Ja­panese Tep­pa­nyaki Inn

Din­ner mi­nus the show turns out to be a very good time at Mel­bourne’s old­est tep­pa­nyaki restau­rant. By Jess Ho

Time Out (Melbourne) - - Food & Drink -

YOU’VE PROB­A­BLY WALKED past the Inn a hun­dred times and never clocked the sig­nage. Wedged be­tween the Re­gent The­atre and a re­tail store is Mel­bourne’s first tep­pa­nyaki-style restau­rant. Es­tab­lished in 1975, Ja­panese Tep­pa­nyaki Inn is still go­ing strong. Af­ter find­ing the en­trance, you are greeted at the front desk by a ki­mono-clad host and led into a lounged wait­ing area for re­fresh­ments while your other guests ar­rive. A dark, soft room, it feels like a restau­rant stuck in time, and thank­fully, so are their prices. House cock­tails will set you back a mere $18; we’re tak­ing gin Mar­ti­nis, flavoured ‘Mar­ti­nis’ (espresso and ly­chee), Black Rus­sians, Cos­mopoli­tans and the like. Carafes of sake listed with tast­ing notes also clock in at a wal­let-friendly $15-$28. The wine list fo­cusses on Aus­tralian and New Zealand with bot­tles rang­ing from $39 to $250 for big spenders. Tep­pa­nyaki here doesn’t come with a show, egg flips, oil fires or any of that tacky flair, but in­stead, re­spect­ful ser­vice. Your white shirt will be safe so long as your chop­stick skills are on point. You can order items in­di­vid­u­ally, which will also carry a sur­charge of $10 for a “sauce set” con­sist­ing of sweet soy and a sesame paste. It’s bet­ter value to order set cour­ses with a fo­cus on land or sea; they in­clude sides of mush­room, pota­toes, scal­lops, prawns, stir-fried bean shoots and spinach and their main meat of choice. Chefs are happy to share items across the ta­ble. You will be asked at the be­gin­ning of ser­vice if you’re a gar­lic fan. Trust us: the an­swer is yes. You’ll re­ceive gar­lic chips fried at the ta­ble through­out your din­ner that taste sweetly roasted and don’t carry the pun­gent burn. They go with every­thing. à182 Collins St, Mel­bourne 3000. www.tep­pa­nyaki.com.au. Mon 6-10pm; Tue-fri noon-2pm & 6-10pm; Sat 6-10pm.

Tep­pa­nyaki here doesn’t come with a show. Your shirt is safe

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