The experience

It was, once again, Mina’s day to attend Young Chef’s Academy in West Plano so we had previously made plans to go to Japon Steak and Sushi right next door based on a reader suggestion.  Grace was busy so I took Mina to school this time and she arrived after class with Benji in tow.  Our plans have usually not worked out and this was no different.  We walked in and the hostess immediately seated us around a teppan.  We were planning for sushi and we ended up with Teppanyaki.  Not that we don’t like Teppanyaki; we love Kobe Steaks.  It’s just a bit pricey for a Monday evening.  No turning back.  We’d just have to have another Mignon experience.

drink pinwheels

Once we resigned ourselves to our fate, we set out to enjoy our meal.  The waiter came by and we placed our drink orders.  We he came back we quickly added on some Pan-Fried Gyoza and one order each of Tuna and Yellowtail.  We did plan for sushi after all.  Mina and Benji’s drinks came with a cute pinwheel attached to their straws.  Mina quickly grabbed Benji’s saying he might choke.  Pretty good excuse but we made her return it.  Benji attempted to copy his sister by blowing on it but was quickly distracted by the arrival of the dumpling.  We placed our orders.  Grace opted for Filet Mignon and Shrimp.  I went with Filet Mignon and Scallops.  The kid options were a bit pricey and we were quite sure that it wouldn’t be finished. Mina said she wanted shrimp tonight so Grace just added an extra side of shrimp to her order.  Benji was busy munching the dumplings so he should be happy with those.

Mommy serving up Gyoza to Benji


The sushi arrived as did our salads.  Grace was loving her tuna and ate both pieces in short order.  Mina then asked for the soy sauce.  ”What for?”, she asked.  ”For my tuna,” said Mina.  Oops.  We promised to order her some.  First we’d see how she did with dinner.

Tuna and yellowtail sushi

Next up was the soup.  Grace made the mistake of offering Benji some of her’s.  Seeing as Mina wanted to sit next to her brother and we were arranged around a teppan, it was a bit difficult to keep supplying Benji with the soup which he enjoyed quite a bit.  Luckily, the chef arrived shortly which diverted Benji’s attention.

Onion volcano


We were all quite impressed with the show.  Benji gave quite a few wows.  There were several fire displays which he and Mina loved.  The usual onion volcano went off without a hitch.  He even pulled out a little boy figuring that extinguished the fire when he pulled down its pants.  You get the picture.  Everyone was eating quite well.  Benji had finished off the dumplings nearly single-handed.  Mina had eaten all her shrimp but not yet her broccoli.  We went ahead and ordered her her tuna.  The tuna arrives as the show was finishing up.  A few more prods and Mina finished off her dinner but not before make a few silly faces with her tuna.

Tuna Tongue Mina


The food

The food was overall, above average.  We’ll start with the dumplings.  The dumplings were quite good a meaty.  The sauce was not a vinegary as I would have liked and I usually prefer more sesame oil flavor as well.  Benji loved them and these would be a good option for younger children over the pricey entrees. The dinners came with salad and soup.  The salad had a tasty thousand island-like ginger sauce.  The soup was a little bland but that is par for the course for quite a few teppenyaki restaurants.  The steak was very tender and well cooked.  It looked to be about a 6 oz portion.  My scallops where plump and fresh.  The shrimp too was very fresh.  Grace mentioned that the tuna sushi was excellent.  My yellowtail, however, was probably the worst part of the meal.  For sushi in Plano, or Dallas for that matter, Sushi Awaji still wins.  We didn’t go for dessert this evening.

The service

The service was very good this evening.  The waiter was attentive, but the chef was the highlight of the service.  Henry entertained everyone with some serious skills.  He had some of the better moves I have seen in any visit to eat teppenyaki.  Lots and lots of good tricks and he made sure to cook everyone’s dishes exactly as they requested.  He briefly forgot my scallops, but it wasn’t a big issue seeing how fast they cook.  Definitely a superior chef this evening.

The kids

Teppenyaki can be a very good, albeit expensive, kid friendly restaurant choice.  You really can’t go wrong with grilled meat.  Here you have the option to add side orders of just about any meat so if you child is younger you can save a few dollars going this route.  Unless your daughter is demanding some tuna sushi. They don’t have crayons or anything but who needs them when the cooking of you meal is entertainment. You’ll not here a peep out of your kids all evening except “wow”.  Even if they were a bit loud, so is the teppen.  The meal wraps up shortly after the chef does so their is very little time for boredom to set in. Its ideal for a nice evening out with the kids.

The rest

I already showered our chef with kudos for a job well done.  Now I have to knock myself for forgetting the camera yet again.  So you’ll be left with cell phone photos.  Sorry for the image quality.

Total cost: $113 (yikes!  A new record I think.)

Related Fiascos