Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant (Highland Park)

Several weeks ago we went out with some friends to Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant in Highland Park.  We had seen some positive press about it and were excited to check it out.

The restaurant is easy to miss; I didn't see a sign for the restaurant in the front, so we wandered into the only Japanese restaurant on the block, just about across the street from Park Bruges.  Although it has been serving customers for a few months now, Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant is still in their soft opening phase as a large part of the space remains under renovation.  And despite the restaurant's name, you don't actually get teppanyaki - or what many Americans like to refer to as "hibachi" - here. Nor would you find sushi. Instead, Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant specializes in a traditional Japanese pancake called okonomiyaki.

We were intrigued by these pancakes, made with wheat flour, eggs, cabbage, and a choice of meat or a combo mix.  I chose the Hokkaido mix which includes scallops, shrimp, and squid.  The okonomiyaki is topped with mayo (a choice of regular or spicy), seaweed powder, and...get ready for the coolest part...bonito fish flakes that wave at you.

OK, maybe they're not actually waving at you (now that would be a little creepy!), but they do curl back and forth when they are served as though they are waving hello (to borrow my friend's description).  This is apparently caused by the heat from the okonomiyaki itself.  The waving does die down as the pancake cools.  In any case, the okonomiyaki is quite substantial in size, and delicious to boot!  And, lucky for us, it didn't quite take the 25 minutes stated on the menu for the okonomiyaki to be ready.

Okonomiyaki at Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant
Okonomiyaki (with Hokkaido Mix, $11)

While we waited for our okonomiyaki, we had ordered the fabulous Bacon with Japanese Mochi as an appetizer.  The mochi, which is a Japanese rice cake, is wrapped inside strips of bacon, then topped with shredded seaweed.

Bacon with Japanese Mochi at Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant
Bacon with Japanese Mochi ($6)

We finished off our meal with a Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream.  I have had plenty a green tea ice cream in the past, but Teppanyaki Kyoto's version exuded a unique and lovely Jasmine flavor that I prefer over other varieties.

Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream at Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant
Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream ($2)

I think it is safe to say that everyone at the table enjoyed our meals, and I think it would also be safe to say that I will be back for sure.  Teppanyaki Kyoto is a great addition to the Bryant Street neighborhood; my only wish is that I lived closer!

See also:
Pittsburgh City Paper's Review
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Review

Restaurant info:
Teppanyaki Kyoto Restaurant
5808 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teppanyaki-Kyoto-Restaurant/245571672150764

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