Teppanyaki is a popular concept of enjoying hot and freshly cooked food directly from the pan; and the chef is just right in front of you, demonstrating his skills in cooking and delivering your food according to your requests/orders.
Japanese restaurants serving the teppanyaki can be found everywhere in Malaysia too; in shopping malls and restaurants.
What makes one different from the other?
The answer lies in the quality of the food (of course!), skills of the chef and of course, the dining environment.
I was in for a surprise when we were treated to a wonderful and unforgettable teppanyaki dinner on the hilltop near Jurong Bird Park in Singapore by our kind hosts (Uncle and Aunty).
The restaurant is located on top of the hill as you take the route beside Jurong Bird Park which leads all the way to the top.
Take a short walk in the cyclindrical shaped building and you will come to the restaurant.
Sanga restaurant serves not only teppanyaki, but also Indonesian and Chinese cuisines as well.
They are well-known for their teppanyaki of course, as most of the customers are here for the teppanyaki.
The restaurant had been operating for almost 30 years or more, and is one of the oldest restaurants in Singapore; besides being the most popular.
It is advisable to make reservations for the teppanyaki section to ensure seating and to avoid disappointments as the restaurant can be quite crowded with eager patrons at the peak dinner hours.
Without reservation, one would have to settle for the dining at the normal tables away from the teppanyaki section or to wait behind a long line to get a place at the teppanyaki table.
It is truly a good and enriching experience to enjoy the front view as we watch the chef in action, whipping up our meals before our very eyes!
I'd never thought that I would enjoy the experience of the cooking in front of me, due to the smell the cooking could leave in my hair and clothes ( I do not want to walk around smelling like I came out of an oven or something), therefore I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying watching the chef whip up my whole meal; dish by dish before my eyes!
Furthermore, the feeling was priceless, as I felt like I was given the best attention with the chef constantly checking with how we would like our dish served; more garlic, less oil, less salt, etc.
Everyone had to put on an orange bib/apron when seated at the teppanyaki table.
I guess they did not want our clothes to be dirty in case the food from the cooking table fell on us? :P
Table setting for the Teppanyaki
For starters, there were side cold dishes such as the vegetable cold salad and seaweed
The chef preparing our salmon; the first dish
Other dishes ordered by the diners sharing the other side of the table
Pan fried salmon with sweet soy sauce and eggs
This was quite good, and the salmon tasted really smooth and soft. The fish was fresh and perhaps it was hot that made this such an appetizing start for our meal.
This was just as good, with the surface of the salmon grilled to a crisp texture and when I bit into it, the flesh was still quite tender and soft, yumz!
A bowl of Gohan (rice) to go with the meal; a typical Asian staple.
Cooking up the teppanyaki prawns we ordered
Scrumptious and succulent juicy big prawns on my plate
Vegetables to wipe our palates (and plates) to end the teppanyaki meal
After the teppanyaki dinner, we left the table and proceeded to another area for the complimentary desserts by the restaurant.
There is a menu from which we can select from a list of desserts (there were at least 7-8 types of desserts, from ice cream to pudding).
Almond beancurd pudding (tau fu fah)
Grass jelly/Chin Chow
Enjoy a walk around the area after dinner, to enjoy the pleasant night view of Singapore and to walk off that huge dinner we had :)