Guam Diner Bytes: Iki Teppan Dinner
My last full review of Iki Japanese was in December 2004. (Has it been that long?) I had enjoyed a wonderful lunch and spent time talking with Chef Masanori Murase and Chef Mitsugu Soga. Back then, the economy was better than it has been in the last few years. Fortunately things have improved significantly and Iki has launched a teppanyaki dinner service.
I was joined by some of my work colleagues and we soon discovered what an amazingly transformative dining experience high-end teppanyaki can be! Mind you when we first were seated it was a bit warm (the air con had a problem), however that slight irritation eventually disappeared as the night progressed.
You should be aware that there is no a la carte menu service for Iki’s teppanyaki dinner. They offer three choices: Takumi ($70), Miyabi ($90) and Hibiki ($120). Takumi offers a choice of salmon and scallop or U.S. rib eye, while Miyabi will give you both salmon and scallop along with U.S. tenderloin steak. The Hibiki adds foie gras, lobster tail and scallop, and U.S. “Kobe” beef. All have the most beautiful assorted appetizer plate with nine different treats. These are marinated seafood and vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms – all ornately positioned to please the eye and titillate the palate. It is exquisite! As is the soup – a cold tomato essence – just tasty!
Our teppan chef James skillfully prepared and cooked one Takumi and one Miyabi course (there were four of us). We shared these and a bottle of Twin Oaks Cabernet. The salmon simply melted in the mouth! The scallop was so flavorful and rich. The Tenderloin cooked medium rare was perfection. The various elements on our plates, from fried garlic, grilled onion, eggplant, zucchini, carrots and mushroom were all on point.
Special sauces enhanced our meat. The dessert had a mixture of peaches, strawberry, honeydew melon and cherry with a pineapple topped mango cake and a delightful calamansi gelatin. We were most impressed and will definitely return when we can start at the sushi counter and migrate to the teppan side. It was also good catching up with Chef Soga-san! He’s still there and has become an island fixture. Enjoy a new, luxurious teppan dining experience at Japanese Restaurant Iki!
Ita daki masu! (Bon appetit!)
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart