Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き) is a well-know Japanese meat cuisine but rather different from Yakiniku. Teppan means iron griddle in English, hinting that dishes will be cooked using the device. One of the main hallmarks of teppanyaki is on-the-spot cooking in front of customers. It provides entertainment to customers as they wait for their meal. Each teppanyaki restaurant has its own characteristics and Kinyotei is known for its service and stable quality.
Located at the highest level of the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk Hotel, Kinyotei meets the expectations of the promising standard. The interior is spacious and finely designed which closely matches the luxury hotel brand. Full-height glass windows are used to showcase the sea view, while walls and floorings are tiled up with beige and soft yellow glazed marbles. Sofas are placed in the waiting area, presenting a space for customers to read the menu while enjoying the bird’s-eye view. Unlike regular restaurants, teppanyaki stores usually use bar tables and bar chairs in the dining area since the chef will stand when cooking foods. Kinyotei also implemented a similar setting.
Shortly after we decided on our menu, the waitress guides us to our seats and takes our orders. Our menu includes appetizers, a main course of wagyu and seafood, and dessert. She then introduces us to our chef, and slowly serves starters of three petite plates of Japanese style dishes, a soup and a salad one by one. When we are having our first appetizer, our chef brings over the ingredients of our course and introduced each item. The type of wagyu that Kinyotei use is A5 Saga beef, which is the highest quality wagyu within the province of Fukuoka. Vegetables are from local Japanese farms, while seafood of the day is fish filet.
As the soup is served, our chef starts preparing food for the main course. He begins with pumpkins, lotus roots and zucchini, which I believe are items with less flavour that will prevent leftover scent merging with the other ingredients. Fish fillets are cooked next when we have our salad, and finally, the wagyu. Listening to the sizzling sound of grilling fat and watching the oil gently hissing and popping in front of me, I cannot wait to taste these gorgeous beef bites. The chef swiftly performed a few flips, exhibiting the perfectly golden surface and browned edges, it is the time to enjoy our main course. He smoothly sliced the beef into bite-size and carefully placed them beside the vegetables on a platter, finishing off with a dash of fresh grind wasabi and horseradish mustard.
A scope of yuzu and kiwi citrus sorbet ended our meal with satisfaction. It refreshed our breaths and cool down our throats, which replaced the need for mint candy. Not to mention the flavourful fruit combination is better than any ice cream or frozen yogurt. Without the use of dairy products, the sorbet still holds the creamy texture.
Kinyotei definitely provides high-quality food and service that will never bring disappointment. It is one of the few teppanyaki restaurants that you can leave without smelly like roasted meat or oily beef. The experience is executive, yet pricing is surprisingly friendly for a lunch menu (around $40CAD). Cost–performance ratio might be merely higher, but definitely worth the price.