Yes, I know I said I was bored of blogging about restaurants, but I’m not going to make it through 30 days of blog posts without at least one or two mentions of places where we’ve eaten out. On Sunday we were looking for a Japanese restaurant for lunch when my wife remembered the name of a place recommended by the couple sat next to us at a pop-up restaurant we’d visited last year.
Restaurant Fuji is a teppanyaki specialist and when I called to book a table they asked me if we wanted a normal table or one where the chef cooks in front of us. Guess which option I went for? Especially since that meant you got a yukata-style dining jacket to wear (perhaps to protect your clothes from sizzling juices spraying towards you from the cooking surface directly in front of you?)
There’s the heated cooking surface, surrounded by chairs.
We each chose a multi-course menu. Mine started with some tempura which had been prepared back in the kitchen.
Then the chef came out and got to work in front of us, preparing my scallops and shrimp. As you can see and hear they make a bit of a show of it, tapping and clanging their utensils against the surface and each other to add a percussive musical element to the performance.
A small salad with a surprisingly sharp yuzu-based dressing.
More cooking. They usually incorporated some of this whitish-green coloured paste. When I asked about it I was told that it was “butter mixed with…stuff”.
Poured over shrimp.
But my next course was a thin slice of beef rolled around Japanese mushrooms, and a fillet of sole in an orange-flavoured sweet and sour sauce.
To go with the noodles the chef span an egg across the surface, slipped his spatula underneath it and flipped it into the air. He then placed his spatula on its side on the cooking surface and the egg fell onto it, cleaved neatly in twain. He then swept the shells into the hole at the side of the table.
He made an omelette and then started chopping it into bits and flipping those bits onto the pile of noodles in front of us in one smooth motion. All this happened so fast that I didn’t have time to get a video, which is a shame because one bit of omelette overshot and ended up in our son’s glass of water. There then followed a game where he would flip a morsel of omelette into the mouth of each diner around the table in turn.
The final noodles.
And seared beef.
The 5yo had a little trouble with the chopsticks. Often places like this have special children’s chopsticks of some description, but in this case they just improvised with a rubber band and some folded paper.
Fruit and ice cream.
Fun (no need to entertain the kids while waiting for the food as they’re happy to watch the chefs at work) and tasty and we’ll be back.