Friday, August 15, 2014

Keyakizaka けやき坂 : Best Wagyu Teppanyaki Meal

Teppanyaki cuisine is rarely the first thing that crosses one's mind when it comes to the food scene in Tokyo. But as a city boasting international gourmet standards, Teppanyaki is another arena that could possibly spark off the best culinary epiphanies in your life. 
The art of Teppanyaki is not just about mastering food on the hotplate but also a performance skill. When the tables get busy, each chef who takes charge of more than one group of diners , has to pace their cooking according to the diners' eating speed and keep them entertained at the same time. 
Contrary to most beliefs, Teppanyaki only deals with few splashes of oil over the sizzling hot plate and add minimum seasoning to showcase the most natural flavours of the ingredients. Hence, they are relative simpler and healthier than greasy, sauce-laden  dishes. At Keyakizaka, there is no qualms that only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used. 

蛸のサラダ仕立て モロヘイヤソースフ
Before the chef starts cooking each meal, he will lay the ingredients in front of diners and explain the cooking process in detail. The meal began on a good note with sauteed octopus salad with jute mallow sauce, fruit tomatoes and olive oil. The octopus is marinated with paparika and lifted away from the hot-grill immediately after a dash of balsamic vinegar was splashed onto it. The octopus was fresh and springy, without any trace of being overcooked. 

的鯛と野菜入り包み焼き トリュフストック
Never did I know that everything, yes everything from appetizers to desserts could be cooked on the hot grill. The fish course was prepared beforehand in a heat-resistant plastic wrap before the entire bag was left on the hot plate  for few minutes till bubbles frothed from the broth. 
Once the bag was unfolded, scents of black truffles drifted into the air. A gorgeous slab of John Dory topped with red and green pepper was arranged on a bed of onions that accentuated the sweetness of the zesty Wafu-dashi broth. 

And here comes the climax of the meal--Japanese Kurobe Wagyu!!! Kezayaki is famed for its teppan beef and one should never leave without trying this. Serve with delectable seasonal mushrooms and nasu (egg plants), the beef from Gunma Prefecture was cooked to the right medium degree and tastefully seasoned. 
There were four dips; salt, sesame dressing, tomato salsa and shoyu-wasabi. Culinary epiphanies don't happen that often but this is one occasion that triggered a loss for words to describe the texture. Absolute tenderness. Well, it's just simply a mixed of pleasure and anxiety with every bite as you don't want something so stunningly delicious to end so soon. The tenderloin has just the right ratio of lean meat to fats but if you would like to try a cut with richer marbling, you can pick the sirloin. 
The Garlic Fried Rice was served shortly after. Despite having so much food earlier already, the aroma of butter and garlic never fail to whet our appetites. With bits of beef and asparagus mixed into the grains from Ohmi prefecture, the rice was light yet comforting. 

牛肉とアスパラガス入り ガーリックライス

The meal drew to a finale with champagne jelly and fruits that would not set one tipsy but a timely treat to freshen the palates. I haven't recover from the euphoria of having such an excellent meal and I'm sure I won't forget the taste. Highly recommend the set courses and you can add on the wagyu from the ala carte menu which is available during lunch and dinner.
Keyakizaka けやき坂
Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 4F
6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
English Menu Available
Special thanks to Yuriko san for your gracious hosting!

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