Restaurant review: Teppanyaki Sessyu, Causeway Bay - hot dishes the stars
Don't visit this Japanese eatery if you're looking for theatrics; come for the hot mains
Don't expect any Benihana-type theatrics when you come to Teppanyaki Sessyu. The food cooked at Benihana - a US-based restaurant chain - is prepared on the teppan (flat iron grill), but that's the only thing it has in common with more traditional teppanyaki places, which emphasise the quality of the food, rather than the flashy antics of the chef.
The chef assigned to our station - he cooked only for me and my guest - was quiet but observant, pacing the meal to how quickly we ate. We had several set menus to choose from (you can also order à la carte) and we went for the seasonal autumn set (HK$980 plus 10 per cent per person).
The cold starters were nothing exciting - marinated spinach with mushrooms, daikon with sakura shrimp and crab with mayonnaise. The hot dishes were much better.
The hot appetiser of grilled matsutake and asari (Japanese littleneck clams) were wrapped in a paper parcel, which puffed up from the heat of the grill. The chef slit open the parcel, releasing an appetising scent. The clams - served in the shell - were tender and the broth and mushrooms were delicious.
The grilled Japanese autumn salmon and eggplant with ikura sauce was fantastic. The fish was cooked skin-side down, making it delicately crisp. The eggplant was soft and smoky, and the fish was topped with grated radish and a heaped helping of top-quality salmon eggs that popped in the mouth.
The main course of black-haired beef was cooked slowly to our requested medium-rare before being cut into large cubes. The beef was juicy and tender, and served with sweet potato, bitter greens and a large cooked garlic clove in the skin.
Delicious fried rice with shimeji mushrooms and flakes of sanma fish was served with miso soup and pickles.
Teppanyaki Sessyu, 8/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2576 0880. Sets from HK$680 to HK$1,050 plus 10 per cent