Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

[Review] Tippenyaki, Rathmines, Dublin 6

It was the closing day of the Olympics and we were sitting on the sofa watching the precious last few events. We were like drug addicts who knew that our supply was shortly to be cut off and we were squeezing every last drop out of the spectacle. Earlier in the day, we had debated where to go for dinner, but those plans got shelved as we stayed in to watch the last events, the last medal presentations and finally, the closing ceremony. Our plans for grilled steak and seafood evaporated and instead we ordered takeaway online - Indian paneer curry from our local Bombay Pantry for me and Domino's pizza for Himself.

Roll forward to Sunday evening, and this time there were no Olympics to keep us at home. The lack of sporting achievement had left us feeling a little lost, so we decided to do what we do best - go for dinner. We were still in the mood for grilled seafood, so we decided to head to a local Japanese restaurant in Rathmines. Tippenyaki is a teppan restaurant which is a form of Japanese cuisine consisting of chefs cooking on large metal grills (the teppan) all while performing a whole host of juggling, acrobatics and knife skills. It's possibly the most entertaining way of eating out.

Tippenyaki gives you a choice of being seated around the teppan grills where you can experience the full show, or off to the side at the quieter tables. We both ordered seafood from the teppan menu - king prawns for Himself (€20.95), while I chose the Geisha plate of scallops, prawns and salmon (€26.95).  The teppan plates are served with your choice of miso soup or salad, and Himself added an extra order of tuna and salmon sashimi (€12.95). 
Stitch and Bear - Tippenyaki - Miso soup
Miso soup -  I love the swirls that appear
Stitch and Bear - Tippenyaki - Tuna and salmon sashimi
Generous 12 slice portion of salmon and tuna sashimi
While we were drinking our soup and I was stealing sashimi from his plate, our chef came out from the back kitchen and turned on the teppan grill. Plates of pre-sliced vegetables and a tray of fantastic looking seafood were placed alongside in preparation. I was daunted by the sheer volume of seafood that was about to go into my Geisha plate. Soon we could see the heat rising off the grill and our chef got to work.
Stitch and Bear - Tippenyaki - Seafood ready for the teppan grill
Seafood ready for the teppan grill
As mentioned already, Teppan cooking is as much about the show as the food. The chefs move food around the grill, arranging it into stacks and piles. Eggs are tossed into the air only to be caught in chefs' hats, pockets, or even cracked by falling onto the blade of a knife. There is much rat-tat-tatting as the chefs scrapers perform a tap-dance over the grill. Plus they will set your food on fire! On previous visits to Tippenyaki, the chefs have even played guitar and sang while cooking.
Stitch and Bear - Tippenyaki - Cooking on the teppan grill
Cooking on the teppan grill
The chefs serve the food from the grill when it is ready. First, our plates were piled high with a mix of bean sprouts, courgettes, cabbage and onions. Then some crispy potato slices, followed eventually by the seafood. The seafood had been flambeed and finished with loads of garlicky butter, and the rich tasty juices flowed all over the plate. I made amends for my earlier sashimi thieving by handing over a fair portion of my plentiful dish. He was equally pleased with his king prawn dish, even if the prawns were a bit overcooked. 
Stitch and Bear - Tippenyaki - Geisha seafood special
Geisha seafood special
Tippenyaki is all about fun, but singing chefs may not be your deal, so you have been warned. In fact, it can get very busy some evenings with birthday groups & office parties, meaning that you may prefer a quieter, more intimate venue. The large teppan grills dominate the room meaning that tables are arranged in a narrow U around the edges, so it's sometimes not the most easiest to walk around. But if you do venture in, grab yourself a ringside seat and enjoy the action.

Post script: As I was finalising this blog post, I came across a video of Jedward at Tippenyaki. Enjoy!

Tippenyaki, Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Tel: +353 (0)1 497  9463
Tel: +353 (0)1

1 comment

veru said...

I love Tippenyaki. I think it's one of the most genuine japanese spot in Dublin even if it's difficult to find a seat on Friday/saturday. Definitely a "must", I like the consistency and the taste of the meat...

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