First of all, big congratulations are in order for Erato Teppanyaki considering they won the best Japanese restaurant award in Adelaide 2020! Opening as recently as last year under the name KL Teppanyaki, they have already positioned themselves among the highly rated Japanese restaurants in the industry. This elegant heritage building features soaring, high ceiling and marble walls, it’s so easy to get swept away the moment you walk in the door. Now called Erato, they are located on the bustling part of King William street and have had some changes to their menu. About four months ago they brought in a big gun, Chef Sato Kikuchi. He had a strong vision of where he wanted to take Erato and that is to make a more casual dining experience so everyone can enjoy, yet still dish out the high quality and flavour of Japanese fusion teppanyaki.
We started our night right with two different set menus. This way we could try bits and pieces from each other’s plate. Just a heads up, this is going to be a long write up but trust me till the end and I’ll have you wanting more.
So, let’s start with the little appetisers. We ordered two Coffin Bay Oysters. One with sour cream and chives, the other with Shosho ponzu salmon roe. Both were extremely delicious. I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite. The sour cream was creamy and the ponzu was refreshing. Then there was Asparagus wrapped in Smoked Pig Jowl with young garlic and cured yolk. Wow! Even if you don’t like your vegetables, you will love this one, guaranteed.
Entree was Hiramasa Kingfish with buttermilk, Karasumi and red shiso. It may be called Red Shiso but the dish came out looking like a stunning water painting of emerald green. Oh so gorgeous I couldn’t stop staring at it. Also another entree was the Veal Tataki with Koji onion, Karashi vinaigrette. This was so tender and prepared amazingly. We couldn’t fault it. Such a stand out dish, we were already blown away and it’s only the entree.
When the Steamed Egg with foie gras and caviar came out, I was very excited. Our Teppanyaki chef of the night, Chef Sun, had mentioned that they now use a new type of caviar which is a high end type using Sturgeon fish. He steamed the eggs with such care to ensure that it wasn’t too well done or raw for us to enjoy.
Our next course was Toothfish. Originally imported from Argentina, this fish was foreign to me. I had never heard of it, never tried it but am so glad that I was able to try it for the first time here at Erato. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chef Sato called it the “wagyu of all fish” why? Because of the fat in their flesh that makes it so delicious. It’s a good fat that conserves omega 6 and omega 3. Just a very light, soft and pillowy texture in the mouth yet I felt so healthy eating this by the way Chef Sato was explaining it. This fish was paired with rice paper crackers, lightly fried thin slices of zucchini and chef’s special sauce that works well with the fish.
On another note, we also had Wagyu Enoki Roll with glazed teriyaki sauce. Now this is the dish we are all familiar with however these ones come with an added ingredient which gives these rolls another level of deliciousness. Sprouts, can you believe it. They gave that extra texture when we bit into it.
Teriyaki Chicken with leek and confit yolk was also a favourite. When you hear the word ‘yolk’ don’t think of runny yolk as it’s not meant to be runny to accompany this particular dish. But it actually worked wonderfully and tasted even better as you can feel the texture. We loved it even more when the chicken was eaten together with the leek.
At this stage we were already quite full but we are not quitters. Besides our stomachs may have been full but our brains were telling us to keep going. We were excited and intrigued with what was about to come next.
Chef Sun kept us entertained by doing the knife juggling show which was fabulous. We love how friendly he is, this teppanyaki experience really doesn’t feel long at all, in fact with the right cocktail of choice and amazing company we can definitely forget about time and just enjoy our evening. Our next course was the steak. One was the famous Wagyu Beef Steak MS 8 with king brown mushroom, white soy and garlic chips while the other one comes from our own backyard, the Australian Angus Beef Tenderloin with the same condiments. May we suggest medium rare? Because in our opinion this came out perfectly. The plating came with coarsely ground salt and pepper on the side so we could dip each cut of steak into it. What can we say? The mushrooms were perfectly sized to accompany the steak; the garlic chips were a bonus as it elevates the fine flavour that’s already there. And did we say the great action Chef Sun created this while lighting our steak on fire? There were definitely some great shots and a couple of warning beeps from the fire alarm system that night.
Now that we thought we could not take anymore, they provided us with Beef Wagyu Fried Rice and Miso Soup. We lied if we said we didn’t eat it all. Who could resist? With flavours such as butter, spring onion, garlic, and eggs thrown in together to create this beautiful fried rice, we happily devoured it.
We had a chat with Chef Sato, the person behind this new menu. He is mainly managing the food in the kitchen, making sure everyone gets their food correctly. If you are a vegan, have a nut allergy, on keto diet, or even gluten free, they will provide you with a substitute and that’s where Chef Sato comes in. He was very knowledgeable and we were so honoured to be able to talk to him about food. He was also the one that prepared us our dessert. The delicious Matcha Ice Cream. With added crunchy Cornflakes and freeze berries, they’ve really given this ice cream a ‘make over’ and it is so good.
Now after this extensive review we sure hope you will book a table there and taste it for yourself. You don’t need a special occasion to dine in a Teppanyaki style. But if you are considering it, why don’t you book early for Christmas Dinner as we are positive they will get booked out.
Open 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday from 5 pm.
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 21 King William St, Adelaide