With all the latest food fads (read: unicorn and activated charcoal) leaving us feeling ‘so-so’ we were delighted when we received an invite to “Experience the Technique at Teppan at Zen“. Not to mention that it’s been a childhood dream of mine to try Teppanyaki (all right, it was since I saw Ross’ date in the first season of Friends).
Needless to say, Zen, is absolutely gorgeous. We were seated upstairs around a cozy 6 seater Teppan table awaiting the grand entry of expat Chef Wadim Shin. While we were waiting, we sipped on an absolutely delightful ginger iced tea (and I’m not a big fan of ginger). It was flavourful and refreshing and paired beautifully with everything on the menu.
Finally, the moment we had long awaited had arrived, Chef Wadim Shin entered, emanating charm and panache and immediately upped my expectations ante. We started off with the Kaiso Salad with seaweed and sumiso dressing while Chef fired up the grill. Seaweed undertones combined with the crunch of a seafood wafer made the salad an absolutely brilliant start to the meal. The Corn Miso Soup with mushroom was undoubtedly one of the best soups I’ve ever had in my life. Perfectly balanced.
The showmanship began, Chef Wadim Shin managed to simultaneously make everyone feel at ease with his cheeky sense of humor while also making the Appetizers of Yaki Tori (the chicken skewers) and Cottage Cheese Kushiyaki. Vegetarian food isn’t really my forte, but I actually enjoyed the Cottage Cheese more than the chicken (I know I blaspheme, but it was really that amazing).
You absolutely must try the Chizu Ebi – it consisted of grilled prawn with Cheese sauce and I guarantee you’ll never eat anything quite as brilliant as this. You can taste the sake infusion and I damn near licked my plate for every drop of that sauce. You can never go wrong with salmon and Chef Wadim proved that with a delightful salmon dish with Japanese barbeque sauce (I need the recipe for that sauce in my life).
There was no end to the entertainment as Chef Wadim shaped the fried rice into a heart, then promptly made it beat for us, and the telltale flame up always got oohs and aahs.
We ended with a Japanese crepe whipped up again, in front of our eyes, with a red bean filling, raspberry coulis, honey and vanilla ice cream. I never knew beans could pass for a dessert, but this dish convinced me. In fact, I had two helpings (you better believe that I wanted more).
But that wasn’t the end of the surprises that the Teppanyaki experience at Zen had in store for us. Chef Wadim floored us all with an acoustic guitar performance of Tears in Heaven and Versace on the Floor which he absolutely killed (he’s got some pipes on him).
Head to Zen for the most complete Teppanyaki experience you will ever have. You’ll have a ball, whether you go with friends or solo – and remember – Chef could sing for you, if you ask him nicely.
Date: 4th August 2017 – 13th August 2017
Place: Zen, The Leela Palace
For Reservations: Call – 080 2521 1234