Kobe Japanese Restaurant, Doncaster

I wanted to do something special and fun for mama’s birthday and immediately decided on Teppanyaki because I had so much fun last time at Mark’s birthday. We all met at Kobe Teppanyaki in Doncaster.

Immediately, I noticed a difference from the last place. Kobe is much brighter with neutral whites and browns instead of black marble. They had marble tabletops for easy cleaning, and the attendants wore navy kimonos with a red sash (obi) and black thongs (zōri) with white toe socks (tabi). CUTE!

Our tables were set with a gorgeous green and blue serving plate, a sauce dishlette with sour sauce for the seafood and sesame sauce for the meat, a little bowl of pickled salad and a small round plate to eat the bits and pieces off. I’m chucking out all my dishware and replacing it with this stuff. CUTER!!

After a quick glance at the menu, it was unanimously decided that the whole table will order the Kobe Set, which included miso soup, fried chicken and salad, prawn, fish, beef and chicken with fried rice and seasonal vegetables, with ice cream and tea for dessert. Once we had ordered, the cute kimono girls came round the table and put a bib on everyone. Mum got a little worried.

The fried chicken came out first and was fucking delicious! It seems they have mastered the seven secret herbs and spices of KFC and improved on it by actually putting it on real chicken thigh fillets! These were served with mayonnaise but dipping it into the sesame sauce was just as good. Super yum!

The salad looked like a typical pub salad but the dressing was a sesame dressing with a slight vinegar tang. A delightful twist that provided refreshment throughout the meal.

This is when our chef came over with a big plate of raw meat. He smiled and introduced himself and we all pointed at mum so he’d know she was the birthday girl. “Oh, happy birthday! How old are you turning? 21?” he cheekily says. “Yes, thank you” replies mum with her own sass.

Once again, Dave and I gaped as the chef effortlessly cleaned and disembowelled the prawns, flipped and diced the meat and seasoned them with teriyaki sauce or soy sauce and butter. Each morsel was tasty and tender and required very little sauce for flavour.

The eye fillet was especially ambrosial. Cooked close to rare with butter and sauce, it was soft and juicy. Everyone took a bite and looked up at each other with that face… the slow chew with the half closed eyes, gentle crease between the eyebrows and slight smile. That face speaks a thousand words.

The chicken wsa delicious too, and was served in a thick and sweet soy sauce. Yum yum!

Once the meat was cooked, it was time to clean the grill and start with the nonsense. “From now on, you catch your food” the chef says in all seriousness.

It started with the pieces of egg, then progressed to the bowls and fried rice, each time getting harder and more risky. See if you can see the blur of the egg and bowls as they’re flying through the air.

“That’s why they call it fried rice” says the chef. “Because it fried to you”. We lost our shit.

In the meantime, the seasonal vegetables were served. Beanshoots and grated carrot sizzled on the grill with some sauce. It was scoldingly hot fresh off the plate, but once allowed to cool, was a refreshing and hydrating bite.

The miso soup also came out at this point, a little late in the game. I expected it to be an entre but I was glad to see it so I didn’t ask questions. I took a sip and it didn’t have that feral seaweed taste but that rich chicken soup flavour. There were tofu squares at the bottom and some unidentified leaves, but overall a tasty miso soup.

Once the chef had packed up and thanked us for having him, we were served these charming leaf-shaped bowls with a ball of ice cream. I swear, my dishware is going in the bin.

We also got some Japanese tea, with closely resembled the corn tea from Korean Seoul. I love this stuff. A really smooth, homey flavour. Once again, CUTE CUPS!

I seriously love Teppanyaki. No more boring restaurants for special occasions. Dad’s birthday in June. I think he’d love the fun, mischievous, interactive nature of Teppanyaki. WOO HOO!

Kobe Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon

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