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 come to understand that cooking can be entertainment, especially when prepared by a skilled teppanyaki chef.
What is Teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki is a cooking method where ingredients are grilled on a hot, flat griddle. It is almost akin to a dramatic performance, as chefs utilize their knife skills and culinary techniques to put on an enticing show.
Historically, teppanyaki was first adopted during the post-World War II years. Finding that the style of cooking was popular with foreigners, Japan took inspiration from the American style of grilling steaks in steakhouses, and created its own cuisine based on that method, while amping up the theatrical aspect.
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 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 this type of 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 and ratio of ingredients, and (especially for steaks) you can manipulate the level of doneness.
6 Best Teppanyaki Restaurants in Tokyo
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.
Here are some fantastic teppanyaki restaurants to visit in Tokyo!
- Katsura Steak House (Prince Park Tower Tokyo)
- Hakushu Teppanyaki
- Teppanyaki Steak Kistentei
Of course, we have to kick off this list of teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo with Misono. With five 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).
When it comes to teppanyaki ingredients, wagyu beef is likely one of the first to come to mind, and time and time again, Misono proved to everyone that it is the premier restaurant for wagyu steak. Throughout the years, the chefs at Misono have developed methods to improve their cooking techniques and enhance the flavor and quality of their menu. If it’s steak, Misono is the place to be.
2. Katsura Steak House (Prince Park Tower Tokyo)
Located in the elegant Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Katsura Steak House should be on the list of any wagyu aficionado. As Chef Shibuya Makoto explains, “Katsura prides itself on using fresh ingredients. For the wagyu beef, we choose the most delicious meat of the season.” Cooked on the teppan, this high-quality marbled wagyu has a naturally buttery, inviting aroma.
If it's ambiance you're going for, Katsura has it in spades. Book the Katsura Teppanyaki Seasonal Course Dinner and enjoy the warm hospitality of The Prince Hotel, starting with a pre-dinner drink and panoramic views of the city at the Stellar Garden Sky Lounge. Then, the meal begins, featuring elegantly plated appetizers like sashimi, grilled seasonal vegetables and fish, two cuts of juicy wagyu steak, wagyu fried rice, and dessert.
Craving something green and crunchy? Yasaiya is the Tokyo teppanyaki restaurant for you; in fact, 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, without skimping on flavor.
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.
4. 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, 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.
6. 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.
Go forth and explore these five fantastic teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo. From wagyu steak to succulent seared veggies, you're guaranteed a mouthwatering experience.