What is teppanyaki?

With the rise in popularity of Japanese cuisine, you may have heard of teppanyaki. This delicious style of cooking is an authentic Japanese method that produces some very tasty dishes. Let’s explore what exactly teppanyaki is and where you can find these dishes.

What is teppanyaki? 

The word teppanyaki explains exactly what it is – ‘teppan’ means iron plate and ‘yaki’ means grilled or griddled. So, teppanyaki is food that’s cooked on a hot plate, it’s a traditional Japanese method of cooking that produces some very tasty dishes. Many different types of ingredients can be cooked using the teppanyaki method and it’s a way for chefs to put on a performance for customers, sometimes they might even carry out some impressive tricks like cracking an egg in the air! 

Entire dishes can be created using a teppanyaki grill, from searing meat to heating up broth and even cooking rice, it’s fascinating to watch.

When did teppanyaki become popular?

Whilst teppanyaki cooking began around 200 years ago in Japan, it really gained popularity just after World War II in 1945 when Americans began eating at teppanyaki restaurants as they were notoriously difficult to find before then. The first teppanyaki restaurant chain, Benihana, opened in New York in 1964. Restaurants that practised teppanyaki-style cooking were known as “Japanese steakhouses”.

What are the most common teppanyaki dishes? 

Common teppanyaki dishes are made from fresh and flavourful ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include:

 

  • Zensai — an appetiser of light items such as tuna, sea urchins, fruits, vegetables, soup and salad, all made on the teppanyaki grill.

 

  • Okonomiyaki — a savoury pancake combined with vegetables, meats, sauces and oils on the teppanyaki.

 

  • Seafood — grilled prawns and scallops are commonly cooked on the teppanyaki along with crabs, lobsters, oysters and other kinds of shellfish. Tuna, salmon, mackerel and eel also taste delicious from the teppanyaki grill.

 

  • Meat — beef is the most common meat cooked on a teppanyaki. Premium beef such as wagyu or Omi is cooked perfectly on the grill with a rich sweetness from the grease, oil and fat. Teppanyaki cooked beef produces flavours you’ll struggle to find elsewhere other than in Japan!

 

  • Rice and noodles — noodles can be fried on the teppanyaki, becoming the delicious yakisoba. Rice is often cooked with an egg cracked on top, with teppanyaki chefs showing off their skills by flipping, tossing and breaking the yolk.

Which restaurants serve teppanyaki? 

Teppanyaki food is very common in plenty of Japanese restaurants all over the world. Whilst Japanese cooking is becoming more popular, these restaurants still aren’t in every town or city. This is why all you can eat buffet restaurants are a great option. Authentic world cuisine served at these restaurants includes Japanese food, in which chefs perform live cooking on teppanyaki grills.

Teppanyaki is a delicious way to experience true Japanese cuisine with it being quite the performance thanks to live cooking stations.

How to celebrate a birthday at a restaurant

Whether it’s your birthday or you’re planning someone else’s, a restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate: there’s plenty of space, delicious food and a great atmosphere – it ticks all the boxes! Let’s explore exactly how to celebrate a birthday at a restaurant and what mistakes to avoid.

How do you plan a birthday celebration at a restaurant?

Planning any form of birthday celebration can seem intimidating, so it’s important to prepare in advance to avoid any last-minute (unwelcome) surprises. Restaurants are a wonderful way to bring people together and celebrate with friends and family in one place. Let’s take a look at how to have the best birthday in a restaurant…

Take your time to choose a restaurant

Whether you’re choosing a restaurant for yourself or a loved one, it’s important you pick somewhere that can accommodate a celebration, has the right ambience and is loved by the birthday boy or girl! Most restaurants can accommodate smaller birthday celebrations but anything over ten people definitely needs to be checked in advance. The ambience is also a vital component when it comes to choosing the right restaurant for a birthday celebration. Do they like a laid-back relaxed atmosphere? Or are they a fan of a more lively party? Take this into account when picking the perfect restaurant for your party.

