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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teppanyaki, The Ivy, Sydney - Merivale Winter Feast



The diner looks around, confused. "Oh when you said we were going to Teppanyaki, I was expecting a chef doing tricks at our table".

I overhear this comment from our dining neighbour. We're all seated at the huge wooden communal table which runs the length of this dim and moody Asian-themed eatery in the Ivy complex. I can only smile wryly at the confusion.

Whilst we can see the chefs at work in the open-plan kitchen, we're in no danger of being attacked by flying bowls of fried rice, or raw eggs batted toward us at lightning speed. Instead we sit beneath a row of black tasselled lampshades, in ambient lighting that is a food blogger's nightmare, whilst tended to by chic waitstaff wearing kimono-style dresses.



Tonight we're trying out the Merivale $35 Winter Feast, an offer that includes three courses at Teppanyaki, plus a glass of the nominated white wine, red wine or beer. I'm dining with Billy, Suze and Myriam.


Appetiser: King fish sashimi (2 pieces)
King fish sashimi with shiso leaf and an Asian salsa

We take the advice of our waitress and opt to share our appetisers. The king fish sashimi is served on deep-fried wonton skins, like crispy tacos, that have a satisfying crunch but perhaps overwhelm the delicacy of the king fish and shiso leaf.


Appetiser: Balmain Bug wonton (2 pieces)
Fried - sweet chilli and cucumber sauce

Balmain Bug wontons also seem a little lost in the huge expanse of crispy deep-fried wonton sheet with a tiny pocket of Balmain Bug flesh hidden within. It seems a shame to deep-fry this, and I would probably have preferred this gently poached in a miso soup.


Appetiser: Wagyu penny burger (2 pieces)
Mini wagyu beef burgers with cucumber, tomato and house sauce

Wagyu penny burgers don't fail to please. There's always a child-like appeal with miniature-sized food and we scoff these with glee.


Main: Ocean Trout
Served with crispy skin, pickled cucumber, black fungus and chilli salad
with sesame dressing

Ocean trout doesn't quite have the crispy skin promised on the menu, but the flesh is reasonably moist and flakes quite easily.


Main: Wagyu striploin 100g
Oakleigh Ranch marble score 5+ striploin with
wok-tossed shiitake, buckwheat and soybean

Between the four of us, we can't go past three orders of the wagyu striploin. It's a shame that we find all three portions a tad overcooked, the meat more chewy than melt-in-the-mouth. I do love the log of grated daikon on top the steak, and the shiitake mushrooms have a lovely meatiness to them with a slight smoky flavour. The little nutty grains of buckwheat scattered throughout give an added textural dimension.


Dessert: Black sesame ice cream with seasonal fruits

We're disappointed to discover that dessert no longer includes the sesame pannacotta raved on about by countless others. The black sesame ice cream is our consolation, the ice cream rich and creamy and topped with a black sesame studded wafer biscuit. The selection of accompanying fruits provides virtuous refreshment.


Dessert: Banana tempura with a sake chocolate fondue

Not so virtuous is the banana tempura with a sake chocoolate fondue, but that's probably why we all enjoy this dish so much. We can't detect much of a sake flavour in the chocolate fondue but there's plenty of fun to be had dripping the deep-fried battered banana segments in the pot of runny silky chocolate.

Overall this is a wallet-friendly introduction to Teppanyaki, even though deep down I really am hoping the chef will suddenly throw a few knives, bowls or salt shakers in the air.






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Teppanyaki
Level 2, The Ivy (Merivale Group)
320-330 George St, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9240 3000

Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday open for lunch and dinner
Saturday open for dinner only

$35 Merivale Winter Feast Teppanyaki menu (changes regularly)
Offer valid Tuesday to Friday 12pm-2pm and 6pm-8pm

14 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/29/2009 02:31:00 am


14 Comments:

  • At 7/29/2009 9:10 am, Anonymous The Extra said…

    It's a shame the food didn't live up to the hype. Maybe the chef had an off night? My own lunch was very worthwhile (though our wagyu striploin was nice and red and melty, we had the black sesame pannacotta and the kingfish sashimi didn't come out on the wonton wrappers). Don't you hate it when chef's change up and the result is less than the original?

