“Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き) is a type of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word “teppanyaki” is derived from teppan (鉄板), which means iron plate, and yaki (焼き), which means grilled”, says Wikipedia
Teppanyaki is that point where a lot of my “lifestyle obsessions” come together. This is where my love of east asian cusines mixes with my fascination with the spareness of japanese presentation, melts into the warmth of having a social meal around a fire and rounds off with the theatrical convivality of its chef/presenter. I love the alchemy.
Last night I had a great Teppanyaki meal at the Zen restaurant in Leela Palace hotel in Bangalore. “Anchored” by a mallu Teppanyaki chef, Benoy (a definite first for me!), it was meal that traversed though more than 9 courses. The best part was the really juicy tenderloin – Chef Benoy tells me that even his regular (incredibly finicky) Japanese customers eschew imported beef in favour of the juicy, flavourful local stuff. I also got to try out a couple of things for the first time. One was Shitake mushrooms which I knew was pretty special to the japanese, but which I had had no chance to lay my hands on before. The other was a great bowl of Miso soup.
Sitting around an iron griddle with the brood, the wafting aroma of sweet soy around me, the click-clack of dutiful chopsticks conveying yet more succulent pieces of food to appreciative mouths, arguing the relative mertis of kobe beef vs Bangalore buffalo with a mallu chef in chaste Malayalam – it does look like an experience that will take a bit of rivalling.
Those of you who want a good east asian meal, the Zen in Bangalore is recommended. And while I am at it, so is the Pan Asian restaurant at the Marriott in New Delhi (saket) where again, there is a great Teppanyaki grill – although I must warn you that I ate there last some time ago.
Check out a Teppanyaki video I have in my VodPod – this is the bunch of videos I have on the right side of this blog.