Decide on a menu that everyone will enjoy 

Obviously, whoever’s birthday it is should be the priority when choosing the cuisine, but having a menu that everyone will enjoy makes the celebration much more fun! This is why all you can eat buffet restaurants are a great option as they offer cuisines from all over the world, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy from Indian curries to sushi and British roast dinners. Not to mention the fact everyone can indulge in seconds (or thirds)! Buffet restaurants are also designed to accommodate large groups — they have a ready-made lively atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to host a birthday celebration. 

Make the restaurant aware that you’re celebrating a birthday 

Turning up to a restaurant with a large group without booking is never a good idea. So, it’s important to always book in advance in order to prevent any disasters! When booking, you can let the restaurant know that it’s for a birthday celebration, this way the restaurant can accommodate the party and might even go the extra mile to make it a special event. 

Inform your guests of the timings and dress code 

Whether you’re throwing a surprise party or not is completely up to you. However, everyone should still be fully aware of the time to turn up and what the dress code is! Some restaurants have time limits on bookings, so it’s important that everyone turns up on time to enjoy the celebrations fully. If there’s a dress code, it’s important to make sure everyone’s aware, especially for those birthday snaps!

Can you decorate a restaurant for a birthday party? 

Some restaurants will allow for decorations including balloons, banners and confetti. However, you should always have this agreed with the restaurant beforehand and follow any safety regulations in place. You may even be able to bring your own birthday cake or request that the restaurant provides one to make the celebration extra special. This is why it’s so important to let the restaurant know that it’s a birthday beforehand so that any extra requests can easily be accommodated.

Restaurant birthday parties are a wonderful way to celebrate with friends and family, making the ideal setting. If you follow the steps above, you’re on the way to enjoying a seamless birthday celebration that everyone will enjoy.

How to prepare for an all you can eat buffet

Heading to an all you can eat buffet is exciting – there’s just so much food available to you and you can try it all! However, you don’t want to end up not making the most out of your experience. This is where preparation is key…

Can you prepare for an all you eat buffet?

As strange as it sounds, you should prepare in advance for an all you can eat buffet in order to get the most out of the experience and enjoy the tasty food fully. So, here are some top tips so you can ace your next buffet visit!

Eat a light breakfast or lunch before the buffet 

You might think that attending an all you can eat buffet on an empty stomach is the right idea but it’ll actually prevent you from eating as much. When you don’t eat for a while, your stomach shrinks, meaning you feel full after eating less. So, always eat a light meal beforehand to prepare your stomach for the buffet feast!

Drink plenty of water beforehand 

It’s never a bad idea to stay hydrated and sipping on water throughout the day before your buffet can actually help you eat more and process the food better. Water can help to stretch your stomach and enable you to eat more, which is very much needed at an all you can eat buffet. All of that delicious food needs to go somewhere, which is why being hydrated is key, it helps to break down food and aids digestion.

Avoid sugary sweets before your buffet 

As tempting as it is to snack on a couple of sugary sweets, it’s not worth it as it’ll ruin your appetite – your mother was right! Sugary sweets will cause you to crave more sweet foods, meaning all of the delicious dishes on offer at a buffet won’t be fulfilling. Your appetite will be diminished and your all you can eat buffet won’t be as enjoyable. 

Keep active throughout the day

If you want to enjoy all of the tasty dishes on offer at an all you can eat buffet, then you’ll want to burn some calories beforehand so that you can eat them back without feeling full too quickly! Try to keep active or fit in a gym session before your big buffet. Not only is this good for your body but will also kickstart your metabolism, meaning you’ll be more ready than ever to chow down. 

Take small portions of each dish 

Whilst it might be tempting to load up on your one favourite dish, the whole idea of all you can eat buffet dishes is to sample new flavours. Filling your plate with a little bit of everything will keep things exciting and prevent you from filling up on pasta before sampling the delicious Chinese, Indian and European flavours! It also gives you the chance to figure out which dishes you enjoy most, so you can go back for seconds (and thirds) of your favourite flavours. This is the real way to get the most out of your buffet experience. 

Don’t eat too fast!

Having such large amounts of food on offer can trigger some people to try and eat as much as possible as quickly as possible. This isn’t the best approach as not only will you not take the time to actually taste and enjoy the food you’re eating but you could also end up overeating and making yourself feel sick. This can ruin the buffet experience. Instead, take your time to enjoy all of the delicious flavours, before going back for more! 

