Sunday, 15 June 2008
Express Teppanyaki But This Is NO Fast Foodlah!
I have been meaning to bring the family to this teppanyaki place within the Food Republic in Pavillion Kuala Lumpur. Called Express Teppanyaki, this outlet was introduced by my best friend a couple of months ago and this Father's Day was a good opportunity to allow my family to savour restaurant class teppanyaki without blowing the budget. Rivalling the prices of other food court teppanyaki outlets where you actually get more beansprouts than the beef /chicken /seafood you ordered, here the set meals consist of a bowl of rice, soup, green vegetable, the ubiquitous bean sprouts and your choice of protein that starts at 14 ringgit and increases to 29 ringgit for special mix sets. Well today we ordered five sets and these were the beef roll with mushroom filling and garlic mushroom at 14 ringgit each, fresh oyster garlic set at 16 ringgit and the lemon king prawn set and scallop set at 18 ringgit each and fruit juices at 2.80 each.
Well the meal starts with the teppan cook preparing your green vegetables, in this case bak choy mixed in with his magic teppan ingredients . This were then served first before the cook starts on your bean sprouts. First do notice that the food are served on the grill itself on top of a metallic foil in order to keep it warm, so it is a good idea to transfer the food to your plate if you do not want it to keep cooking slowly. Nonetheless as you can see the bak choy still retains its crispiness when served, and all that glistening garlicky oil is actually not overpowering but actually a light brushing that enhances the vegetable's flavours. Next you get the bean sprouts that was cooked with the garlic sauce that brings this crunchy vegetable to a higher level. As good as my hometown Ipoh taugeh dish. A good thing that I found out later in the meal is that if you leave it to continue cooking, the sauce actually caramelises and gives the beansprout a nice barbecued smoky flavour.
Well the cook then proceeded to cook the meats we ordered and this was done simultaneously together with another two patrons' orders of steak.The first out was the oyster in garlic sauce ordered by the wife and this was a hit with the younger daughter and both of them shared the dish. My wife commented that the dish was a bit sweet for her but this surprised me as the garlic sauce used was the same as the other dishes, maybe the shucked small sized oysters was marinated in sugar water before being cooked, thus the sweet taste. The mushrooms in garlic sauce came out next and these was a hit with both of my daughters and duly shared around. You actually get three types of mushrooms, usually oyster, straw and shiitake. A very good dish for vegetarians who would not have been able to partake in a teppanyaki gathering, though I am not sure if the mixed cooking is acceptable. Next the king prawn served naked with a squeeze of lemon was served, and I reminded my elder daughter to take off the teppan pan if she did not want it overcooked. Nonetheless she put it back on the pan when she wanted to eat it as she said she wanted it warm but I guess this was not a problem as the prawns did not turn rubbery when she flash warmed it awhile. The younger daughter did not like it as she said it tasted 'bugsy' but I could not fault her as her palate is still developing. This was however good news for the elder daughter as this meant she could devour both prawns on her own. This left the younger daughter more scallops that was ready about the same time as the prawns, but being fried with bell peppers and the garlic sauce enhanced the sweet taste of the scallops, so today she had scallops, mushrooms and one of my beef rolls stuffed with mushrooms.
I had this the first time I ate here and I must say that this will be a regular item to be ordered here. The last to be prepared, the beef strips was put on the pan besides the mushrooms that has been cooking with the rest of the dishes, and the cooking sequence as follows is a joy to be watched.
And the result is a luscious pan grilled stuffed steak rolls that is still tender, since I asked mine to be prepared medium done. The mushroom stuffing has been steeped in the beef juices, offering a different taste than the mushroom dish while the beef has itself taken in the flavours of the mushrooms and bell peppers, which to me is a complete meal by itself as you have both vegetables and meat in each roll. My father would surely approve of this choice and the best thing is that this is one of the cheapest dish being offered at this joint. Imagine that!
So the result of today's meal? A completely satisfied and satiated family for the price of a single person's teppanyaki's meal at any brand name Japanese Restaurant as the whole meal only cost us ninety-three ringgit. So it is no wonder if you have to wait for your seats at the teppan counter as we did today, and that was at three o'clock at a time we thought we would miss the lunch crowd. Well in this period of rising food prices, our family now have two options to satisfy our cravings for Japanese food at reasonable prices, Express Teppanyaki for teppan and Sushi Zen at the Gardens for the other types of Japanese dishes. By the way, after window shopping we bought durian egg tarts at John King that was going for 6 pieces at ten ringgit, less than its regular price of two ringgit each. Like I said before in my previous posting, I would line up for this than join the trend chasing queue at JCo's. Well actually it seems the queue is now shorter there, maybe many people has realised what is really going on. Or maybe people now realise it is not so cheap to feed a fad eh?