Japanese Teppanyaki is a culinary performing art.
The first time I tried Japanese cuisine I did not like it. The honey glazed chicken didn’t go well with my taste palettes especially because whoever prepared it put too much salt in the chicken, so it was more like eating salt mixed with sugar.To make matters worse,the meal cost me an arm and a leg. Since then,I decided to go slow on experiencing foreign cuisines.
During my recent visit to Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, my previous not so good experience with Japanese Teriyaki chicken was thrown out of the window.
The Sake Oriental Restaurant.
The restaurant offers Japanese, Indian and Chinese cuisine. Inside the restaurant,there are two Teppanyaki tables. There is also another set of normal dining tables and a floor sitting arrangement synonymous with the Japanese dining style. The set-up of this restaurant is personal and intimate.
When we walked in, we were told we would be served a Japanese Teppanyaki dinner. I did not know what to expect. I was not sure whether it was alacarte,buffet or something else.However, I was curious to know what teppanyaki was and on enquiring, I got to understand teppanyaki is a technique where food is cooked and served on an iron ‘table’ where the customers are dining. ‘Teppan’ means (iron plate) and ‘yaki’ means (grilled/ pan-fried), so teppanyaki means meals grilled in an iron griddle. The interesting performance during the preparation of the dish is called ‘Hibachi.’
The Teppanyaki experience and Calvin, the chef with culinary theatrics.
We were shown to a window facing table at the furthest left of the restaurant. A few moments later, Chef George(the culinary arts guy) who welcomed and walked us in,handed us safely to Calvin and stepped aside. Calvin; the Japanese cuisine specialty chef, took over. He looked shy at first, while the rest of us seemed unsure of what to expect. Little did we know the performance that was coming our way. He was exceptional at Hibachi; you’d think he was born and raised in Japan.
The Food entertainment in the making of Emperor course.
The Emperor course is the five-course teppanyaki meal served at Sake Restaurant .
It basically consists of an appetizer course consisting of vegetable salad and/or sushi,followed by seafood.
The seafood of choice that paired nicely for this meal was lobsters followed by prawns, both of which were prepared separately.
The third course was meat. He made chicken followed by beef fillet with steamed vegetable mix.The vegetable was also pan-fried and then covered to steam for about two minutes.
The fourth course was vegetable rice.
The rice was pan fried with garlic, carrot and green pepper.
Finally, the soup was served. It was made of chicken soup as the base, mixed with miso paste and beef dash.
The whole time, watching Calvin skillfully flipping, turning, cutting, stirring and setting flames to the grilled meat added more excitement to the suspense in the air. Almost a nail-biting experience.
Speak of meals with an adrenaline rush.
Book your next stay at Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa. Ask for Japanese teppanyaki, and thank me later.
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Alternatively, you can call them on: +254 709 481 000.