All you can eat buffets are designed to be enjoyed with friends and family. Focus on trying new dishes, relishing old favourites and enjoying the great company, that way, you’ll definitely get the most out of the experience!

Places to Eat in Romford

Where to eat in Romford for comfort food

For the ultimate comfort food stop in Romford, there’s no need to look any further than Toby Carvery. Home of the classic British roast, you’ll be greeted with a mouth-watering feast of hand-carved meats, fluffy Yorkshire puddings, tasty veg and heart-warming roasties. Vegans and vegetarians are welcome too with a variety of delicious dishes including a tempting roast mushroom and ale pie. Feeling adventurous? Then why not indulge in the Yorkie wraps with a mouth-watering array of fillings?! From freshly carved roast beef with a delightful beef dripping glaze to roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce, these Yorkie wraps are famous for a reason! Popping in for breakfast? Then the all you can eat breakfast spread certainly won’t disappoint. Perfect for families in Romford, Toby Carvery is warm, welcoming and the ideal place for your comfort food fix.

Where to eat in Romford for the best burgers

Sometimes you’re simply craving a juicy burger with some salted, crispy french fries. For the best burgers in Romford, Smokin’ Griddle is the place to be. For over 8 years the restaurant has been sourcing and cooking with the highest quality cuts of beef, ensuring a delicious burger each and every time. Customers can either order online and enjoy a top-notch burger from the comfort of their own home or pop into the restaurant for a cosy meal with friendly and attentive staff. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the burgers – from the Signature which features bacon, hash browns and cheese to the Black & Blue with mushrooms and blue cheese sauce. The veggie and vegan burgers are hugely popular too with delicious plant-based patties. The sides certainly won’t disappoint with skinny fries, chicken strips and mozzarella sticks, you can curate quite the feast. Don’t forget to top it off with a temptingly thick milkshake with the choice of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate or banana. Perfect for a cosy movie night at home or popping in for a quick bite to eat with the family, these are burgers you won’t forget about in a hurry!

Where to eat in Romford for Turkish food

Turkish cuisine offers a rich selection of juicy grilled meats and tasty small dishes (mezes) which caters for a wide variety of tastes. For Turkish food in Romford, Mangal Meze is certain to satisfy. The welcoming atmosphere greets you the moment you walk in with warm Turkish hospitality and cosy, stylish decor. Customers are spoilt for choice with the extensive menu from hot and cold starters including creamy houmous and fresh falafel, to the tasty kebabs with the iconic lamb doner with succulent slow-cooked meat, to chicken shish charred over charcoal. Mangal Meze uses only the freshest, most traditional Turkish ingredients for its delicious dishes. Customers can choose to eat in and soak up the warm atmosphere but make sure you book early as it’s extremely popular! Or, you can enjoy Turkish food from the comfort of your own home with the takeaway service. Perfect for couples, groups and families, Mangal Meze welcomes all.

Where to eat in Romford with the family

Eating out with the family can cause some drama – the kids want pizza, mum wants sushi whilst dad fancies a curry, where do you go?! COSMO Authentic World Kitchen, that’s where! The perfect solution for large groups and families, COSMO offers an all you can eat world buffet featuring dishes from India, China, Britain, Italy and so much more. Authentic cuisine is produced by expert chefs with traditional ingredients and cooking methods. Kids will love watching the professionals at work with the live cooking stations, showing you how the tasty food is prepared and offering an exciting atmosphere. A common family favourite is Chinese and COSMO’s generous buffet won’t disappoint. From Peking duck with tangy plum sauce to chow mein with moreish noodles and fresh vegetables. Or, if you’re after an authentic Indian, the creamy chicken korma and fluffy naan bread will go down a treat. You won’t want to skip dessert either with indulgent cheesecakes, light trifles and creamy ice cream. The perfect location for families, COSMO brings a lively atmosphere with food for absolutely every craving.

