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Teppanyaki master comes to Nadaman restaurant in Beijing

By Ye Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-12 09:02

Seeing fresh ingredients being prepared right in front of you seems to do a lot to increase the appetite. That might help to explain why visiting Japanese chef Akutsu Yoshiya has been able to wow his guests recently in Beijing with his wonderful teppanyaki treats and skills.

Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle, or teppan, to cook food. Fresh meat, seafood and vegetables are prepared on the spot.

Teppanyaki master comes to Nadaman restaurant in Beijing

Chef Yoshiya from Nadaman Shinjuku in Tokyo happens to have 34 years of culinary experience on the teppan. He is visiting Nadaman Japanese restaurant at China World Summit Wing, Beijing from Aug 7-13.

Although teppanyaki is already popular in Beijing, the chef makes all the difference on Nadaman's teppan with his industry-leading culinary skills.

"Compared with meat, it is more difficult to grill vegetables," the chef said. "I'm familiar with every part of the iron plate and I know the temperatures that are different every 10 centimeters apart.

"With meat, I can tell how well done it is from its thickness. But with vegetables, it is hard to always be sure about its freshness, variety and the amount of water it contains."

Nonetheless, the chef prepared perfect Spanish-style seasonal vegetables. He heated assorted zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and mini tomatoes in a pot on the iron plate in olive oil to sizzle slowly, making them both fresh and tasty.

Grilled fresh lobster was both a visual and sensual treat. It was delightful to watch fresh, dark-green lobster served on ice being prepared into lovely, tempting white flesh in red shells.

Sauteed foie gras presented amazing flavors. Foie gras matches well with sweet ingredients, and what better match than banana grilled until really sweet and fragrant, with an aroma that gets further lifted by a plum and Shaoxing wine sauce.

As to grilled Australian sirloin, one would wonder how the cooking team at Nadaman processed it so that it almost melted in the mouth. It was interesting to compare with a piece of sirloin the chef prepared himself - the piece of beef he grilled was a bit drier, but much more aromatic.

It was noticeable how attentive the chef is when he prepares food. It is a sign of high craftsmanship and professionalism after more than 30 years of training.

It is the chef's second visit to China. The first was a trip to Shanghai. He said he was surprised by the amount of skyscrapers in the area.

Sometimes other teppanyaki restaurants in Beijing would offer a knife and fork skills show. Although Yoshiya doesn't do that, his deft handling of foods is just as amazing. Also, taste is always the most important thing about food. And as for taste, it would be difficult for the chef to find a rival on the teppan.

Nadaman Beijing offers authentic Kaiseki-ryori cuisine, a traditional multicourse Japanese dinner comparable to Western haute cuisine, as well as contemporary Japanese specialties.

A teppanyaki dinner costs 888 yuan ($133) per person, and lunch costs 360 yuan per head.

(China Daily 08/12/2017 page10)

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