My very first Teppanyaki experience was at Hayashi Teppanyaki Restaurant in Castle Hill. Prior to my visit, I had done my research on the Teppanyaki style of cuisine as it was a brand new concept for me. Through the articles I read, I had painted a picture in my mind as to how the Teppanyaki style of dining would be like. The image in my mind was of a stirn looking Japanese chef surrounded by hot iron griddles, cooking and serving our meals without much interaction with the diners.
This image was only partially correct. The hot iron griddle was there, but the stirn chef wasn't. The chef was the centre of attraction in this establishment, and he was the life and soul of the place. Our kids found him very entertaining and hilarious. His style of interaction with the customers was an intricate part of the Teppanyaki dining experience at this restaurant.
Hayashi was an entertaining pakage with food being flicked around, together with staff volunteering to take pictures, and a jovial chef. All of these factors beautifully combined to create a relaxing dining ambience.
The food was more or less the average Japanese food that I have tasted before, but here you are witnessing how the food is actually made. It's that experience that is the attraction of restaurants such as Hayashi, specialising in Teppanyaki. Be warned that the portions at the restaurant are quite small, and for someone with a larger appetite - my suggestion is to order some extra food to avoid leaving the place hungry.
After being shown to our seats, we were invited to order our food. I ordered the banquet for $38.00, while my son ordered the Kids Teppanyaki set which was $19.00. Additionally, my daughter opted to order the Ume which was $33.00. All banquet choices include miso soup, vegetables and fried rice. The entrees are not cooked in front of you, but the dance begins with the mains.
The chef skilfully starts cooking your choice of meats and seafood. The choice is of two meats from chicken, beef steak and lamb; and then two choices of seafood - prawns and calamari. We watched with interest while the chef cooked, joked and entertained the crowd.
Our first cooked meal was flipped to our plates in no time. The chicken was well cooked together with the sauces of our choice. This was a hit with the kids, and I too found the chicken dish delicious.
The steak was skilfully set on fire after it was doused with sake. The other two dishes that were included in the buffet choices was a stir fry of bean sprouts and carrots, and a freshly made fried rice with egg and minced beef.
Bookings are highly recommended, especially on fridays and weekends.
Where: 23 Terminus Street Castle Hill NSW.
Why: A experience in itself with good food.
Cost: Set menus start at $33.00
Good for kids: Kids love to interact with the chef.
Take away: N/A