Treat your taste buds with teppanyaki: Keyakizaka Teppanyaki
A Japanese open kitchen concept, teppanyaki is an art of cooking that builds anticipation and excitement for the foods on the iron griddle. Competition among teppanyaki restaurants is fierce, and I’ve eaten my way through the city to bring you two of the best teppanyaki spots in town. Trust me, you’ll want to lick the plates clean when you’re done.
The show kitchen at Keyakizaka highlights the life and character of teppanyaki cuisine, allowing one to fully immerse oneself in an experience of note. When I am comfortably seated, an amuse-bouche of grilled tomato is placed in front of me, plump and swollen from the slow heat with hints of balsamic, mustard, honey, pine nuts and pancetta—a thing of true beauty, promising of a glorious meal about to begin.
When the cod papillote arrives wrapped in a special Italian parcel, the robust aromas of truffle makes my heartbeat quicken. Like a child unwrapping a present on Christmas Day, I close my eyes as I inhale the rich truffle scent. Eryngii, hen of the forest and shiitake mushrooms are broiled with seasonal vegetables in a truffle broth until it gets envious glances from neighboring diners. It may come out of a bag, but a bag the equivalent to an Hermès Birkin in the world of fashion. The humble cod is displayed to the very best of its advantage.
By this time, my expectations have soared. The chef starts preparing their signature beef tasting platter—four types, 30 grams each—of Kobe tenderloin, Iwate Minami tenderloin, Furano tenderloin and Furano sirloin. It feels like forever as I watch the meat cook, though it takes less than five minutes. As I chew on a cube of Kobe tenderloin tentatively, I can taste its delicate beefy flavors flourishing in my mouth, amplified by a dab of wasabi. Then there is tenderloin from Iwate Prefecture that tastes of pure beef, while the cuts from Furano lean toward the fatty side, beautifully marbled and exceptionally good. An experience at Keyakizaka is one to be remembered—and remembered fondly.