Where to eat in Romford for afternoon tea

After a morning of shopping and exploring the area, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing cup of tea and a cake. Small Talk Tearooms is the place to visit for an exquisite afternoon tea in Romford. The beautiful antique decor will instantly draw you in, transporting you back to a time when afternoon tea was very much a daily affair in Britain. The food menu extends far beyond cakes and scones with a delicious breakfast selection including a hearty full English and a classic eggs benedict. The lunch options boast a tempting smoked salmon platter, jacket potatoes and toasted baguettes for a filling pitstop. If you’ve come for the afternoon tea experience, Small Talk Tearooms won’t let you down. The full afternoon tea features a stunning selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked delicate cakes, scones with jam and clotted cream and, of course, a pot of tea (or coffee). The tea selection is extensive from classic black teas to fruit infusions, including Granny’s Garden which offers a delightful blend of elderberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and much more. 

Where to eat in Liverpool

Where to eat in Liverpool for breakfast 

The much-loved Luca is an Italian restaurant that has earnt some incredible reviews. The eatery was built on passion for food, and features Italian classics along with Italian ‘small plates’, inspired by cicheti, small dishes of authentic Venetian delicacies. If you’re looking for somewhere special to eat breakfast in Liverpool this is the place. Of course Luca serves traditional breakfast favourites, such as the English and vegan breakfasts. But if you want something different, try Luca’s Italian twists on breakfast faves, such as the panettone french toast, with amaretto maple syrup, seasonal fruit compote and whipped mascarpone. Or perhaps you want to try the satisfying breakfast sandwich, with sausage, bacon, fried eggs and mozzarella, served on olive-oil rich focaccia… alternatively there’s the ‘nduja scrambled egg on artisan sourdough with chilli agrodolce and mascarpone… it’s going to be hard to choose!

Where to eat in Liverpool if you‘re vegetarian or vegan

Bohemian, relaxed and so much more than delicious food, The Egg Cafe is one of the favourite vegetarian restaurants in Liverpool. They serve comfort vegetarian and vegan food with a wholesome, homemade vibe. While you enjoy the food you can admire the panoramic views of the city and the cafe’s independent art gallery. The cafe is also community-spirited and the perfect meeting place and hangout, with a calendar of organised events to enjoy. The entire menu is plant-based and many dishes are vegan and gluten and dairy free. How about trying one of their famous spicy bean burgers with some homemade lemonade and a large slice of cake? And if you’re there on a sunday, you can opt for their vegan nut roast with all the trimmings and seasonal vegetables. It’s worth noting that they sell beer and wine, or you can BYO, just paying £2 per person for corkage. So if you have a special bottle of something in your cupboard at home, you can bring it along!

Where to eat in Liverpool for traditional English cuisine

The cool and sultry Hanover Street Social is part of a group of restaurants under Salt House Hospitality Group; a group of hugely successful and sophisticated restaurants in Liverpool. Their formula clearly gets things right; seeking to go that extra mile for each and every customer. The interior is cool and alluring, with filament bulbs, velvet curtains and bistro tables. And the food is designed to live up to the Salt House group’s excellent reputation. They serve some comforting British classics that will make your mouth water. Examples include: chicken, leek and mushroom pot pie with chips with mushy peas, or crisp pork belly with sautéed new potatoes, caramelised onions, buttered green beans, cauliflower purée and red wine jus. British faves are also on offer on the pudding menu  including the ever-popular sticky toffee pudding and a selection of Cheshire farm ice cream.

Where to eat in Liverpool for a unique dining experience

If you’re wondering where to eat in Liverpool for a unique dining experience, head to COSMO Authentic World Kitchen. The talented team of chefs at COSMO create over 100 dishes every day, with eight different cuisines, served in a buffet style. Diners can choose from Chinese, Japanese sushi or Teppanyaki, Indian, Italian, Continental, a Mediterranean deli, a tasting kitchen and a carvery. There are unlimited courses, just for one set price. But COSMO is not just about the food (as delicious as it is), the whole experience is enjoyable. There are live cooking stations, mouth-watering aromas, visually appealing food displays (from beautifully presented sushi to deletable chocolate fountains). And not forgetting COSMO’s robots Bella and Hola who can guide you to your table, assist staff members and even sing ‘Happy Birthday’!

