The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 13 June 2005

Teppan Yaki heaven @ Midori

I love food. I love cooking, I love eating, I love trying out different cuisines. And I decided that if I ever started a blog, it should mainly be about food. Hence, don't be surprised if most of what you read on this blog is about food.

My first entry shall be a restaurant food review for Midori, a Teppan Yaki restaurant in the middle of Perth city. I planned a whole series of events for Rob's birthday yesterday, the last of which wasn't entirely an altruistic move on my part, since the teppanyaki meal was also a treat for me.

Teppanyaki is a Japanese style of cooking, with 'teppan' meaning iron plate and 'yaki' meaning grilling or stirfrying in Japanese. It is very much an entertaining theatrical display of the Japanese chef's food preparation skills, which includes chopping, dicing and cooking the food with all the fancy-schmancy way of handling the food and cooking tools. Watching the chef expertly prepare and cook your meal in front of you, and then savouring the lovely freshly-cooked and well-prepared food, is certainly a tasty experience.

The teppans at Midori are large, and up to 20 people can be seated around them. The weather on Rob's birthday was cold and rainy, so it wasn't a popular Saturday night to go out for dinner. We arrived early for our booking, and from 6pm until around 7:15pm, we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The waitstaff were attentive, and needless to say, we enjoyed having the chef working only for the two of us.

There were two types of meals offered on the menu: a-la-carte (where you choose what you want) and set meals. Rob selected the Doona set ($85), which included salad, sashimi, tempura, miso soup, prawns, oysters, salmon, lobster, stirfried veges (mainly beansprouts), rice (the choice of having plain rice or garlic fried rice), dessert (green tea ice-cream) and green tea. I chose the Seafood Special ($65) which included salad, sashimi, miso soup, scallops, prawns, oysters, salmon, stir-fried veges, rice, dessert and green tea.

The taste of the food was beautiful on our palates, and the quantity of our meals were enough to satisfy our stomachs. We were very happy that the quality of the food preparation met our high standards (for example, the scallops were not overcooked, and the oysters were cooked to perfection such that they melted on your tongue).

Whilst the expensive price tag means that we cannot enjoy this treat on a regular basis, it certainly is worth the experience for special occasions.

Enough yabbering, here are the photos, which I'm sure you'll agree speaks much better for itself than my description.

Our teppan (and view of my salad and lemon lime bitters)

Salad with yummy dressing

Tempura and sashimi

Our chef beginning to work his magic

Never before have I had scallops done 'just right' by someone else other than me - for some reason people always overcook scallops. Not this chef though.

Yummo scallops

Rice and miso soup arrives

Whoa!! The prawns are under those flames somewhere!

Yummy prawns

Those are the oysters to the right of the prawns. Looks funny, don't they? They were so plump and creamy - just beautiful. I usually prefer natural oysters over cooked oysters, but these oysters were done very well

The cooked salmon with lovely sauce

Lobster on the teppan

Lobster on Rob's plate (it didn't stay long there though - it's fate belonged in Rob's belly)

The chef frying the bean sprouts and the garlic fried rice

Finished product of the garlic fried rice - tasted more yummy than it looked

The chef seasoning our stirfried veges with artistic handling of the salt and pepper shaker/grinder

Twas twirly, I tell ya!

Yummy bean sprouts (okay, I realise that my vocab in this blog entry is somewhat limited to the word 'yummy', but it's justified dammit!)

The chef writing 'Happy Birthday' for Rob upside down and backwards with salt using the salt shaker. My friend had told me that he writes 'Thank You' upside down and backwards, but I didn't know he could do 'Happy Birthday' too!

Rob enjoying his meal. We had the choice to wear a bib, because, according to the waiter, it could get messy. Rob usually drops food on his shirt at meals, but funnily enough, tonight, his bib was spotless, and instead mine was stained with a huge dob of sauce.

After our meal, we were invited to relax in the lounge area away from the teppan and the other diners who'd arrived shortly before we finished our meal. We had our dessert, which was green tea ice cream served on top of colourful cubes of jelly, and topped with a little dob of cream and a cherry. Perfect way to end a nice meal.

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