It’s that time of year again where we all stuff ourselves silly in the countdown to Christmas before we kid ourselves into getting ‘fit and healthy’ for our new years resolutions. You’ve got more Christmas meal shindigs lined up than you can shake a stick at and you’re just about sick of eating turkey and stuffing – just.
To mix things up a bit, why not head somewhere a little different? Sapporo Teppanyaki is a restaurant that offers a truly unique and entertaining dining experience, think Japanese cuisine with a Western twist. Their menu offers all sorts of delectable delights from sushi rolls and assorted tempura to noodle soups, salads and of course teppanyaki. We were given the opportunity to come try out their food for ourselves and couldn’t say yes any quicker!
We went to their Manchester branch and the first thing we noticed was how big and spacious it was, the decor is modern with lovely Japanese features and huge tables surrounding the iron griddles which were being prepped for us whilst we sat by the bar perusing through the cocktail menu. Many featured oriental ingredients such as Sake, lychee juice and Japanese vodka which was in the Shinkansen drink I ordered, blended with Cointreau, Szechuan peppercorn syrup, aloe vera and lime, and then topped with Red Bull – it was refreshing, zingy and just what I needed to get me giddy for the feast that was about to commence.
After sitting down at our table we were given another menu, this time is was for the main event – food. For starters we chose the mixed sushi roll platter which came with two pieces of Uramaki, Spider roll, Rainbow roll and Salmon crunchy roll, the flavours were sharp and I loved the crunchy textures, the spider roll (soft shell crab) is an all-time favourite of mine and it came with creamy avocado a spicy tobiko sauce. We also shared some squid tempura which were beautifully crisp and some Salmon Uzukuri which is a great palate cleanser.
Our chef for the night introduces himself before wowing us with trained trickery as he flings about sharp knives, juggles eggs simultaneously and somehow manages to get one to land in his chef’s hat without cracking?! Now if you aren’t familiar with teppanyaki, the word is derived from ‘teppan’ which means iron plate and ‘yaki’ which means grilled – this is the unique culinary art where talented teppanyaki masters prepare the finest ingredients to cook you up a delicious meal right before your eyes.
But first, for a bit of fun and to whet your appetite you are challenged by the chef to catch Sapporo’s sautéed potatoes in your mouth! Each teppanyaki dish is served with egg fried rice, stir fried vegetables and those moreish sautéed potatoes, they are accompanied by your meat or seafood of choice and boy do you have a range to choose from. Duck, lamb, seabass, monkfish, halibut, king prawns and scallops are just a few of the options you have, for a special occasion maybe opt for the lobster, Chateaubriand steak or Wagyu rib eye which is what we went for.
The iron griddle was set alight and we all sat back as it burst into flames and roared to life, the chef continued showing off his culinary skills as he finely chopped all the vegetables effortlessly and tossed them about in rice and delicious buttery sauce before evenly distributing the portions to all the diners at the table. Out came the protein and watching everything getting cooked to perfection right in front of you was equally as entertaining as it was excruciating having to wait! The steak was mouthwateringly delicious, the lobster was meaty and flavoursome but my favourite by far was the Wagyu which was marbled beautifully and so tender that it just melts in your mouth.
Although we were full, the willpower to dismiss dessert was not there so we indulged in a white chocolate cheesecake and coconut rice pudding which both came in jars, nice touch. The rice pudding was creamy and warming and it came with fresh mango which was a nice pop of flavour. I also enjoyed the textures of the cheesecake which was topped with caramel and served with velvety vanilla ice cream. We finished off with a pot of fragrant jasmine tea to help soothe the stomach after that rollercoaster of a meal!
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my Sapporo experience, it was interactively entertaining, unforgettably theatrical and it certainly defied the ordinary.