“ Although in Japan Teppanyaki is simply the method of cooking meat on a griddle or grill, in the West it has evolved into an exciting and theatrical cooking performace. „
If anyone is ever visiting Birmingham whether by their own free will or a compulsory event I would highly recommend this Japanese restaurant Shogun Teppan Yaki. This is not a chain restaurant, there are only two of their kind and these are both located in Birmingham, both being close to lovely canal side views and locations.
I have only been to the one in Brindley Place, however I know from passing that the second restaurant is a sushi and noodle bar. This is situated in the esteemed 'Mailbox' shopping centre on the outskirts of the town centre, which has shops such as Harvey Nicholls and numerous eating and drinking establishments of all prices.
The Brindley Place restaurant is both the teppan yaki and sushi bar speciality cuisine. This area is full of restaurants and bars of both private and chain origin which is due to the fact the area is within five minutes' walk of the NIA (National Indoor Arena).
The restaurant is relatively large, likely seating about 50-75 people maximum, there is an initial waiting area as you go in where you are served your first drinks and choose your menu. This is a casual setting and you feel that there is no rush to get you seated and out of the way. Once you have picked your meal you are taken over a bridge (yes a bridge) and pond with fish in to your table. The sitting arrangements are slightly awkward at first, as you are placed around a hot plate where all your food is cooked, typically seating 8 - 10 and thus if you are not a group booking you end up on a table with strangers, but this is a sociable dining experience.
All your food is cooked fresh to order; I would highly recommend the set menu courses, which seem quite pricy (approx. £30p/h) however you get 5 courses, comprising salad, chef's appetisers, miso soup, vegetables, main and fried rice and dessert of ice cream or fruit. For the first three courses you are left to enjoy and chat with your friends, and then the theatre begins. Each table/hot plate has a chef who cooks your mains in front of you while you finish your starters, they ask how you want your meat cooked, cut it and flavour in a seconds glance. The egg fried rice is drenched in soy sauce and garlic and the eggs tossed about and flicked into a tray at the end of the plate. You are able to join in with the cooking and prep as well as have food expertly thrown into your mouth! There are flames and cheers throughout the performance.
The cooking (depending on how many are at your table) takes about half an hour and then you are left to feast on the fresh vege, rice, fish and meat courses. Each course is different, refreshing and tasty and just the right portion size for the number of dishes. The ice cream/fruit finishes off the meal perfectly.
I would definitely recommend trying some of their traditional sake (rice wine), though only one small bottle would be enough as this is a rather high alcohol content. Other than that they do Japanese beers and a selection of wines. I think the drinks prices reflect the food prices, all in all not too high for a restaurant.
A meal for two costs approximately £75, they also add on 10% service charge which I feel is not right to enforce in any restaurant, I will decide how much or little I tip. The justification is the chef's performance, which is great, that is just a gripe of mine.
I always recommend this restaurant to friends or anyone visiting Birmingham, it is not the cheapest but a really memorable evening and delicious food. Though I have moved from the area whenever I go back I head for here, there are not many of these establishments around and I would urge you to try if you get the chance.