Sometimes, a simple grilled dish can surprise you. Teppanyaki is one style of grilling that’s not just delicious, but also pleasing to watch. There’s an art to preparing high-quality ingredients on a hot iron plate, to be served at the optimum temperature and juiciness. As you watch it sizzle right before your eyes, the anticipation building as new aromas are released, you’ll understand that cooking can be entertainment, especially when prepared by a skilled teppanyaki chef.
What is Teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki is a cooking method where you grill and fry ingredients on a hot, flat griddle. It is almost akin to dinner theater, because the chefs put up a remarkable performance right before their guests, utilizing their knife skills and culinary techniques. Historically, teppanyaki was first adopted during the 1940s. Japan took inspiration from the American style of grilling steaks in steakhouses, and created their own cuisine based on that method. Teppanyaki techniques can be used to grill various ingredients, such as meat, seafood, vegetables, and even fruits!
There are two popular styles of teppanyaki that can be experienced at restaurants across Tokyo. The first style is based on American steakhouses, and first originated in Japan at Misono, a restaurant in Kobe City that was established in 1945. Since then, teppanyaki has spread all across Japan. The other popular style of teppanyaki is the DIY-type that you cook for yourself. At the restaurant, you’ll be seated at a table with a hot iron plate installed, where you can toss your ingredients and start frying. Cooking on the teppan is a great way to collaborate with your dining companions, plus you have more control over the end product. You can vary the toppings, the ratio of ingredients, and (especially for steaks) you can manipulate the level of doneness.
A teppanyaki restaurant in Tokyo is a great place to eat good food and share with friends. It’s also a way of connecting with others, because you’re also sharing an experience with the chefs and the people around you. Armed with their knives, spatulas, and passion for providing great food and entertainment to their delighted guests, the highly-skilled teppanyaki chefs stand before you to give you an experience you will never forget. You can find teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo all over the city, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the most highly-rated and celebrated establishments.
Best Teppanyaki Restaurants in Tokyo
Here are some fantastic teppanyaki restaurants to visit in Tokyo!
- Hakushu Teppanyaki
- Teppanyaki Steak Kistentei
Of course, we have to kick off this list of teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo with Misono. With 5 branches across the country, over the course of more than 70 years, Misono has been serving top-quality Kobe beef, as well as other grades of meat, such as A4 and A5 Japanese kuroge wagyu (black beef). Wagyu beef is one of the first things that pops into people’s minds whenever they think of teppanyaki and time and time again, Misono proved to everyone that’s it is the prime restaurant for wagyu steak. Throughout the years, the chefs at Misono have been developing methods to improve their cooking techniques and to enhance the flavor and quality of their menu. If it’s steak, Misono is the place to be.
If you’re looking for something green and leafy, Yasaiya is a good place to go. Their name literally translates to “a restaurant that specializes in vegetables,” Yasaiya offers a fresh set menu that consists of quality vegetables, beef, pork, and chicken. They don’t skimp on flavors, and make sure that you’re getting only the best ingredients for your teppanyaki experience. One of the great things about Yasaiya is that it also offers a vegetables-only menu that vegetarians can fully enjoy. Being healthy doesn’t mean that you have to eat only bland food because, at Yasaiya, everything is big in flavor and flair.
3. Hakushu Teppanyaki
Hakushu is a family-run teppanyaki restaurant in Tokyo, located near Shibuya Station, that serves up prime cuts of Kobe beef, one of the most in-demand types of wagyu. With English-speaking staff, Hakushu is quite foreigner-friendly, even if it isn’t too kind to your wallet. It’ll likely cost you upwards of 10,000 yen (a little less than 100 USD), but it’s more than worth it for authentic teppanyaki in Tokyo. In 2016, Hakushu was chosen as the “Best Fine DIning Restaurant in Japan” by TripAdvisor, and the warm, family-like atmosphere and delicious wagyu beef will not let you down.
Fantastic food and a classy atmosphere go hand-in-hand at Yamanami, located on the 7th floor of Keio Plaza Hotel. This sophisticated teppanyaki restaurant in Tokyo offers Kobe and Hida beef to its guests, alongside carefully selected seafood items such as juicy lobsters and fatty abalone. While you indulge in juicy meats and seafood galore, you can gaze out across scenic views. Opt for east-facing seats for a view of traditional Japanese gardens or west-facing seats for a stunning view of Tokyo’s skyscrapers.
5. Teppanyaki Steak Kistentei
Teppanyaki Steak Kisentei, located in Akasaka, is another fantastic teppanyaki restaurant in Tokyo for Japanese wagyu beef. They specialize in Japanese black beef (kuroge wagyu) and high-quality seasonal ingredients, so you can expect prices to match this luxury teppanyaki experience. Their lunch sets are priced quite reasonably with set meals ranging from around 4,000 to 10,000 yen, while lunch course meals range from 6,000 to 9,000 yen. Dinner is more of a splurge, costing between 9,000 and 24,000 yen. It's worth it for dinner and a show, as the chef prepares the courses right before your eyes. The restaurant also has several private rooms to accommodate small parties of up to 12 people, and the windows overlook the Tokyo Midtown Garden.