>> Thursday, January 31, 2013
This is the ninth post in the series titled Tasting Tour of Tokyo detailing my recent trip to Japan. Other posts include Kikunoi Akasaka, Rokurinsha, Mikawa Zezankyo, Kaoriya, Sushi Sawada, Sushi Aoki, Street Food in Tokyo, and Omotesando Koffee.
I originally was really, really tempted not to write a single word for this post.
There's something beautiful and surreal about going to Ukai-tei, a Michelin starred teppanyaki place in Omotesando in Tokyo. Pictures speak a thousand words, and you almost don't need text to complete the story. A huge part of the experience is the private "show" from the chefs preparing each course in front of you. Yes, it's teppanyaki, but it's not what you might imagine. There's no silly tricks where the chef throws food into people's mouths. Gone are the dramatic flames and other flashy displays done purely for entertainment.
This is refined, classy teppanyaki. It's all about the food and how to best prepare it with limited tools - namely, just a huge flat grill and two metal spatulas. The ritual is intriguing, almost mesmerizing to watch.
So I wanted to try to recreate some of that magic for you here.
However, Bryan convinced me that my readers would walk away from this post knowing absolutely nothing about the restaurant, which - in the long run - is not that helpful.
So I'm willing to compromise. There will be less words than normal so you can soak up the experience visually as much as possible. This will be a photo-driven post. However, I'll try to insert a few words here and there so you know what's going on.
Enjoy the show.