Arguably one of my favourite things to do is to go out and grab dinner with friends or my boyfriend and so being invited to try a brand new menu in a restaurant that’s been on my to-eat-at list for a while now is absolute goals for me. I am definitely quite a fussy eater in the sense that I always order things that I know I like and very, very rarely try something new. When I was invited to try out the brand new menu at Sapporo Teppanyaki in Liverpool, I knew that I was going to have to seriously step out of my comfort zone and eat things that I definitely wouldn’t normally order for myself.
I’m going to start by saying that I have never really eaten Japanese food before and so I knew that Sapporo was going to be a whole new culinary experience for me. Located on Duke Street, the restaurant is slightly out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the centre of Liverpool, but is still only a ten minute walk from the main attractions. I’ve eaten in a few restaurants on Duke Street before, Il Forno being on of my favourites, and I’ve always been attracted to the delicious smells coming from Sapporo but for whatever reason had never actually made a move to book a table there – or a seat, but we’ll come to that later!
From the moment we entered the restaurant, it was clear that the experience was going to be just that – an experience. We were greeted by our incredibly attentive host as soon as we stepped through the door and were guided to our seats. Sapporo is a teppanyaki restaurant, meaning that the food is prepared for you at the table – this also meant that we had to be seated with other diners at the restaurant. This wasn’t a problem but I was a little bit flustered at first – there was plenty of space to move around, however, and I didn’t feel as though I was sat in a stranger’s lap at all, which was my worst fear!
We ordered drinks and set about looking through the menu. Our waiter advised us that one of the set menus was on offer that evening because of the approaching Chinese New Year so we knew that we wanted to try one of those – we ended up going for the Samurai menu, which was comprised of soup, Salmon and Cucumber Nigiri (accompanied with wasabi and pickled ginger), Tempura prawns, a piece of seabass and king prawns and a cut of steak. All of the little tasters were definitely not taster sized – the seabass and steak for example would probably have been enough on their own but the experience allowed Richard and I to taste as many different dishes as possible for a really reasonable price. I ordered a side order of sticky ribs and decided to try one of the teppanyaki dishes that the restaurant is famous for. My choice was teriyaki lamb, but there are a number of different options available in terms of meat, veg and marinade. All main courses were served with egg fried rice, sauteed potatoes and stir-fried vegetables.
The experience itself was a showstopper – our chef performed for us as he prepared our meals, making the entire thing a novelty that really has to be experienced to appreciate. He cooked each part of the meal enthusiastically; at one point, he even threw potatoes at us! He knew exactly what each diner had ordered and cooked every piece of meat to their specification. All throughout the night, the waiters were attentive to our needs and made sure we had everything possible to truly enjoy our experience. The food was delicious – I can’t say that there was a single part of the food that we ordered that I didn’t enjoy. The ribs were soft, melt-in the mouth. The prawns were crispy and salty, just right. The lamb was cooked perfectly and absorbed the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. I would happily go back and eat everything all over again.
Richard’s Samurai platter also came with dessert, so we shared chocolate rolls – filo pastry filled with white and milk chocolate sauce. Absolutely delicious and the perfect sweet finish to a beautiful meal. We ended our evening in the bar with a mocktail or two – perfection. If you’re interested in trying a cuisine that is outside of your normal go-to then I honestly could not recommend Sapporo enough – excellent service, delicious, generous portions and reasonable prices all amounts to an excellent evening well spent.
Thank you to the team at Sapporo for the opportunity to try out the new menu – this opportunity was gifted but all thoughts remain true and my own.