텟펜 강남점 (Teppen)
Reviewed by Annie Namba on June 29, 2011 / Updated August 5, 2011
This guy makes teppanyaki all night long. I think he made at least 30 of these while we ate.
When you first step in to this place, you are greeted loudly by the entire staff, setting the mood for your evening. Their specialty is teppanyaki, food cooked to order on a large flat griddle.
On both of our visits, we were lucky to be seated in the counter area, able to watch the cooks work energetically as we dine. They all look like they love their job!
Asahi draft (8000원), 자몽사와 (5800원), with edamame (boiled green soy beans)
Our drinks are served immediately with a little something to nibble on while we wait for our food. Aaron's Asahi is perfectly poured. My 자몽사와 tastes like a full squeeze of fresh grapefruit with a hint of alcohol. Edamame is chilled and nicely seasoned.
오이중독 (5800원) contains nothing but cucumber with light citrusy dressing.
Another appetizer of our choice is served soon after, 오이중독. This dish is quite simple. A cucumber is sliced and arranged like a caterpillar, then topped with a simple dressing. Despite its simplicity, this was quite addicting, as the name suggests. We both liked the light dressing and the crunchy cucumber combination.
텟펜야키 (12800원), their signature dish
Just as we finish our appetizer, their signature dish is served. This is a must-try. Even after carefully watching how it was put together, it was still amazing when we tasted it. The top "shell" is made with a whole egg, then is topped with a mountain of cabbage. Bacon slices and udon noodles are added on top, then somehow he carefully flips the whole thing over and plates it. The highlight of this dish is the decoration of sauce that covers the entire top. All the ingredients and the sauce work together well.
스시 Omakaze 12 pieces (15800원) - Sushi heaven!
Coming from Hawaii, we really missed Japanese sushi and sashimi. Of course, Korea has 초밥 and 회, but both tend to use the tougher, chewier fish preferred by Koreans. Worse, when we ordered tuna, it would come out partially frozen. (We've heard Koreans refer to this as the ideal way to eat tuna.) When we visited Teppen for the first time and ordered their sushi omakase (chef's selection), we were pleasantly surprised with the quality. This was the taste we were looking for! Since this is the chef's selection dish, the selections are not always the same. When we first visited, we were seated by the sushi counter and were able to ask for our favorite sushi. On the second visit, however, we were seated on the opposite side, by the grill, so we weren't able to make requests. We enjoyed every piece nonetheless.
부류레 (4200원), recommended by our server
When we asked for a recommendation for dessert, our server suggested we try 부류레. We weren't sure what it was, but when it came out we realized we had ordered a creme brulee. While not especially Japanese, it was a good way to conclude our meal/adventure.
Matcha (Japanese green tea) is served hot or cold after you finish your meal.
From time to time, the staff will ask how your food is. They are fishing for a "맛있어요!" but given how great the food is, they don't have to try very hard. If you respond positively, they will repeat it loudly, and the whole staff will thank you enthusiastically!
After the visit to Teppen, I feel so energetic and alive. We recommend making a reservation here if you're visiting during weekend night. They will provide you with a small souvenir if you make a reservation.
- Food: 5/5 - Delicious and innovative food. Everything met our (high) expectations
- Service: 5/5 - Detail-oriented, attentive, friendly service
- Atmosphere: 5/5 - If you enjoy a lively atmosphere, this is the place to be. If you prefer a quieter place to hold a conversation, this may not be a good choice.