A few weeks ago, it was Beaker's birthday. After a bit of research, Beaker booked a table for lunch at Tokyo Teppanyaki. From her research, TT has great reviews as being the most entertaining teppanyaki restaurants in Melbourne.
Up until this point, I had never had teppanyaki. I was skeptical, as I thought one doesn't get good value for Japanese food. Although I do like the finer things in life, I'll be the first to admit that I'm full of prejudices when it comes to... well, everything. My suspicion of teppanyaki is that for a lot of money, you only get a tiny piece of food, albeit beautifully presented.
The birthday lunch was on a Sunday. Surprisingly, there weren't many diners, which turned out to be a good thing for us.
We were seated around a cooking station. Our chef was a very affable and friendly person.
For starters, we had a cold prawn salad, which had a tart dressing.
Then came the spring roll, grilled chicken and sushi.
We also had miso soup and green tea.
After that came the hot food. We had grilled prawns - the chef expertly disected each prawn with showmanship. Perfectly cooked - juicy and a nice firm texture.
Grilled squid, which had a nice char-grilled flavour. As with the prawns, it was sweet and juicy.
Teriyaki chicken with beanshoots.
While we ate the chicken, the chef took a break. Afterwards, he came back and that's when the fun and noise started. It's hard to recount the experience. Needless to say, we had plenty of fun trying to catch pieces of omelette in our mouths and bowls of fried rice. Because there weren't many diners seated near us, the chef was able to hurl the bits of food at a greater distance.
I liked the fact that the chef (a pity I cannot remember his name), was very encouraging. You get to practice your catching skills with him before he hurls the bowls of rice at you. But at the same time, he didn't pressure anyone into doing something that they didn't want to do.
There was alot of noise, and Bubba Chuck got a bit scared as she witnessed all the usually sane and sensible adults in her life whooping in delight (and acting like idiots) as food flew around the room.
Tender beef fillet...
...and fried rice, which were garnished with the lovely crispy prawn heads, rounded off the meal.
We thorougly enjoyed our meal. But the staff at TT had a few more surprises for us. First, Bubba Chuck got a complimentary serve of ice cream.
As it was Beaker's birthday, the staff dressed her up in a pink kimono and gave her a samurai sword to cut up a complimentary birthday dessert (a big serve of deep fried ice cream with sparklers). They also took a photo of us all, then printed it and put it in a frame as a complimentary souvenir for the day. TT gets lots of kudos for this!
Food - 7.5
Service - 9
Ambience - 10
Price - 7
We all enjoyed our time at TT. The food was above average, but it was the entertainment and service that was excellent. Our chef informed us if we booked a private dining room, the chef can demonstrate more of his skills and can play more games.
We were surprised that we were quite full from the meal. However, the only criticism I would make is that Mr Strong, Mother Hen and I thought some of the dishes were a bit salty. But Beaker actually thought some of the dishes needed more salt.
536 Chapel St
South Yarra 3141
Telephone: 9826 2375