Where to eat in Liverpool if you love steak

Beef lovers unite! For the finest quality steak, you have to try Cowshed. Each different cut of meat has an optimum cooking method to achieve the best flavour and tenderness. The expert staff members are able to advise you on how each steak should be cooked to ensure you enjoy the best. The steak here is clearly the star of the show, but while waiting for your succulent steak to cook, you can graze on some, er, more beef, such as Gold Standard Wagyu Biltong or Platinum Edition Wagyu Jerky. Or you can mix things up and try some moreish brie, mozzarella and truffle bread, with chopped walnuts and red wine syrup. They’ve also got some heavenly veggie sides like savoy cabbage and kale in spiced bacon cream to accompany your steak…mmmh…

Where to eat in Newcastle

Where to eat in Newcastle for fine dining

If you’re looking for the highest quality food and a memorable meal, look no further than the Michelin-starred House of Tides. Your fine dining experience will be expertly curated as soon as you enter the building. The building itself is a beautiful 16th century merchant’s house with views over the River Tyne that Kenny and Abbie Atkinson (husband and wife) restored. A professional chef for over 20 years, Kenny is Chef Patron and his tasting menu is a dazzling display of culinary creativity that’ll delight your senses. Kenny’s culinary success has led to him becoming a familiar face on TV (including winning The Great British Menu for two years in a row and appearances on ITV’s Saturday Morning, Islands to Highlands and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, to name a few). So you can rest assured that you’re in good hands and that the highest quality ingredients are used and locally sourced. Examples of delicacies on the seasonal tasting menu include venison tartare with caviar, smoked beetroot and lovage, or turnip ravioli with hispi cabbage, toasted hazelnuts and chives.

Where to eat in Newcastle for Italian cuisine 

If you want to travel to Sardinia but your bank account is telling you otherwise, then a visit to Pani’s Cafe to sample traditional Sardinian food is the next best thing. Try some malloreddus (Sardinia’s famous pasta shape) which scoops up the flavoursome sauces perfectly. Or enjoy tasting some different tapas bites or their impressive bottarga con spaghetti (salted and dried tuna or grey mullet roe). If you’re bored of the usual pizza and pasta choices in Italian restaurants, then this is a cafe where you can try new flavours and textures and smell rich aromas. While the food could be described as rustic and warm, the ambience matches. You’ll be welcomed — and that warmth is genuine. 

Where to eat in Newcastle for British cuisine 

Fancy some British cuisine and want to splash out? Then Peace & Loaf is your place. This innovative restaurant promises fine dining without the pomp. It’s won two AA Rosettes and a mention in the Michelin guide, so you know that you’re in for a treat. The food is served in seasonal tasting menus and offers an inventive take on traditional British cuisine using locally sourced produce. This genius comes from renowned Head Chef Dave Coulson. And for vegetarians who don’t want to eat another dry goat’s cheese parcel; you’re sure to be wowed at Peace & Loaf because their veggie options are just as exciting and can be adapted for vegans if you ask. As the tasting menus are seasonal, they are subject to change, but expect Peace & Loaf takes on traditional British fare in a mini size. For example ‘fish, chips and mushy peas’ in a croquette, seasoned with chip-shop curry sauce and salt. British bite-sized heaven.

Where to eat in Newcastle for a special occasion 

COSMO Authentic World Kitchen is a stylish 160-seat restaurant and bar located on Newgate Street, with a lavish interior inspired by five-star hotels. This all you can eat buffet is the perfect place for a special occasion. If you’re celebrating in a large group, the buffet will cater for everyone’s different preferences and dietary needs. And no complicated party bill splitting at the end: you pay a fixed price for a delicious and unlimited amount of food including Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Mediterranean and a wide array of spectacular desserts. There’s nothing worse than choosing a restaurant for a special occasion but there’s no atmosphere. COSMO is always buzzing, and to add to the excitement, there are live cooking stations, showcasing the talents of the highly skilled chefs. Don’t forget that there’s champagne to pop and cocktails to sample on the drinks menu so you can celebrate in style.

