|Château Restaurant Joël Robuchon, Ebisu Garden Place, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan|
Ebisu truly is a beer centre, with the area actually named after the beer brand and the train station built more than a century ago for the purpose of beer distribution. In turn, the beer is named after the God of fish and merchants.
|At the entrance of the Beer Museum, Yebisu|
|War time Yebisu beer bottles, without branding|
It was here I learnt that Yebisu has long been a German style malt beer, with expert German brewers brought out to Japan in the early 1900s.
The dark beer lent a rich bitterness to the mixed beer, which had so much head it took several sips before I actually got to any beer.
Dinner in the area was an elegant teppanyaki restaurant of which, we were informed, didn't throw bowls of rice and other food at diners. We chose to sit at the counter, directly facing the chef and the pristine teppan flat grill where almost every dish was cooked.
|Cod fish cake from Bamboo Grassy, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan|
|'Grant' sashimi salad|
|Grilled mushrooms, lotus root and eggplant|
|Teppanyaki chef and live prawns on the plate|
As I looked on in shock, they continued to jump and squirm on the grill for about a minute, inciting disbelief and some pity for my dinner (though I’m not sure if prawns feel pain).
I’m not sure how the so-fresh-it’s-still-alive factor is supposed to improve the eating of prawns but shock aside, I don’t recall the prawns being any sweeter or firmer than I’m used to.
|Grilled prawn shells|
|Grilled snapper with mushroom sauce|
|Sea urchin roe with grilled rice and nori seaweed|
Sitting on a square of toasted nori seaweed and beneath a helping of uni, this was essentially a new style of sushi that was best eaten in just a couple of mouthfuls.
|Wagyu beef steak and garlic chips|
After all sides of the steak were seared, the beef was cut into chopstick-appropriate bite-sized pieces and served with teppan-cooked garlic chips (thinly sliced cloves cooked slowly in puddles of oil).
My first steak eaten with chopsticks was buttery and tender as expected with buckets of character added by the garlic.
|Okonomiyaki on the teppan grill|
|Modern okonomiyaki with sauces and toppings|
It was, however, a carbohydrate-heavy and filling end to the meal which seems to be how the Japanese structure their meals.
|Annin tofu - almond jelly pudding|
|Mango with passionfruit sauce and vanilla ice cream|
|Pistachio creme brulee|
Plenty more Japan posts to come; in the meantime, see more photos on my Facebook page.