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The Rocks Teppanyaki

Home > Sydney > Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Anthea Lau (subscribe)
A sensual bon vivant who apparently has a flair for art and style. Originally from Hong Kong, studying and enjoying life in Sydney. More posts and photos at
Published November 5th 2011
I have always enjoyed Teppanyaki. The best part of modern Teppanyaki is where both cooking and eating actually happens at the same place, enhancing the whole dining experience with a lot of fun and pleasure.

Teppanyaki" is made up of two words. "Teppan" means "iron plate", while "yaki" refers to "grilled". It is a traditional style of Japanese cooking. In fact, a wide variety of dishes can be prepared on the iron plate. From rice to shrimp to steak, the possibilities are endless.

Situates in the heart of the Rocks, The Rocks Teppanyaki is housed in a National Trust 1840s building. It is kept private and secluded by staying away from the hectic and restless George street, yet is only a short stroll from the Sydney CBD area. Being offered a special treat to the eatery by a close friend, I had certainly taken advantage of the opportunity.

Entering the restaurant, we first stepped into a very quiet, almost tranquilizing lounge area. The room was elegantly decorated with streamlined glass coffee tables, leather sofas and red velvet arm chairs. Demonstrating real sophistication and class, the interior blended in gracefully with the heritage establishment.

We were led upstairs into one of the five intimate dining rooms that accommodated around 12 people. Each of the rooms are equipped with a teppanyaki table and our very own chef. A personal dining experience is offered at The Rocks Teppanyaki. Customers were engaged in the process and guided through the options, such as that the chef would inquire about your preference of sauces added to your food. The restaurant also boasts its use of Australian prime produce that are the best available in the market.

We have chosen Japanese Mojito and MV2 from the extensive wine list. Cocktails are apparently popular drinks choices at the eatery. The Mojito was made by Bacardi rum shaken with muddled lime, sugar and shiso, a Japanese mint, which was similar to a that of the usual combination. The MV2 was created with an interesting blend that mainly incorporates Umeshu, a Japanese plum wine, giving it an appealing sweetness yet subtle plum flavour. However, it is not on offer at the moment as the drinks menu has been revised recently, which modification is done on a regular basis.

MP2 adorned with preserved plum

The Rocks Teppanyaki offers an authentic Japanese cuisine. A la carte and canapes are available with options including oyster, sashimi and lobsters, but the sets are ideally a good way to start. We opted for "Bug me", a nine-course dinner set. Soon after we had our drinks, our chef of the night appeared and greeted us with a smile as he introduced himself. He then began to flicker his gleaming knives and worked his expert techniques on the shiny teppan grill.

Flaming No.1 Special
Despite its appearance of a sushi, it was in fact a crab salad with avocado wrapped in Hiramasa kingfish. A "secret sauce" was added to it, and flamed on the teppan grill. The tiny piece completely blew our minds. It jolted my taste buds, and was an absolute party in the mouth. We simply could not get enough of it.

Flaming No.1 Special

Carpaccio scallop
The scallop sashimi was sizzled with heated extra virgin olive oil, and finished with a drizzle of wasabi pepper sauce. The sauce had a slightly bitter but not overwhelming taste, contributing to an eccentric touch to the scallops.

Carpaccio scallop

Hot mushroom salad
A selection of oyster and enoki mushrooms grilled with seaweed butter was layered above salad greens. The mushrooms were beautifully seasoned and burst with pack full of flavours.

Hot mushroom salad

The assortment of salmon, kingfish and tuna was delicately arranged on top of shredded daikon, adorned with a miniature wasabi cube on the side. As a popular Japanese delicacy, the sashimi was undoubtedly fresh and delicious.

Balmain bug
Caught in Port Lincoln, the Balmain bugs were fresh and delightful. They were coated with garlic, cream and wine when cooked, and finished by being placed back into their original shells, which were lightly grilled with garlic beforehand. With a squeeze of lemon juice, the acidity balanced out the richness of the garlic cream. The mouthwatering pieces were cooked to perfection, and tasted divine.

Balmain bug on the teppan

Balmain bug

After the series of courses, the lemon Vodka sorbet was brought to each one of us to cleanse the palate. The sorbet was chilly and refreshing, which helped to get us prepared for the rest during the night.

Tasmanian wilderness beef
The restaurant offered both strip loin and tenderloin of the beef, and it was accompanied with well-seasoned asparagus and spinach. We ordered medium rare, but the doneness was a little uneven on the same plate, resulting in some chewy pieces. Nonetheless, the natural flavours of the beef was allowed to shine through simple condiments of salt and pepper.

Garlic rice with Kobe Jones red and white miso soup
The name of the traditional Japanese soup was believably derived from the red and white miso paste used. Its mixture of ingredients mostly included tofu, seaweed, and scallion. On the other hand, the fried rice was pleasantly infused with an aromatic scent of garlic. Again, it was simple yet delicious.

Garlic rice and miso soup

Crepe Suzette
Crepe Suzette is a beloved french classic. At The Rocks Teppanyaki, the dessert was prepared on the teppan grill. The chef first placed the freshly made crepe flambe onto the buttered iron plate, then continued by adding sugar, orange zest and orange juice, giving it a tangy fragrant. Afterwards, he poured a dash of Grand Marnier over the crepes, which lightened up the grill with a golden flame, producing a layer of caramelized glaze. Topped with vanilla ice-cream, it created a nice contrast to the heated crepes.

We agreed that it would be ideal if the crepes had been thinner and lighter, considering that we were quite stuffed at that stage. However, it still led to a sweet, satisfying end.

Crepe Suzette

Be it a special occasion, a business meeting, or a social event, The Rocks Teppanyaki is sure to impress. If price is not a factor, book in advance to indulge and treat yourselves with an extravagant dining experience.
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Why? Authentic Japanese Teppanyaki
When: Bookings recommended
Where: 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney 2000 (Cnr Essex and Cumberland Street))
Cost: A la carte $9.50 or up, set menu $60 or up,
Your Comment
I have been to this restaurant & had an awful experience. Teppanyaki is one of my favourite foods & this place doesn't deliver - food was cooked by a Korean guy who was totally uninterested in cooking our meal (no explanation of any ofvthe dishes served), very greasy & we were even short changed 2 courses of our set menu. After we received our Crepe as dessert & our crockery & cutlery cleared, we realized we didn't get 2 courses - upon checking with our waitress, the 2 missing dishes were then hurriedly plonked in front of us. No chopsticks, no sauces - nothing. Were we supposed to pick up the food with our hands? We had to ask or chopsticks & only 1 portion of sauce arrived which we had to share! For the price we paid - this place is a total rip off. I couldn't agree with any of your observations & comments. As a foodie & teppanyaki lover - this place has to be the worst teppanyaki I have ever had. A quick check with tripadvisor & other food guides shows mosly negative reviews too. You either must be affiliated to them or went on an exceptional night to write such a glowing review.

I for one will never go back. Sydney has an abundance of fabulous restaurants & at over $100 per head range - many many better places to enjoy good food.
by qbc15 (score: 1|29) 2497 days ago
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