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