August 14, 2007

Tokyo Trip: Teppanyaki at Ukai-tei Ginza

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Went to dinner at Ukai-tei (銀座 うかい亭) in Ginza. I had wanted to try another restaurant for teppanyaki other than Akasaka (赤坂 )at the ANA Hotel, so I chose this place in Ginza for its quality beef. Apparently they source the beef from a specific ranch to ensure the quality. I chose the course with the "super top quality beef" as I wanted to see how much better it could be. I was not disappointed.

Started with beef sashimi, which was soft and buttery and tender. Worked really well with the oroshi.

Then there was the asparagus, which was steamed with Perrier because, apparently, the carbonation of Perrier brings out a little something extra.

The kamo (duck) eggplants from Kyoto followed, which was almost completely round. This was steamed and dripped with a reduction made from clams and thyme. The thyme really added something to the dish.

Then came the beef. The course gave me a combination of the fatty sirloin (which I so love) as well as the tenderloin. Both were done to perfection on the teppan and each piece just melted in my mouth. There were 4 sauces to choose from and each had its own distinctive charm. This is exactly why I came, and I knew that I had made the right choice to come here.

Now the meshi. Normally at teppanyaki restaurants this is either garlic fried rice, beef fried rice or simply rice. At Ukai-tei you not only have the choice of rice, but also a soupy risotto, as well as Japanese somen (素麺) with yuzu tsuyu (柚子つゆ). I chose the somen since I really love it, and it tasted delicious.

After dinner dessert and coffee was served in the sitting area, as usual. The sweet and ripe melon was served with melon jelly and garnished with wonderful peppermint. Mmmm....

I drank a half bottle of '98 Smith Haut Lafite with dinner, which was classically French and ready to drink.

All in all, a very good dinner. What made it more enjoyable was the creativity and care that went into the dishes, which differentiated Ukai-tei from the normal teppanyaki places. Look forward to going back.

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