When most Ethiopians think of Japanese food, we think of Sushi and other delicacies which we consider to be “weird,” but Japanese cuisine has much more to offer. Teppanyaki is a modern way of cooking that is used for Japanese cuisine. The word teppanyaki is derived from the words Teppan, which means iron plate and Yaki which means grilled. The best part of teppanyaki is that people can see their food being cooked right in front of them with the Chef executing different tricks on the specially made grilling table.
It would be quite an experience for people to go to Japan and see firsthand what teppanyaki is like. Fortunately for those who are not able to do that, there is a great option right here in Addis Ababa. Liquid Lounge offers the only teppanyaki experience in town. The lounge that operates as a bar and restaurant offers the teppanyaki experience exclusively in a separate room that can sit up to twelve people.
The well experienced Chef will bring the fresh ingredients in front of you and will fire up the iron plate and cook the food. It’s is a lot of fun to see what exactly goes in your food and the Chef can also explain what ingredients they are using in everything.
Some of the ingredients generally cooked on teppanyaki include cabbage, mushroom, beef, chicken, spinach and eggplant. Teppanyaki is also ideal for cooking small ingredients like egg and rice. At the Liquid Lounge’s teppanyaki experience, you will get authentic Japanese ingredients as well as local supplemented ones.
“We sometimes like to infuse ingredients because we want the local people to enjoy the food, we don’t want all the ingredients to be strange to them but we also wanted to support local farmers markets as well,” said Nafisa Teja, owner of Liquid Lounge.
Liquid offers two set menus for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians and there are four courses for lunch and seven courses for dinner. The non-vegetarian seven course option which is also referred to as the Chef’s recommendation, includes salad with Japanese dressing, vegetable sushi rolls, potato pancake, rice with chicken and mushroom, rice with spicy beef and spinach, Japanese light broth soup and a desert with the choice between chocolate mousse and fresh fruit. The vegetarian option is similar with meat replaced by tofu and stir fry vegetables. The price for these two options are 300 birr and 240 birr respectively before VAT.
Although the price is pretty steep, it is worth every cent. It is also good to treat yourself to small pleasures every once in a while. The teppanyaki experience guaranties a lot of fun when shared with a group of people or family, for birthdays or anniversaries, according the owners.