A Gathering of Foodies

A couple of weeks ago, you may recall mine and Little Piggy's adventure to Teppankai in South Yarra. Well, after that night, Richard was kind enough to extend an invitation for us to return to his establishment on the 18th of November for a special Blogger's evening. Having experienced such lovely service the first time around, we were both more than happy to return to try out the rest of the menu!

The VIP service began upon arrival, where our names were ticked off a list and we were then guided to our allocated seats. My table featured the lovely Little Piggy, Ming, Peach, Mint, and the duo behind Gastrology. We ordered drinks, mingled and chatted, while waiting for everyone to arrive, before they would begin serving our meals for the night.

I took the train in tonight knowing I would want to give the sake a try - a traditional Japanese "rice wine". It was very similar in texture and taste to a dry white wine; understated and cool, with rich aromas and a lingering aftertaste. It was much stronger than the sake I tried in Shanghai, and as I'm more of a sweet-tooth, the one serving lasted me all night and I don't think I even manage to finish it.

It was a chock-a-block 8 course menu - a pre-appetiser, four entrees, two mains, and a dessert - comprised of contemporary takes on authentic Japanese flavours. It to be a true feasting session indeed!

Little Piggy and I had already tried the first four dishes that were served during our first visit, so we knew what to expect from them. A refreshing start with boiled seasoned spinach served cold, and raw salmon with delightful hints of citrus, before transitioning into the slightly warmer spicy fish tempura roll and my favourite, the Kai Kani Maki rolls - just as good as the first time, I savoured each bite, wishing it didn't have to end!

The final entree, that we didn't have a chance to try last time, was the Braised Teriyaki Hamburger. Ever the fan of teriyaki, I enjoyed the tastes - the sauce wasn't too rich and it created a great dipping sauce for the lotus root chips! As my first time trying them, I wasn't sure whether or not to equate them to potato chips, but they were lovely and crisp, and the Matcha salt seasoning gave them a great salty kick. Compositionally, I was confused by the added egg element - not sure if this dish was slightly Malaysian inspired? And it was served cold, so I was a bit taken aback by that as I usually love my eggs hot!

Finally it was time for the mains - and the first dish to be served was an assortment of seafood, the slighty charred crunchy texture was evidence that it had been prepared on the hotplate, teppanyaki style, which really gave each element a fantastic taste. I was a much bigger fan of this salmon, each layer fell apart beautifully and topped off nicely with a citrus hit from the lemon wedge. I also loved the prawns - drenched in the ponzu soy dipping sauce - absolutely delish! 

The second main was the eye fillet. Extremely juicy and fall-apart-tenderloins, a dish that was remarkably elegant in its simplicity, and artfully executed. It was a shame that we had filled up so much on entrees beforehand, as I would never have let all this go to waste!


And then it was time for dessert. I loved the Japanese take on a typical Italian dessert approach they took with this. Although, having had plenty of tiramisu in my time, I was expecting the rum to be a bit more potent. Ever the fan of marscapone (if you read my Manchester Press adventure!), I still engorged myself with this dessert though. The black sesame gave it a great savoury crunch, and the lady finger made the dessert a lot drier and crunchier than I was expecting - but all round I thoroughly enjoyed it and polished it off quite nicely!

All in all, it was a night well spent with great company meeting over great food!
Thank you Richard and team!

34 Bray St
South Yarra, VIC 
Teppankai on Urbanspoon


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