Japan has an almost limitless number of teppanyaki restaurants to choose from. But if you live in Australia and you are looking to try one this new year, then this article is for you.
We have put together some tips to help you have a pleasant dining experience and get the most from your chosen teppanyaki restaurants.
What You Should Do Upon Entering the Restaurant
Several restaurants have plastic or wax replicas of their dishes shown in a window near the entrance. These replicas are used to both entice and educate restaurant patrons about the menu. They usually provide an accurate visual representation of the design and price of the meals served inside. You can go outside and point to what you want to order if all other methods of communication fail.
Customers are welcomed by the staff as they reach the restaurant. The waiter or waitress will enquire as to the number of people in your group before escorting you to your table. Customers are only expected to take their own seats under rare circumstances.
Although most teppanyaki restaurants have Western-style tables and chairs, zashikis (low traditional tables with cushions for sitting on the floor) are also popular. Some restaurants offer both table settings, and you might be asked which you prefer. If you are sitting in a zashiki-style restaurant, you can take your shoes off at the door or before entering the seating area.
Etiquette When Ordering and Eating
Each diner is usually given a complimentary glass of water or tea after being seated. Free water or tea is typically available for self-service anywhere in the restaurant if it is not served. If you do not have chopsticks, you will normally find some in a box on the table. They are usually plastic or wooden chopsticks that have to be split in half before being used.
While several restaurants have illustrated menus, others may only have Japanese text-based menus or have the restaurant's offerings displayed on the walls. If you are still unsure of what to order or cannot read the menu, ask for recommendations or the chef's suggestion. The latter will usually get you some surprisingly good, prix fixe meals. Be prepared to be adventurous and do not expect it to be inexpensive.
When you are ready to order, call the restaurant staff or click the call button at the table if one is open. After you have placed your order, the waitress will always repeat it to you for clarification.
In some restaurants, such as izakaya, it is customary for the entire group to order and share dishes. Other restaurants, on the other hand, expect each diner to place their own order.
When you collect your meal or when you have finished dining, the bill will be shown to you face down. When leaving most restaurants, you can carry your bill to the cashier near the exit, as paying at the table is uncommon. The most popular method of payment is cash, but more and more restaurants are accepting credit cards.
Some restaurants, especially those that are less expensive, have slightly different ordering and payment systems. Many ramen and gyudon restaurants, for example, sell "food tickets" that are purchased from a vending machine near the store's entrance and given to the workers, who then prepare and serve the meal.
Tipping is not customary in Japanese culture. If you do, the restaurant workers will most likely pursue you to return any money you left behind. When leaving, it is customary to say thank you for the meal.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Many people in Australia have embraced Japanese cuisine. Teppanyaki is a Japanese cooking style that blends entertainment with hibachi grill cooking. If you want to try a restaurant like this one, read the following pointers to ensure that you do not make any mistakes during your visit.
Forgetting to time your orders
When dining at a teppanyaki restaurant, you are expected to place your order with others at the table. This includes all members of your party and those who were sitting at the same time as you. This is because, in order to ensure consistency, the chef would prepare all of the food at the same time. This would not be possible if many people wish to order at the same time.
Failing to make reservations
You should always make reservations in advance to secure a seat at the teppanyaki table. On some evenings, many of these restaurants are very busy, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a table. If possible, schedule ahead of time, particularly on days you will be dining with a large group.
Expecting a quick bite
Teppanyaki dinners are a multi-course culinary experience. Your chef will make every effort to entertain you with knife tricks. From start to finish, these meals usually take about two hours. If you are in a rush and need to be somewhere else, a different style of a restaurant for dinner would be preferable. This is a relaxing activity that should not be hurried.
Though teppanyaki is generally thought of as a Western-style meal with a few Japanese influences, there are sometimes items on the menu that are not what you are used to. For example, you might be served vegetable bisque or seafood carpaccio. Instead of turning down everything that is offered to you (which may offend the cook), try to be open to new ideas and try everything that is offered to you.
Eating too much
You are free to stop eating if you believe you have had enough. Since there are so many courses, some people would be completely exhausted by the time they have completed them all. If you feel you have a smaller appetite, you should consume smaller amounts of all that has been made for you. This will allow you to sample something without being too full.
Now that you know what to expect when visiting teppanyaki restaurants, you should be able to have the best time possible when dining at Asami Teppanyaki. Our chef can cook for you and entertain you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you do not feel like eating out, we can deliver your favourite food straight to your door. Call (07) 5504 6158 to make reservations today!