Monday, 9 December 2013


34 Bray St 
South Yarra, VIC

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee from sushi to ramen to curry
My chopsticks can reach, even when not hungry.

What am I talking about? Japanese food of course. Along with what seemed like all of the bloggers in Melbourne, I was invited to Teppankai for a special relaunch dinner. The restaurant felt rather zen, which is to be expected of a high-end teppanyaki restaurant, yet still modern and edgy. I was tucked away in an intimate little corner away from the teppanyaki action, with five other lovely blogger humans

Horenso Ohistahi

To start our meal, we were served a little appetiser of Horenso Ohistahi, a refreshing little morsel of blanched spinach and shiitake mushrooms in a light soy. What really made this go above and beyond were the toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top, giving the mouthful of vegetables a moreish nuttiness.

Salmon Carpaccio

Our first entree was a classic Salmon Carpaccio, drizzled in a vinaigrette and garnished with lemon slices and micro shiso leaves. I like the simple yet invigorating combination of citrus and herbs, but I thought the salmon was sliced at an awkward thickness, somewhere between dainty and plump.

Spicy Fish Tempura Roll

Spicy Fish Tempura Roll

Our next course was a curious rendition of the tempura sushi – Spicy Fish Tempura Roll. Instead of the tempura being wrapped inside the roll, the pieces of spicy salmon sushi were lightly fried in tempura batter and drizzled with mayo. But whilst the dish was tasty, the results weren’t as spectacular as I imagine they had hoped for.

Kai Kani Maki

After gushings of praise from Melbourne Girl, I was just as excited as her to try the Kai Kani Maki, a seared crab salad wrapped in seaweed and barramundi, topped with tobiko and sweet soy.

Kai Kani Maki

And the first bite was a textural and taste sensation. Through the soft exterior was a tangle of shredded crab, accompanied by the subtle popping of the fish eggs. It was an elegantly creamy mouthful of seafood.

Braised Japanese Hamburger

The next dish had me intrigued – what exactly does a Braised Japanese Hamburger consist of? Turns out it was a giant beef meatball cooked in teriyaki glaze, topped with a poached egg, and served with lotus root chips on the side.

Braised Japanese Hamburger

It wasn’t that this dish tasted bad; it tasted alright, aside from the hamburger being slightly too salty. But I just couldn’t see the point of a giant teriyaki meatball, served with a cold poached egg and stale lotus root chips.

Kaisen Teppanyaki

The first of the two mains was the Kaisen Teppanyaki – a selection of seafood fresh from the hot plate, served with a selection of dipping sauces, including miso, soy, and ponzu. I quite enjoyed the plump scallops, but I found both the salmon and the mussels to be dry, and the prawns strangely gritty.

Unfortunately I had to leave at this point due to time constraints, so I didn’t get to sample the second main, Kobe Style Eye Fillet, or the dessert, Black Sesame Tiramisu. I’m sure there will be plenty of posts floating around to fill my gap though, so do go off and read one of those.

Regrettably, Teppankai does not have me sold. Though it markets itself as a posh Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, I found that most of the food was mostly bells and whistles. But for the less adventurous, this may be just up your alley.

Rating: 11/20 – teppan-no.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Teppankai.

Teppankai on Urbanspoon


  1. I've followed your blog for a while now and I respect your honesty and unbiased critiques of dishes and places :) I've grown quite tired and uninspired by so many other blogs writing suspiciously rave reviews all the time, especially when they've dined as a guest.

    Keep it up :D

    1. Hi Sharon, thank you so much for your comment, it's so good to know that you appreciate my blog. Sometimes it does get a bit hard to write honestly when the meal has been paid for by the restaurant, as you feel like you owe the restaurant, but I do think that it's important not to be 'bought', or so to speak. Thanks again for dropping by!

  2. yeah that's true. I didn't really enjoy Pigging out around the world's review as she was quite negative when she dined as a guest. Hey ming I hope you can try La Cassolette, as I really enjoyed it.

    And Sharon if you do have chance do check out: as we too are honest bloggers. :)