     
  • At 7/29/2009 9:39 am, Blogger RedsGirl said…

    Those mini burgers look so cute! Such a shame about the wagyu - I can't stand overcooked beef.

     
  • At 7/29/2009 10:27 am, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    It seems a waste to put Balmain bug in a deep fried wonton. The fried banana and fondue on the other hand looks like a great idea!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 11:45 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    I've been wanting to go to Teppanyaki for their winter feast menu but now I'm so disappointed to hear about the pannacotta! What a shame. The banana tempura sounds yummy though!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 12:22 pm, Blogger Simon Food Favourites said…

    pity they overcooked the 'wagyu' of all meats. that's a shame. but still looks pretty yummy for the price.

     
  • At 7/29/2009 1:12 pm, Anonymous Howard said…

    In terms of value for money it seems the Teppanyaki offerings for the winter feast is the best. Food portions look quite decent compared to Ash St Cellar!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 1:43 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    Mmmm I need to go back for more porking which seems like the better choice if the wagyu is overcooked (oh sacrilegious!) and to try those banana tempura!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 1:50 pm, Anonymous Jax said…

    We also tried this (along with most of the other winter feasts!) and found the tempura around the banana to be a bit soggy but the chocolate sauce was divine! Agree with you about the bugs too.

     
  • At 7/29/2009 1:54 pm, Blogger Betty said…

    Oh no, such a shame they didn't have the black sesame panacotta :( It's interesting to see the menu variations you had on offer... pity about the wagyu too :( I thought my meal there was pretty fantastic, maybe you didn't go on a good night?!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 8:01 pm, Anonymous Yas said…

    Awwww I haven't managed to go dine at any of winter feast restaurants yet!
    Time is ticking away, I've got to booooook!

     
  • At 7/29/2009 8:45 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh left out how we got lost hmm? how awesome was the chocolate sauce tho. awesomeness

     
  • At 7/30/2009 2:07 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi The Extra - Perhaps it was an off night. By all other accounts, including blog posts I've read, the Teppanyaki deal seemed like a real winner. Very disappointed we didn't get a chance to try the black sesame pannacotta. Perhaps they're still experimenting with the dishes? I notice the king fish sashimi offering is now one piece, and not two.

    And thanks for commenting :)

    Hi RedsGirl - The mini burgers were great. We were very disappointed with the wagyu. Hopefully just a one-off?

    Hi Arwen - I agree. I feel genuine distress when I see beautiful seafood subjected to strong sauces or the deep-fryer! lol. The banana fondue was fun.

    Hi Stephcookie - I was a little devastated that the pannacotta wasn't available. I was so looking forward to it!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Because of the high fat content, wagyu is usually quite forgiving (and often benefits from a bit of a render), so we were saddened it didn't live up to our expectations.

    Hi Howard - The Ash St Cellar menu does look very light, although we did end up at Mamak straight after this meal!

    Hi FFichiban - There was no pork belly available on the night we dined either. The third mains option was a quail sang choi bao which we weren't particularly excited about. We didn't think you'd be able to taste/appreciate the quail.

    Hi Jax - I do love Balmain Bugs so it was hard to savour the flavour in the deep-fried wonton skin. We ended up dipping our fruit into the chocolate sauce as wel :)

    Hi Betty - I think we lucked out. Was also disappointed there was no pork belly either. Ack! Luckily we had a Plan B for the evening!

    Hi Yas - I presume the Winter Feasts run until the end of August, but yes, check them out. There are also plenty of blog posts about a number of venues if you want a sneak preview!

    Hi Chocolatesuze - I just wanna see the pic of you on that giant chair! lol. And hmmm should've befriended the chefs so we could get extra chocolate sauce :)

     
  • At 7/30/2009 10:38 pm, Blogger K said…

    shame about the pannacotta but the fondue looks very yummy! i've yet to try out the merivale deals but hopefully I try at least one of them before the end of winter!

     
  • At 7/31/2009 1:27 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi K - We were all so disappointed we missed out on the pannacotta. Hope you make it to a Winter Feast or two!

     

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