Freelance writer and blogger from Sydney (ex-Melbourne). Avid foodie and traveller. Loves dogs.
Published July 27th 2017
Come for the sushi, stay for the agedashi tofu
In the early 90s, a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant opened just around the corner from our place. The restaurant was Kobe Teppanyaki and it always seemed to be busy every time we drove past. This piqued my family's curiosity so we decided to give it a go for lunch one weekend.
We visited on Sunday afternoon so it was reasonably quiet when we arrived. It did pick up just as we were leaving, but I think it's safe to assume that Kobe Teppanyaki gets the bulk of its customers in the evening. Wine is BYO at Kobe Teppanyaki, something that is useful to know if you're planning to celebrate a special occasion there. This time, we stuck to green tea. We were also given a sesame bean sprout salad as an amuse bouche, which was a lovely gesture.
Our Kobe sushi combo served as the perfect starter for this family of five. The menu says that it's recommended for 3-4 people but I honestly thought this was a good size for the five of us. The usual suspects were there – kingfish, salmon and tuna – as well as the ubiquitous California roll. All were fresh and delicious.
Zucchini and pumpkin are my two least favourite vegetables so I silently groaned when I saw them appear in the mixed tempura platter. But you know what? The tempura zucchini and pumpkin were actually delicious – in fact, everything on that platter was. The light, airy and crispy batter was so addictive that it made me reach for a second zucchini.
The tatsuta age (fried chicken) was also tasty. When it comes to Japanese fried chicken, I prefer karaage but curiously they didn't have it on the menu. What's the difference? Well, karaage batter is made with wheat flour while tatsuta age uses potato starch. Still, the tatsuta age made everyone else on the table happy so there were no complaints there.
I'm a sucker for a good agedashi tofu and Kobe Teppanyaki's version was one of the best ones I've had. At the more-than-$10 mark, it's not cheap but it's a small price I'd happily pay again for that thin yet handsomely flavoured dashi broth and the crispy batter coating the tofu squares.
I thought the kaisen soba noodles were delicious – but then again, I generally love most things that involve seafood and noodles so when you put them both together, well, it's hard to go wrong. Lightly flavoured with soy, the noodles were soft fried and served with a generous handful of seafood including prawns, scallop and squid.
Kaisen soba ($21.50)
I'm not one to order teriyaki beef at Japanese restaurants but my brother, a beef lover, insisted we gave this dish a go. Surprisingly, the teriyaki beef got resounding 'yum, this is actually good!' from everyone on the table, including myself. Sliced juicy eye fillet pieces were marinated in a delicious teriyaki sauce before being lightly grilled and served with some bean sprouts; a great dish to round off this leisurely lunch.
While I wouldn't go to Kobe Teppanyaki for a cheap lunch, I'd definitely come back again for dinner to try their famed teppanyaki dinners. If you live in Doncaster (or not far from it), Kobe Teppanyaki is a great spot to keep as your local if you want something more substantial than your cheap and cheerful takeaway options. Don't forget to order the agedashi tofu.