready, set…go! An invitation to try out the express teppanyaki lunch menu at Kobe Jones meant that I was keeping a beady eye on the clock.
The express menu aims to cater to those looking for a premium food experience within the constraints of a lunch hour.
The restaurant has two dining rooms - the teppanyaki room is on one side, and on the other is the regular dining room which has views of the Yarra River.
There are four options for the teppanyaki lunch – beef, chicken, fish of the day and vegetarian. With each option comes a generous sized salad, which was crisp and had a tangy and spicy dressing.
I chose the grain-fed beef tenderloin and asked for it to be cooked medium well. Part of the experience of teppanyaki is that you get to watch the chef display his or her dexterous skills at wielding the various cooking utensils and accessories. As there were a number of people who were also having the express lunch, it meant that you didn’t necessarily have the chef cook right in front of you. The chef did do some juggling and clanging of his utensils but it’s not a full blown act. I’m assuming that that is reserved for those who order from the proper teppanyaki menu.
The beef was quite tender and had a simple but tasty butter and garlic sauce. There was a nice amount of veggies that came with it, but it was a tad salty.
Along with the steak and salad, you also get a bowl of garlic fried rice (which was also cooked in front of you) and miso soup. While the fried rice had a nice 'wok hei' to it and it was fragrant, I had hoped that there would be egg in it. The miso soup was piping hot and had several pieces of seaweed which I quite liked.
I also got a glass of lemonade to go with my meal.
Food - 7Ambiance - 6.5
Service - 7
Price - 7
*Scores are notional as I was a guest of Kobe Jones.
Stop the watch! So did I finish within the lunch hour? Yes! Impressively, all the components of my meal was presented to me within 15 minutes of being seated. You're then left to enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace.
The express teppanyaki menu definitely offers something different for a work day lunch. It's reasonably good value as the servings are quite generous for the salad, main dish, soup and rice - I wasn't able to finish all the food.
The express teppanyaki lunch is $25 per person. While it's probably a bit pricey for an everyday work lunch, it's definitely a contender if you're wanting something a bit more special (e.g., a team lunch or celebration). There are also other lunch deals on the menu which are easier on the pocket.
Service is friendly, however, they could do with another staff on the floor. While the waitress was very capable, she had to do everything and the place got a bit busy during my time there.
In terms of the ambiance, the teppanyaki room is a little dark and smoky, and could do with a bit more light and ventilation - my clothes and hair smelled like a BBQ after I left. However, I did look at the other dining room which looks much nicer.
Riverside Teppanyaki by Kobe Jones
World Trade Centre
38 Siddeley St
Docklands 3008Telephone: 9329 9173