17 November 2010

Wharf Teppanyaki: Kobe Jones Japanese Fusion, King St Wharf (16 Nov 2010)

29 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW 2000

The theatre of cooking

‘Teppanyaki is a traditional Japanese cuisine. The word teppanyaki is derived from the word teppan which translates to iron plate and yaki which means grilled’

Thanks to Alana Chetner from Professional Public Relations for inviting me along as a guest to experience the cooking on the largest teppanyaki table in Australia, and possibly the world, which seats up to 46 people. A hand full of food bloggers were also welcomed by Justine Norwood and the passionate foodie Director Paul Misan from Kobe Jones who introduced the friendly chefs. My choice on the menu was The Lobster and Wagyu ($180) which is the most expensive combo option on the lunch menu.

Before starting on our menu choices everyone was first treated to a mini taste explosion of their Number One Special which was crab salad with avocado wrapped in kingfish and baked with secret sauce — it's on their signature dishes for a reason. I also ordered the Dedicated to MV cocktail ($17) designed by one of their former barman. It was refreshing and very easy to drink yet not overly alcoholic and quite smallish so I wanted more of it or to be noticeably more alcoholic to last longer. Paul mentioned they stock a very hot chilli sauce named Blair's Mega Death Sauce with Liquid Rage — so of course I had to try it like a bull to a red flag. It was pretty hot but I survived my tiny toothpick sample — I definitely wouldn't survive a small teaspoon of it though.

My appetiser of tender pieces of Wagyu Tenderloin Tataki and the fresh yet spicy tasting Seafood Poke was a nice starter. The flavoursome Cauliflower soup reminded me of a fine dining amuse-bouche. The quality sashimi looked nicely presented its martini glass although I found it a little awkward to eat when trying to dip the sashimi and thought a more traditional wooden board or plate would have felt more comfortable. The combination of Hot mushroom salad wasn't particularly interesting to me and I'm not entirely sure hot mushrooms with cold lettuce works because the lettuce welted due to the heat and didn't present so well after.

One of Paul's favourite menu items is the Teppanyaki Wagyu Burger where you get to mix up your own flavours in the meat patty like a steak tartare and it's cooked by the chef. I didn't get to try some but all reports say it was very delicious although more a cutlery dish than a hand held burger. Some guests had the nice looking grilled King prawn, salmon and scallop while I had the Lobster which was smaller than I was expecting yet nicely prepared. I think some of the delicate fresh flavours were lost due to cooking it but combined with the right dipping sauces made for some pleasant taste sensations. I gave up on trying to find any meat in the small legs — too messy and fiddly. The Alaskan crab on the other hand was much easier to extract the leg meat, especially when the shell is cut back. For me I prefer to appreciate the sweet and delicate meat when it's eaten chilled like at Kingsleys.

Justine's Wagyu Roll was a treat to watch being cooked with such precision and theatrical flaming. It was a lovely dish full of nice flavours and the wagyu was tender and juicy as hoped. The refreshing lemon Sorbet palate cleanser was served before my very tender and flavoursome Wagyu sirloin — I'd happily eat one of these again although I wonder if the cooked mushrooms would have been better served with this dish instead of the bean sprouts. I tried a little bit of Alana's Teppanyaki Chicken which had some nice grilled flavour when dipped in the teriyaki sauce. I wondered if a slice of lemon would have given back some moisture into the meat though. I found the Garlic rice quite filling so focussed more on the Miso soup which was very good and reminded me of the one I enjoyed at sushi e.

To finish off our meals we all received a Crepe suzette which had been spectacularly flambéd with Grand Marnier. This was one of the highlights of my meal delivering nice flavours without being too sweet and crepes that were thin and fresh tasting. I would have loved to have a dollop of quality vanilla bean ice cream on the side to help cut through the sauce a bit.

The Lobster and Wagyu ($180)
(Spreets had a $90 special recently)
- Appetiser
- Sashimi or tempura
- Seasonal salad
- 1/2 Western Rock Lobster
- Sorbet
- Wagyu sirloin 8+ 120gm
- Grilled asparagus, spinach and mushroom
- Garlic fried rice
- Miso soup
- Crepe suzette

Other food blog reviews:

PROS: Nicely presented dishes, Interesting to watch the cooking process, Spectacular flames, Fresh ingredients, Nice decor, Water views from the balcony area, Professional staff, They don't throw eggs and bowls of rice at you
CONS: Expensive (but they do have cheaper lunch specials), So many menu and dish options it'll take you a while to decide what to have
MUST TRY: Number One Special, Miso soup, Crepe suzette, Wagyu roll
NEXT TIME: Maybe the Teppanyaki Wagyu Burger

Director Paul Misan introduces the chefs and restaurant philosophy

Amuse bouche/Appetiser: Mini Number One Special - Crab salad with avocado wrapped in kingfish and baked with our secret sauce

Wagyu Tenderloin Tataki - Seared and chilled, served rare with garlic, ginger and ponzu sauce; Seafood Poke - Hawaiian style sashimi cubes marinated in poke sauce

3 sauces — teriyaki (good with meat), sweet miso (good with everything) and ponzu (good with seafood)

Cauliflower soup

Seasonal salad: Hot mushroom salad

Teppanyaki Wagyu Burger: Mix your meat with preferred flavours and then it's cooked on the grill


King prawn, salmon and scallop

1/2 Western Rock Lobster

Alaskan crab

Wagyu Roll

Sorbet palate cleanser

Wagyu sirloin 8+ 120 gm

Wagyu sirloin fat grilled up

Teppanyaki Chicken with vegetables

Garlic rice

Garlic rice flattened and fried up crispy

Prawn head chip

Miso soup

Crepe suzette flambé with Grand Marnier — I would have loved a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with it.

Tokyo Blue: Grey Goose orange vodka, sake, Suntory blue curacao, fresh lime ($17)

Dedicated to MV: Tanqueray gin, Midori, Marie Brizard, watermelon liqueur, apple liqueur shaken and strained ($17)

Mangalo: (Non-Alcoholic) fresh mangos blended with orange and crushed pineapple juice with a dash of grenadine ($12)

Menu and table setting

Kobe signature dish menu

Blair's Mega Death Sauce with Liquid Rage Rated No. 5 — a tiny bit goes a long way.

Dining area

Teppanyaki table

Balcony seating

Bar and lounge area


Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

More Alaskan crab!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Great flaming crepe suzette shot!

And thanks for sharing the lobster :)

Dolly said...

Crepe suzette flambé with Grand Marnier — yummmmm

i love kobe jones... um scallop with their homemade mayonaise OMG DELICIOUS!

Simon Leong said...

hi mademoiselle délicieuse, you can never have enough Alaskan crab :-)

hi tina, i had to try and get one of the flaming shots. you could feel the heat. no worries about the lobster. anytime!

hi dolly, thanks for the tip about the scallops. i love scallops so has to be a must try for me :-)

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