Tep­pa­nyaki mas­ter comes to Nadaman restau­rant in Bei­jing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HOSPITALITY - By YE JUN yejun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

See­ing fresh in­gre­di­ents be­ing pre­pared right in front of you seems to do a lot to in­crease the ap­petite. That might help to ex­plain why vis­it­ing Ja­panese chef Akutsu Yoshiya has been able to wow his guests re­cently in Bei­jing with his won­der­ful tep­pa­nyaki treats and skills.

Tep­pa­nyaki is a style of Ja­panese cui­sine that uses an iron grid­dle, or tep­pan, to cook food. Fresh meat, seafood and veg­eta­bles are pre­pared on the spot.

Chef Yoshiya from Nadaman Shin­juku in Tokyo hap­pens to have 34 years of culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence on the tep­pan. He is vis­it­ing Nadaman Ja­panese restau­rant at China World Sum­mit Wing, Bei­jing from Aug 7-13.

Although tep­pa­nyaki is al­ready pop­u­lar in Bei­jing, the chef makes all the dif­fer­ence on Nadaman’s tep­pan with his in­dus­try-lead­ing culi­nary skills.

“Com­pared with meat, it is more dif­fi­cult to grill veg­eta­bles,” the chef said. “I’m fa­mil­iar with every part of the iron plate and I know the tem­per­a­tures that are dif­fer­ent every 10 cen­time­ters apart.

“With meat, I can tell how well done it is from its thick­ness. But with veg­eta­bles, it is hard to al­ways be sure about its fresh­ness, va­ri­ety and the amount of wa­ter it con­tains.”

Nonethe­less, the chef pre­pared per­fect Span­ish-style sea­sonal veg­eta­bles. He heated as­sorted zuc­chini, as­para­gus, bell pep­pers and mini toma­toes in a pot on the iron plate in olive oil to siz­zle slowly, mak­ing them both fresh and tasty.

Grilled fresh lob­ster was both a vis­ual and sen­sual treat. It was de­light­ful to watch fresh, dark-green lob­ster served on ice be­ing pre­pared into lovely, tempt­ing white flesh in red shells.

Sau­teed foie gras pre­sented amaz­ing fla­vors. Foie gras matches well with sweet in­gre­di­ents, and what bet­ter match than ba­nana grilled un­til re­ally sweet and fra­grant, with an aroma that gets fur­ther lifted by a plum and Shaox­ing wine sauce.

As to grilled Aus­tralian sir­loin, one would won­der how the cook­ing team at Nadaman pro­cessed it so that it al­most melted in the mouth. It was in­ter­est­ing to com­pare with a piece of sir­loin the chef pre­pared him­self — the piece of beef he grilled was a bit drier, but much more aro­matic.

It was no­tice­able how at­ten­tive the chef is when he pre­pares food. It is a sign of high crafts­man­ship and pro­fes­sion­al­ism af­ter more than 30 years of train­ing.

It is the chef ’s sec­ond visit to China. The first was a trip to Shang­hai. He said he was sur­prised by the amount of sky­scrapers in the area.

Some­times other tep­pa­nyaki restau­rants in Bei­jing would of­fer a knife and fork skills show. Although Yoshiya doesn’t do that, his deft han­dling of foods is just as amaz­ing. Also, taste is al­ways the most im­por­tant thing about food. And as for taste, it would be dif­fi­cult for the chef to find a rival on the tep­pan.

Nadaman Bei­jing of­fers au­then­tic Kaiseki-ry­ori cui­sine, a tra­di­tional mul­ti­course Ja­panese din­ner com­pa­ra­ble to Western haute cui­sine, as well as con­tem­po­rary Ja­panese spe­cial­ties.

A tep­pa­nyaki din­ner costs 888 yuan ($133) per per­son, and lunch costs 360 yuan per head.

I’m fa­mil­iar with every part of the iron plate and I know the tem­per­a­tures that are dif­fer­ent every 10 cen­time­ters apart.”

Akutsu Yoshiya, Ja­panese chef

China World Sum­mit Wing, Bei­jing

Tel: 010-8571-6459

Ad­dress: 4th floor, north area of China World Shop­ping Mall, 1 Jian­guomen­wai Da­jie, Chaoyang district, Bei­jing

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