KL Teppanyaki is set to become one of Adelaide’s biggest Japanese restaurants.
Located on King William Street, the new restaurant combines a traditional Japanese teppanyaki experience with French sensibility, striving to bring a new type of culinary experience to Adelaide.
Only been open for three weeks, the restaurant currently offers dinner but is in the process of creating a larger menu and fully opening for both lunch and dinner by the 11th of September.
Residing in an old bank building the place is stunning. With lovely high ceilings, marbled stone and gold accents to match, the place seems like you’ve stepped into a royal palace; with this formal atmosphere adding to the high end feel owners, Kai Wong and Paul Seng, wish to emulate.
KL Teppanyaki prizes itself in the quality of their dishes, only obtaining the finest grade produce to cook with. This would normally indicate that their meals would take a toll on the wallet, however KL Teppanyaki aims to be affordable for all guests.
“We want to offer high end restaurant style teppanyaki with affordable pricing,” says owner Kai Wong.
Because of the sophistication, there was no food throwing. But even so, the chefs gave off a spectacular show with their cooking and fire skills; and afterwards, professionally plating up each dish to give guest a more formal dining experience.
KL Teppanyaki also have a bar that hosts a range of Japanese beer, whisky, and sake, alongside some of the best locally sourced wines, perfect for pairing with any meal.
The only dish we tried that was not cooked in front of us was the Sushi Nigari. But because we were at a Japanese restaurant, how could we say no? We were offered the King salmon and Artic Crab. Made from sushi rice and a slice of raw salmon and crab claw, the expertly crafted nigiri was delicious. Prepared beautifully, the sushi was fresh and light; a perfect way to start off our meals. And with multiple options such as yellow fin tuna, king fish and even wagyu beef, there is sure to be something for everyone.
It was amazing to see Spring Rolls cooked before our eyes. And don’t worry, for those of you who are keen to eat, it didn’t take long. Inside the delicious thin but crunchy skin contained prawn, scallops and chives. The meat is well seasoned and balanced well with the tang of the chives, giving a fresh and delicious balance with its savoury outer shell. The spring rolls were gone in seconds, so there were no complaints here.
The pork and chive Gyoza was steamed in front of us. Our chef cooked the gyoza on the barbecue plate, creating a lovely crispy base, while adding oil to create heat then coving with a silver closhe to trap in the steam. A very clever way of cooking and our dish was done within minutes. The pork dumplings were bursting with flavour, holding a light lifting tang from chives and an authentic Japanese seasoning.
The Steamed Egg was cooked under the closhe to be steamed, similar to the gyoza. Still held in their original shells, the eggs were served as if they were hard-boiled, but instead were deliciously soft and delicate; almost like custard in texture. Containing black caviar and Fole Gras inside, these flavours gave off a subtle earthy tang that perfectly balanced with the creamy egg. Yum!
The Ling fish was perfectly cooked. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this dish; the simple fish fillet was to die for, and I could be happy just eating this dish for dinner every night. Succulent and juicy, the fish was deliciously tender, holding subtle salty notes and stronger tangs from the added shallots, pairing with a sweet tang from the dressing that was quickly chopped up and mixed right at our table. Overall, a simple yet dangerously more-ish dish.
The Angus Eye Fillet (200g) was another stunner of a dish. If someone could feed me this for lunch everyday too I’d be set. The meat was unbelievably tender, even after being cooked under an enormous meter tall flame. And if the fire show wasn’t enough, the dish certainty will be. The beef was wonderfully succulent and juicy, holding delicious rich earthy tones that paired perfectly with a prominent peppery Jus. Another simple dish that just blew me away. Yum!
The Chicken Teriyaki was served with mixed vegetables. And wow, another perfectly cooked dish. The butter, honey and soy sauce mixed together added a lovely sweet tang to the teriyaki sauce. Our chef even added extra honey for us because she knew we like things sweet. The chicken was perfectly soft and tender, and even held a slight crispy skin, while the side of capsicum was wonderfully prepared, soft with a slight crunch. I almost ended up licking the plate clean, but thought against it in a place that felt so elite.
The local giant King Prawn was HUGE! Definitely a generous serving. The prawn meat was deliciously soft and juicy and paired well with the deep, richer flavours of the tartar sauce and the sweeter tones from the crisp apple slices. It felt like my prawn was gone in seconds; I could not stop eating once I started.
The side of Assorted Shitake held slight smoky flavours from being cooked straight on the hot plate, while the mushrooms themselves gave off prominent earthy tones. They were cooked perfectly, tender, but not too soft or mushy. The added crunch of beans lifted the deep richer flavours. With only two ingredients, the chef made sure to let the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.
Our side of Fried Rice was very generous and felt more like a warm and homely meal. The rice held a lovely flavour which was not too salty which paired well with the creamy scrambled egg, while the shallots gave a sweet tang that lifted the rich but deliciously tender meat.
The Lobster Tail looked good and tasted even better. It’s not often I get to try lobster but if you get the chance; definitely try it at KL Teppanyaki. Served up in the tail’s shell, the dish looked very pretty, and the soft and tender meat melted in my mouth like butter. My meal was gone in seconds, as I couldn’t put my cutlery down.
Each dish came out to our table as a tray of raw ingredients, and we sat in awe as our very own chef transformed those simple ingredients into something packed full of flavour.
Cooking this way really shows the value and potential of each ingredient, and it is evident how much time and effort goes into selecting only the best produce for each dish.
We could not fault any dish, both in presentation and flavour. The level of sophistication, and flavour, paired with the entertainment of coking is the perfect complete package.
I was definitely pleased with my experience and couldn’t stop thanking our chef after every meal.
Our chef was pleased with our enjoyment, saying “the most important thing when cooking is seeing people enjoy the food we have made. That is our happiness.”
It was fascinating to see how quickly everything could be cooked and came together. The chefs are crazily talented; perfectly able to mix the flavours of Japan with the beauty of refined French plating.
So come to be amazed by the skill and talent of the wonderful chefs but stay for the delicious food. And don’t worry; you won’t have to break the bank in doing so.
KL Teppanyaki is open from 5pm-12pm seven days a week, there is no excuse to miss out on this wonderful culinary experience. I may even see you there!
Words by Cyndal King
WHERE: 21 King William St, Adelaide