Review: Teppanyaki Japanese Steakhouse, Norwegian Breakaway
By Austin Gambino, Marketing Assistant, The Cruise Web, Inc.
When I was confirmed for the 2-Day Pre-Inaugural cruise onboard the Norwegian Breakaway, I knew that one of the nights (or at least part of the night) would be spent at the Teppanyaki Japanese Steakhouse, which is featured on a number of Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships.
If you are unfamiliar with the ‘Teppanyaki’ style of Japanese cuisine, let me verse you in some brief detail. The experience features an iron griddle, or plate, which is used to cook food directly in front of guests, and then serve immediately following the demonstration. The style is meant to be interactive, fun and exciting for guests, as chefs will slice, dice, juggle and create fun shapes on the griddle as well.
Although my party didn’t have a reservation, the hostess gave us the opportunity to come back near the first seating and inquire as to the availability of extra seats, which was extremely kind and accommodating of her. Clearly, we were lucky enough to acquire two seats. The modern, clean and fresh decor made entering the restaurant exciting and alluring. The lighting was bright, but then dimmer once I entered the seating area, and the staff was courteous and efficient. With the high-flying antics of the chefs, the smiles and laughs of those around me, and the gorgeous view of the ocean, I would say that the atmosphere was exactly what I was looking for.
To incite wondrous eyes and a raucous laugh from the children in the dining area is simple, but to to shock and awe my friend and I is usually a bit more difficult. Our chef seemed to have no problem with either. A flip of an egg from the spatula to the hat? The children were captivated. Then our chef spun the egg and juggled it high in the air using his tools. The exhilarating part was when the egg was caught on the tip of the spatula, lightly cracked and slowly drizzled itself onto the griddle. The chef made a daisy on the griddle with the egg white, finished in the center with the yolk!
This was just one example of the high-energy, and yet still professionally done Teppanyaki experience. Careful, methodical, but still explosive culinary technique, with service that was behind-the-scenes and comparable to any fine dining establishment I have eaten in. I commend the wonderful staff and talented chefs!
Although the cuisine is really second-fiddle to the experience, I enjoyed the dinner as well. The starter was a real treat: seaweed salad with ginger dressing (pictured to the right), which was tangy, fresh and really whet my appetite. For dinner, my friend and I both ordered the Seafood Combo, which came with a combination of scallops, calamari and shrimp. The scallops were buttery, soft and tasty; easily the best of the three. That being said, I really enjoyed the shrimp as well, but the calamari was a bit tough. All were served in a garlic soy butter sauce, which was developed right on the griddle.
My suggestion: tell your friend/significant other/family to try a different style of entree. My only issue was that each entree item tasted very similar, being cooked in the same sauce, and it ended up all blending together. I would like to see a bit of diversity in the sauce, preparation and presentation of my entree.
Overall, the Teppanyaki Japanese Steakhouse is a fantastic choice for dinner service. Not only will you enjoy the food, but the experience will really make your night (and possibly inspire you to get innovative in your culinary technique!). Have you had the opportunity to try Teppanyaki? Give us YOUR feedback in the comments below!
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