DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

Teppan (Yaki)

Nutritious, healthy and inexpensive

The art of Teppanyaki cuisine is one that has been both exported and dramatized all over the world. The Teppanyaki cooks are the ones that are known to put on a show, with food flying all over the restaurant, hopefully landing in your bowl and not your lap. However, before you get out a bib, you won’t see flying food at Teppan Restaurant in the Kad Suan Kaew shopping centre, but what you will see are some rather pleased expressions on the diners.

Teppan is on the second floor (come up the escalators and do a U-Turn) and is situated between Swenson’s Ice Cream and Black Canyon coffee. It is not a large establishment, with the Teppanyaki cook tops plainly visible and a small preparation kitchen in behind. The cooks are all in white and green and the friendly reception girls dressed in silk shirts and silk pants, to impart a Japanese ‘feel’ to the outlet.

The Dining Out team of three went one mid-week lunchtime, and we had to wait a few moments before we could get seats. With only sixteen stools around the marble bench surrounding the stainless steel cook tops, the place was packed to capacity. That in itself, was a good omen. It was also notable that there were around three different nationalities dining there, and the ages would have ranged from 8 to 80!

There is a small photo menu that everyone is shown and it is duplicated on an illuminated signboard at the rear, above the cooks. I heartily applaud any restaurant that provides a pictorial menu. Especially if they are relating to an international market, and with Chiang Mai being promoted as the ‘hub of the universe’ this is important. The small menu also has drinks ranging from several green teas, Pepsi, Heineken at B. 50 and even a Sake for the same price.

The food comes in ‘sets’ which range in price between B. 89 and B. 119. The set consists of a soup, a salad and a main dish plus rice, and the differences in price relate to the type of meat or fish in the main item. Chicken and pork are the cheapest at B. 89, saba is B. 99, beef B. 109 and salmon B. 119.

Our order was taken by the happy receptionist, and almost immediately, the miso soup as the starter was brought to us. This was pleasant - and hot to the table - most important! The second course was the salad which had cucumber, lettuce, carrot, tomato and ‘spicy mayo’. This appeared very fresh, not soggy, and most enjoyable, and comes with throw-away chopsticks.

In the interim we watched the two chefs preparing the cooked food on the spot. Both were kept very busy (it was a full house, after all) and they cook not only the meats, but the vegetables to go with it, which has lettuce and bean sprouts. You are also given a three compartment dish with sauces that included a mayo style sauce, a chopped garlic and a spicy sauce.

We tried all the sauces with our meat (chicken for me and pork for Madame), and we reached consensus, with the chopped garlic coming out tops. (I even cleaned mine up with the soup spoon!)

The Teppan Restaurant produced our food very quickly, and with it being cooked in front of you, there was no need to worry if it were being prepared correctly. The soup starter was served hot, and the salad was very pleasant, particularly the dressing that came with it. The three sauces were very good, with the garlic one being the pick from the trio by both Madame and myself. We left replete and feeling proud of ourselves at not having had greasy, high calorie, fast food. This Teppan outlet fits the bill for anyone hankering after something different, and healthy. The price is also most reasonable. I have paid many times the price for similar food at other Japanese restaurants. Definitely worth giving it a go!

Teppan (Yaki), 2nd Floor Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Centre, Huay Kaew Road. Secure parking underneath the shopping Centre. Hours 11 a.m. till 9 p.m.