It is the simplicity of an ingredient that makes for an extraordinary dish. The marriage of flavours, depth and texture, coupled with heat, allows the palate to encounter something new. The satiating taste elevates the senses to explore and further crave. And that is the proper way to enjoy a meal.
A recent visit to Singapore, through the initiative of Resorts World Sentosa, introduced my palate to Teppan – a considerably young dining concept (it opened 6 December 2017) by acclaimed kitchen master and Singapore’s new ‘flaming’ chef, Masayasu Yonemura.
Chef Yonemura is widely recognised for his French-Japanese flavour pairings. Much lauded for his Yonemura restaurant in Kyoto, a highly coveted Michelin starred dining destination in Japan, Teppan by Chef Yonemura is his first venture outside Japan.
Fresh, creative and hot – three adjectives that perfectly describe Teppan’s approach to dining. With flame as a staple, one can expect an exemplary display of kitchen artistry that further highlights Chef Yonemura’s flare for artistry behind the grill.
With our hunger as the main ingredient, Teppan was a most beautiful location to satisfy it. And with a mysterious course meal prepared, we were surely in for a treat. Definite plus factor was the courteous and hospitable staff they have (including some Filipinos!).
Served in a wine bottle, you’d immediately mistake the Fuji Marumo Tea for a bottle of wine. The first of its kind in Singapore, Teppan is also the first restaurant to offer this on their repertoire. A tall glass of refreshingly smooth cold green tea is beyond mere perfection — it has flavours that reminds you of the picturesque Mt. Fuji.
Aside from the tea, the flaming welcome drink, atame, was more than warm to the palate. This flaming cocktail gives off a chargrilled aroma that blends perfectly well with the bitters that make it burst into flames.
After the flamed up drink came a bowl of cold pasta with Japanese octopus, pesto, quail egg and Japanese ginger — a 360-degree contrast to the warm lingering flavour on the palate. Surprisingly, the cold pasta was a mixture of everything you can think of. Each ingredient brings forth a different flare on the dish. Despite the variant, the dish remained smooth with a hint if robust flare on the palate.
Flame truly is a staple fixture at Teppan. As the course moved, so did the level of depth, texture and flavour.
To wit, teppanyaki has been a most common Japanese term in the culinary realm. Used to refer to a Japanese style of cooking, it speaks of using the iron griddle to cook food. Served in an iron plate, the dishes are perfected either through grilling, broiling or pan-frying.
First on the — perfect for meat lovers. At Teppan, you’d be given the deliciously difficult task of choosing between a Wagyu Hamburg Steak or Kurobuta Pork — of whatever choice, you are sure to end up a winner.
Impressive — my very description of Teppan’s Wagyu Hamburg Steak. Definitely not your typical hamburg steak, it elevates the experience with the inclusion of alcohol to steam-grill the wagyu meat thus plumping it to thicken. The combination of everything on the plate will have you satisfying your hunger in every bite. Personally loved the textured effect of the coarse mustard and the smooth plump wagyu hamburg steak when combined. Definitely explosive.
Next came the rice — garlic rice, Japanese baby sardines, pickled Japanese cucumber, Daikon radish — Teppan’s version of spoiling one’s hunger even more. Cooked on the grill, each bowl is gives you a further look into the creation of the dish. The ingredients alone make for a great conversation piece — so does the composition and taste. (Accordingly, Daikon Radish is a winter radish that is mildy flavoured and has a smooth textured feel on the palate)
After the savoury explosion of flavours came Teppan’s rendition of a sweet palate lullaby. Their plate of cheesecake with fresh raspberry and raspberry and vanilla sauce was more than exemplary. The tart cheesecake marries well with the fresh fruit and fresh dollop of cream on top. The cream neutralises the sweetness, tartness and freshness of all the elements of the dessert without altering the composition of the cheesecake. Overall, a great end to a flamingly savoury course meal.
Teppan by Chef Yonemura is located at Level 1, The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.