Where to eat in Newcastle for a street food experience 

For a Thai street food experience, without actually being on a Bangkok street, head to Zaap Thai. But how does that work? The clever team at Zaap Thai have created a fully immersive experience. And they think of everything: the sights, the smells, the tastes. You can eat your street food inside a tuk-tuk while surrounded by a feast for your eyes: the brightly coloured and visually appealing Thai decor. And the street food lives up to the fabulous decor. The menu has so many dishes to choose from you’ll have to keep coming back to try them all. They include exciting and well-loved dishes like som tam, the ‘Queen of Thai street food’, a spicy papaya salad with dried prawns, peanuts, raw crab and fermented fish. Or the famous Thai street food snack — deep-fried sliced banana in sweet crispy batter. Just like on a Thai street, you can watch your food order being made as there is an open kitchen. The drinks menu is just as extensive and includes fun bubble teas in many different flavours and combinations. 

Best Restaurants in Bournemouth

Where to eat in Bournemouth for a sea view

Overlooking Bournemouth Beach, the sea view is spectacular from WestBeach. And their story is pretty incredible: the brothers who own WestBeach used to sell melons to tourists along the promenade when they were children. Fast-forward to adulthood and the restaurant unit on the beachfront came up for tender, so they jumped at the chance. Their instinct was right, because they created a hugely successful restaurant from humble beginnings. And in 2007, their restaurant was awarded by Seafresh best Seafood restaurant in England. WestBeach is the perfect setting to eat fresh fish. And it’s all caught from the local waters around Bournemouth and Poole. If you fancy an early morning walk on the beach, finish it with WestBeach crab benedict and avocado on toast and soak in that view!

Where to eat in Bournemouth if you‘re vegetarian or vegan

Although The Coconut Tree is not specifically a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, there are so many delectable vegan options on the menu that you will find it hard to choose! The mango curry Amba Maluwa is a taste sensation: tangy, sweet and sour. The striking flavour comes from using unripe mango which is softened in the coconut sauce. Or how about the kale and radish sambol: fresh kale tossed with onion, grated coconut, tomatoes and lime. The puddings are just as exciting. Try the vegan stracciatella (hand-crafted chocolate-chip ice cream) or creamy raspberry ripple mousse with a fresh compote base, topped with a dusting of chilli. 

Where to eat in Bournemouth for an all you can eat buffet

For those times when you have different food cravings and dietary requirements within your dining party (pretty much every time!) then head to COSMO, a world buffet restaurant offering a variety of different cuisines on an ‘all you can eat’ basis. The restaurant interior is stylish with a bronze colour scheme and ambient lighting. Whether you fancy a roast, Chinese, Indian, Japanese or Italian — it’s all here. Plus, the live cooking stations make the experience theatrical; the COSMO chefs will wow you with their skills. Dessert is also a very personal choice — have you ever felt obliged not to order a dessert as your fellow diners aren’t ‘pudding people’? Well at COSMO, it won’t feel strange to all choose different food or drinks to end the meal. Cheesecake, profiteroles, a dip in the chocolate fountain, some fresh fruit or jasmine tea, whatever you fancy. And the drinks are plentiful: cocktails, beer, wine, champagne, soft drinks… They’ll be something for everyone. 

Where to eat in Bournemouth for fish and chips

Once voted Britain’s best fish and chip shop, Chez Fred maintains its excellent reputation. Since opening in 1989, the well-loved chippie has been run by three generations of the Capel family who offer their customers the nation’s best fish and chips along with a warm welcome. The sustainable fish is covered with an inimitable batter (Fred’s recipe remains top secret!) And the chips are done to perfection. In fact, if you are eating in, the chips are ‘bottomless’ so you can eat as many as you like! 

Where to eat in Bournemouth with kids

El Murrino, you had us at ‘iPad bar’! Yes, there is such a thing, and it’s here at El Murrino. An iPad bar that has been purposefully created for entertaining your kids. Along with iPads, they have plenty of mouth-watering pizza. So essentially, El Murrino is kid (and adult) heaven. The pizza isn’t just any pizza either, it’s hand-stretched using slow-rising dough and authentic Italian ingredients. There are also some delicious pasta and risotto dishes on the menu. And this family-run gem has an open kitchen so you can see your order being skillfully created. They even have a bambino menu, which your children’s faves are sure to be on. And with a pudding on offer like Nutella pizza served with strawberries to finish…this will probably become a regular haunt!