While visiting Osaka, we wanted to try teppanyaki, a style of Japanese cuisine where food is cooked on an iron griddle.
The concierge at our hotel’s executive lounge recommended Rin-Tei, and made a reservation for us.
Upon our arrival, we were seated at two seats around the iron plate cooking griddle. While the set-up seemed similar to Benihana restaurants in the United States, the menu options were very different. The chefs at Rin-Tei were very serious about cooking a five-course fine dining menu, right in front of you.
We were given a choice of five different fixed menus, each with five or more courses. I choose the Amber menu, while Mr. Jones went for the Lapis menu, since it added a foie gras dish, which he loves. Our waiter helped us choose wines by the glass that would pair nicely with our food.
First we were served an appetizer of seared tuna. It provided an explosion of flavors, and hinted at the quality of food to come.
The next course was a soup described as a “cappuccino of cauliflower, with the flavor of espresso.” Something might have been lost in English translation, but the soup was creamy, tasty and quickly devoured.
Watching the teppanyaki preparation was as much fun as eating the food and drinking the wine. While the sauces were made in advance, and assistants brought the pre-cut meat and vegetables to the chefs, their sense of timing and ability to cook and plate each dish was impressive.
The perfectly cooked beef was served with root vegetables. Garlic chips, wasabi, sauces and seasoning were presented for each guest to use as they desired. (The beef did not, in my opinion, need any enhancements.)
After we finished enjoying all of our main courses, we were invited to move to another room (away from the teppanyaki griddle) for coffee and dessert.
As we sipped our coffee, we decided we had to taste the dessert offering that included cheesecake, ice cream and a berry compote. It was a sweet ending to a lovely meal.
If you are in Osaka, there are literally thousands of places to eat at all price points. If teppanyaki and/or fine dining are on your wish list, we recommend Rin-Tei. Reservations are essential. Dinner menus start at 8000 Japanese yen per person, not including wine.
Do you enjoy teppanyaki? What is your favorite?