My life is slowly turning into one giant blur of 30th birthday parties and cake ― which is no bad thing (in fact, it’s bloody fantastic) ― and for the latest celebration, I was heading North to visit another of my ageing friends in Leeds.
Because Tom (said birthday boy) is so darn popular, his incredibly efficient fiancée was quick to book his entourage (a table of around 30) in at Leeds’ impressive Wasabi Teppanyaki restaurant. Despite living in Leeds for two years whilst studying frantically for a Masters (then trying to figure out what to do with my life), I’d never been. In all honesty, I’d never even heard of it. But boy oh boy, did she make the right choice!
Being such a large party, we had to order well in advance. When you’re dealing with a standard set menu, this is no doubt easy peasy for chefs and waiters alike ― but the menu at Wasabi Teppanyaki is far from easy to remember. There was an impressive range of set menus (combining everything from steak, chicken, and Miso soup, to prawns, salmon and Tori Katsu), and vast array of a la carte offerings ― and the chefs remembered everything.
Now, the really special thing about this place is that the food is cooked in front of you ― and believe me when I say they make a real show out of it. The clamouring of kitchen utensils was akin to the sounds from Stomp, and man do these guys know how to throw a flame!
The first thing to hit the hot plate was garlic, garlic, and more garlic. As a garlic fiend, there is no finer sight.
Then the eggs were lined up one by one, and expertly cracked to produce tip-top fried rice.
And you really can’t beat watching an array of meat being cooked up in one place.
They love to involve their diners too ― it’s like having your very own private chef for the evening. And by ‘involve’, I’m specifically referring to the amazing egg game, which involves taking one of their enormous silver spoon-like contraptions and taking a shot at whacking an empty egg shell into a convenient little table-top hole. This was my favourite part. You can probably guess why. Being incredibly competitive (and viewing this as a food-related game), I was determined to be the first to ‘pot the egg’ in one shot. Did I do it? Of course I did!
The ‘show’ of cooking at Wasabi Teppanyaki is fantastically entertaining; topped only by the experience of eating the freshly cooked offerings. Hot off the plate, every morsel of food tasted amazing. I have to admit being more than a little bit jealous of my other half’s fillet steak (it was to die for!)
But my chicken teriyaki with leeks was extremely delicious. And the egg fried rice was like no other.
In all, Wasabi was a fantastic experience and the food was incredible. It worked out a little pricy (around £85 per couple), but that was with plenty of drinks. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to hold a party, or just somewhere a little different for a date, you must give this one a go.
(If you do, let me know what you think).
Love Emma xx