Think Teppanyaki and if you’re me, you’ll be reminded of this episode of Friends:
And if you’re Mr GFB, you’ll think of Police Academy and this instead:
Luckily, in Manchester (and Glasgow and Liverpool) we have Sapporo Teppanyaki. No chance of accidentally resting your head against the hot plate, or what happened to the poor goldfish. That said, you’ll still get the same skill, and if you’re me, manage to miss catching the food in your mouth, and catch it in your cleavage instead.
At least I caught it, right?
Last night saw Mr GFB and I visit Sapporo for dinner. It was our first visit, another one of those ‘why haven’t we done this before?’ occasions.
As you’d expect, we were seated surrounding the hot plate, where our skilled chef was going to cook for us. As it was relatively busy, we had two chefs working back to back on hot plates, cooking different elements of our food, as well as showing off for the diners. Something the kiddies seated with us absolutely loved. That’s something you need to take into account. Unless you’re in a big party (which teppanyaki is well suited to) you’ll be with strangers at a table. It’s not uncomfortable really, far from it, but if you struggle a little with being with people you don’t know, then please take this into account.
After nibbling some edamame and pondering the menu, we had decided to go all in for one of the set menu options. There are, of course, starters and mains, so if you haven’t the appetite, or would prefer to choose your own, that’s not a problem. For adventurous diners like us, it was a more ‘go hard or go home’ sort of approach.
While our chef entertained us, we started with the miso soup from the Emperor tasting menu, followed by a little taster plate with barbecue ribs, sushi and a deliciously crunchy smoked chicken roll. I’m going to think of that chicken roll a lot.
Starter nibbles happily demolished, and chef skills admired over a display of fire, egg flipping and cooked slices of potato landing in my cleavage (side note when they offer the garlic mayo, opt for it, and dunk the potato in it, so, so good), it was time for us to watch our mains being prepared. Egg fried rice and stir fried vegetables went first, then came the protein – seafood and steak.
As part of the Emperor tasting menu you get chicken, prawn, lobster and steak – all cooked on the hot plate in front of you. This means you can easily specify how pink you want your beef, and see just how fresh the seafood and chicken is. It also means that you need to put down your phone occasionally, so you can snaffle your food as and when it’s ready.
The food is plentiful too, nobody goes without and there’s always the option of more fried rice, or veggies – but believe me when I say that you probably won’t need them.
Dessert is, as you’d expect, a much simpler affair, so for me it was green tea ice cream, whilst Mr GFB went for the chocolate spring rolls – one milk chocolate, and one white, a little hit of sweetness in crunchy, savoury pastry.
Ahead of dessert, however, was perhaps my favourite part of the night. In amongst our group was a birthday boy, and the staff headed over to sing, and bring cake to celebrate. This little tyke however was a lad after my own heart. The staff barely got to start to sing before he’d blown the candles out, lifted the plate and started to eat the cake direct from the plate.
Kudos kid, kudos.
Overall, we had a lovely evening. There were little niggles, they’d run out of all the Japanese craft beer, and one of the draughts on the menu, the ice cream I originally chose had also run out too, but these things happen – particularly around Valentine’s Day when people are treating their loved ones. But the food was fresh and tasty, and the service was lovely.
Next time there’s a family occasion, I can easily see us booking in. Though maybe we might see if we can be a little bit more restrained when it comes to the cake…