Wagyu Steak Teppanyaki Ukai

OMOTESANDO UKAI-TEI: “Best Quality” Wagyu Beef and More, Tokyo – Fancy One Michelin Star Teppanyaki served French Style

Dining date: July 22, 2013

Dining occasion: Dinner, Special Course – Chef’s Special Picks for Today (24,150 +10% Japanese Yen)

See the Eater’s Highlights:

  • Omotesando Ukai-Tei is one of the two restaurants in Tokyo that serve teppanyaki with a Michelin Star rating (the other is Ginza Ukai-Tei, which is under the same restaurant group. We chose the Omotesando location for its view, since both locations supposedly serve the same fare).
  • Located in the GYRE building on the tree-lined Omotesando. The building also houses other high end stores like Chanel, Maison Martin Margiela, and a Bvlgari Cafe. Being on the top floor, it has great views of the Shibuya skyline.
  • Great care is put into creating each dish along with detailed service. Waiters spoke English, too.
  • The main teppanyaki dining area is one large curved table with a panoramic view, the first I have seen of its kind. The area is also kept exceptionally clean. Private rooms are available, too.
  • One complaint I must note was that once we walked into the teppanyaki dining room, the smell of the grill was very prominent, which prompted me to store my jacket immediately. Perhaps the restaurant could invest in a better ventilation system.

The Details:

I grew up eating a lot of teppanyaki, from cheap ones to expensive ones. Omotesando Ukai-Tei is the fanciest teppanyaki I have had to date. In many ways, the restaurant is managed in a Western manner. First, we were asked to wait in the lounge area when we arrived at the restaurant, then we had a French waiter serve us, and we were finally brought to a dessert lounge at the end of our meal. Both lounge areas were designed with grand European influences.

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

Waiting lounge area before we entered the teppanyaki dining area

Waiting lounge area before we entered the teppanyaki dining area

Table decor in the waiting lounge area before we entered the teppanyaki dining area

Table decor in the waiting lounge area before we entered the teppanyaki dining area

Table setting. Napkin with their restaurant's design sewn on

Table setting. Napkin with their restaurant’s design sewn on

Table setting. Napkin with their restaurant's design sewn on

Table setting. Napkin with their restaurant’s design sewn on

Main teppanyaki dining room

Main teppanyaki dining room

Main teppanyaki dining room

Main teppanyaki dining room

Selection of wines

Selection of wines

Chef's teppanyaki cooking area. Very clean.

Chef’s teppanyaki cooking area. Very clean.

Menu

Menu

Since we came all the way to Tokyo, we decided to have what the restaurant had best to offer. Our waiter explained what the chef’s special picks for that day were and worked with us to see if there were any dietary restrictions.

Crab and Jelly

Crab and Jelly

Fried fish

Fried fish

Uni (sea urchin), Beluga Caviar, and Somen (cold noodles)

Uni (sea urchin), Beluga Caviar, and Somen (cold noodles)

The texture of the noodles was amazing. The uni was sweet and balanced well with the beluga caviar.

Lobster

Lobster

Lobster

Lobster

Foie gras with eggplant and bread

Foie gras with eggplant, truffle, and bread

The foie gras was seared to perfection. It was a rather large piece and the eggplant absorbed a lot of the oils. The bread was not too special, though.

Ukai

Ukai “Top Quality” sirloin, premium Wagyu (Japanese black beef)

Laguiole utensils

Laguiole utensils

Shaving black truffles to go with the premium wagyu

Shaving black truffles to go with the premium wagyu

Ukai

Ukai “Top Quality” sirloin, premium Wagyu (Japanese black beef)

The Ukai “Top Quality” sirloin, premium Wagyu (Japanese black beef) is what Omotesando Ukai-Tei is praised for. The marbled top quality beef was indeed very tender. However, I was expecting to eat the beef without any sauce to try out the true flavors of such quality meat. The black truffle serving was quite generous and the mashed potatoes were decent as well.

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice and miso soup

Unagi (eel) steamed with rice and miso soup

This was a very Japanese finish to the meal, a rice course and miso soup. The rice was not as flavorful as I was expecting. The unagi was chewy, but overall the taste was light. I was expecting more of the salty sauce covered unagi over rice dishes I have been accustomed to. The miso soup was a little bit on the salty side.

When we finished our last course, we were taken to the dessert lounge on the other side of the restaurant. I was ridiculously full by this time, but we were offered another menu to order tea, coffee, or alcoholic beverages. It was a raining day, so we sat inside, otherwise the view outside would have been miraculous.

View from our table in thethe dessert lounge

View from our table in thethe dessert lounge

Dessert lounge

Dessert lounge

Peach dessert

Peach dessert

Dessert trolley

Dessert trolley

My choices of desserts

My choices of desserts

The desserts were decent in general, but not amazing. I did like the orange marshmallow, though.

The dessert trolley definitely reminded me of Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas (read about them here: first visit, second visit, third visit). In addition, the Laguiole knives and the manner wines were served also reminded me of Guy Savoy.

Omotesando Ukai-Tei is a very fancy teppanyaki restaurant. Undoubtedly, the food quality is high with precise execution. Service is top notch as well. With the high price, it is probably not a frequent choice to dine at, but the ambiance can be great for special occasions.

Omotesando Ukai-Tei http://www.ukai.co.jp/english/omotesando/index.html

Address: 表参道ジャイル5F 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Phone:+81 3-5467-5252