Samurai Teppanyaki House at Hyde Park serves the style of Japanese cuisine known as Teppanyaki, in which the dishes are cooked over an iron griddle in front of diners. Watching the chefs cook the meals is part and parcel of the enjoyment of a Teppanyaki meal. Samurai's lunch special menu is an affordable option for those that feel a bit intimidated by the prices of their dinner menu. All the various Teppanyaki sets include coleslaw, rice and miso soup.
Their Surf-Turf Lunch option is a prawn-beef combo set. The beef was tender and the process of flambéing it gave the meat a distinctive flavour. Additional flavour was provided by a mix of butter and herbs that was spooned over the beef prior to it being served. We also liked that the prawns were cooked just right with the right degree of charred flavour.
Samurai's Chicken Lunch featured chunks of chicken which were succulent and had enough Teriyaki sauce to provide a delectable sweet-savoury flavour. While it was not mentioned in the menu, the chicken came served on a bed of fried vegetables, which were tasty and provided texture. This manner of presentation applies to all the Teppanyaki lunch sets.
Chicken Lunch (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For something that tastes a bit more subtle, the Salmon Lunch is a good choice. The salmon flaked apart easily with a fork while still having a bit of bite to it. Much like the Surf-Turf Lunch, a butter mixture was spooned over the salmon before it was served. However, the mixture for the salmon dish was flavoured with minced garlic instead of herbs.
Salmon Lunch (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Besides Teppanyaki, Samurai also offers donburi dishes which are served with coleslaw and miso soup. Their Samurai Ten-don was very well done, consisting of tempura prawn, soft-shell crab and vegetables fried to golden brown. A small salad added an element of freshness and Tentsuyu sauce was provided for either pouring over the ingredients or dipping them in.
Samurai Tendon (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba are two of Samurai's specialty dishes. The Okonomiyaki offered here is prepared in the Hiroshima style in which the ingredients are layered, as opposed to the more well-known Osaka style which has the ingredients mixed into the batter. This way of cooking allowed the vegetables to have a bit of crunch and the egg cracked into the middle provided a bit of contrast with its soft texture. As expected the dish came drizzled with Okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise to tie everything together.
Okonomiyaki (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The portion size of their Yakisoba was generous enough to be shared and the charred flavour of the noodles and accompanying ingredients made it a delectable dish. The noodles, vegetables and seafood were all cooked to perfection and there was enough sauce to ensure the dish was not too dry. If you wish, the seafood can be replaced with chicken or left out for a vegetarian option.
Yakisoba (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For dessert, we tried their Imo Tempura, which was made with sweet potato imported from Japan. The sweet potato fritters had a light and fluffy texture that was set off by the crisp batter coating. The sweet potato had a sweeter taste compared to the sweet potato we are used to. Accompanying the fritters were black sesame ice cream and a strawberry cut in a fashion to make it look like a rose.
Imo Tempura (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We enjoyed our lunch thoroughly and would recommend Samurai Teppanyaki House to anyone who wishes to sample Teppanyaki dishes. We opted for the bar-style seating so we could watch our meals being cooked. If you are wary of cooking fumes, you can go for tables which are away from the cooking zone. Private function rooms are also available for those dining with a group and would like a bit of privacy. Off street parking is available behind the restaurant.