March into Merivale – Teppanyaki Dinner

by Forager on March 19, 2009

Tonight I enjoyed the second of my March into Merivale dinners. After my first March into Merivale dinner at the relaxed Ash St Cellar last week, this time we ventured to Teppanyaki which was decidely more sleek and upmarket. Again – the venue had been chosen on the basis of the meal offered and we liked the sound of Teppanyaki’s Sweet Bangalow pork belly, spiced caramel, apple and fennel salad.

Teppanyaki’s interior is rich with dark wood, dimly lit and has elaborate furnishings hanging over a large communal long table in the centre of the room. Together with my friends Jo and Anita, we take a seat at the long table and all order the special with some edamame on the side to nibble on whilst we wait.

In no time at all, our pork belly arrives. The pork is a lovely golden brown colour, half hidden under a mound of shaved apple and fennel salad. The aroma is strong and assaults our senses and we detect the scent of five spice and aniseed – confirmed when I notice the star anise and cinnamon stick resting on top of my pork belly. My friends and I all comment on how “Chinese” the pork belly smells and looks. It even prompts them to check whether the restaurant is supposed to be Chinese or Japanese themed. A conversation theme that soon transfers to the waitresses in those infamous barely-there kimonos. The verdict was they looked more Chinese than Japanese. Then I notice “Sung Choi Bao” on the menu and become thoroughly confused. Is it Chinese?

We tuck into the pork belly and regardless of whether it’s Chinese or Japanese inspired – it was succulent and juicy. The flavour is sweet, rich and fatty. I inspect the plump pieces of pork and see that each piece has a generous fat to meat ratio. This is not a meal for the diet conscious. The sweetness lent by the spiced caramel and that of the pork itself should have been nicely balanced with the refreshing apple and fennel salad. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the salad was quite dry and papery and could have been improved with a bit of dressing.

I was quite looking forward to trying the double baked green tea cheesecake, but the meal was so rich I couldn’t fit in dessert. My dinner companions and I leave thinking the meal was rich and tasty but not mind alteringly good, but then, it was a $33 dinner special so I wasn’t complaining. Besides – I’ve had the Teppanyaki banquet before and Chef Urata’s delectable crab betel leaf morsels so I know what fare this restaurant can produce.

330 George St, Sydney (02) 9240 3000
Open Tues – Fri for lunch and dinner; Saturday for dinner only.
Teppanyaki website

Foodie in the know:
If you’re a fan of cocktails, take some time to try some of Teppanyaki’s Asian inspired cocktails. From memory, I’ve tried Lounge Lover, East meets West and Winter Plum. All scrumptious!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 FFichiban March 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm

GAHHH I am actually kicking myself for not trying this one X| Looks sooo tastttty!

:S at the Chinese-ness of everything haha but I still want to try Teppanyaki cos Akira is cool!

2 FFichiban March 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Oh btw love the “Here comes the pork belly!” 😉

3 Forager March 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Hey FFichiban – yep, it was pretty tasty (fatty & rich mmm…). Lol – "here comes the.." is definitely a tribute to you!

4 Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella March 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Arrgh I can’t believe March is almost over. So many delicious things to eat, so little time 😆

5 Forager March 23, 2009 at 7:16 am

Hey Lorraine – I know!! I am trying to fit in a few more this last week of March. Mad Cow special event this week :)

6 billy@atablefortwo March 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

i am so glad you went, that pork belly looks so delicious. cant wait till tomorrow for some merivale action myself! 😛

7 Forager March 23, 2009 at 10:05 am

Yup – was pretty tasty! Fatty fatty pork belly. I’ll worry about cholesterol later in life…

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