Friday, August 21, 2009

Restaurant # 12: Ukai Tei Omotesando

We were back in Tokyo, with 4 days left, and more than a couple restaurants that we still wanted to try. Maya, my fiancee, had been asking for "Teppan Yaki" since we arrived. Teppan Yaki was a Japanese inspired cuisine, however, it was regarded as a sort of foreign Japanese food, akin to California rolls. Being a purist with regard to sampling Japanese cuisine, I was a little reluctant, but went ahead and reserved nonetheless.
Ukai Tei had a couple restaurants in Tokyo, however we chose the Omotesando branch due to its proximity to the Park Hyatt hotel in which we were staying. It was on the Michelin 2009 guide, having been awarded one star, so we were naturally excited to try it out.

Here was the first course, some Uni (Sea Urchin) with pond seaweed in ponzu sauce. Quite the summer favorite it would seem, but im not complaining, I couldn't get enough Uni.

Next was lobster in a creamy sauce, it was glorious! Among the best lobster that I have ever had quite honestly.

Now it was time for the chef to demonstrate his prowess on the Teppan! And what better way to do so than prepare some Awabi (Abalone). The chef placed the live abalone on the teppan, then removed its liver, and coverred the liver with the shell to be served to us later, while he finished the abalone on the teppan.

The abalone was served in a seaweed sauce. The seaweed sauce was a little overwhealming for the abalone as it covered up its delicate taste. It was also a little too salty, not up to our expectations. Unfortunately i dont have any pictures of the Abalone liver.

Now was time for what we had actually come for... The steaks, both tenderloin and sirloin were to be split up among us.

Chef started by preparing beautiful golden garlic crisps, delicately prepared and tossed in oil and butter in order to achieve optimum golden colour.

Next the chef that prepared the garlic tosses a mixed green salad, while the other chef is still working on the beef.

The chef sears the meat on both sides, then covers it up with this copper lid, after splashing a little sparkling water onto the meat, to create steam inside the lid.

The finished product was tremendously flavorful and tender. The steak literally melt in my mouth. Fantastic flavor and texture to the meat. As you can see the presentation was on par with the flavor!

For dessert we were taken to the lounge section of Ukai Tei and led outside to a beautiful terrace with a spectacular view of the Omotesando area, where we enjoyed the dessert along with some whisky! The dessert I ordered was fruit salad with a dollop of fresh cream.

This restaurant is very highly recommended. Spectacular food, great setting and, of course, first class service. The set menu was 25,000 JPY (272 USD) per person. Next time i go to Tokyo, i'll visit them again hopefully.

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