Whenever someone mentions teppanyaki, I immediately think of four things: precision cut meat and seafood, flying prawns landing on my plate, a stack of onions arranged like a fire-shooting volcano and Steve Aoki.
Let me elaborate on the last one- teppanyaki literally means “grilling on an iron plate”. While this art of cooking is thought to have originated in Tokyo about 200 years ago, its dramatic style is anything but Japanese. In fact, it was deemed improper by locals when Misono, the first teppanyaki style restaurant, started cooking food on a table-side grill in 1945. For GIs stationed across the country, however, it was a different story. The Americans loved it. This is where Rocky Aoki comes in, the so-called father of teppanyaki and internationally famous DJ Steve Aoki (see what I did there?).
Rocky Aoki had an interesting life. He was an Olympic wrestler, produced Broadway plays, founded a porn magazine and dreamt up Benihana, the iconic teppanyaki restaurant. Mindful of the success of teppanyaki among US ex-pats in Tokyo, Benihana opened in New York in 1964. From a single, four-table restaurant, the chain grew to more than 70 restaurants world-wide and the word “teppanyaki” embedded itself firmly in the Western lexicon.
Even though Canada is still waiting for its own Benihana, we are still lucky enough to find amazing teppanyaki restaurants here, one of those being Shogun Japanese Restauant. With one of the oldest pedigrees when it comes to serving Japanese cuisine in Edmonton, Shogun is one that has stood the test of time.
Here are the six things you need to know about Shogun Japanese Restaurant:
- It is located at 10125 121 Street, in the same location as when it opened back in 1983.
- Shogun was one of the first full-fledged sushi bars in the city, so along with the teppan tables; they also have more intimate tables and several tatami rooms.
- The teppanyaki dinner menu is pretty straight forward. The dishes are made with fresh and flavorful ingredients and light seasoning. You can choose from chicken, steak or shrimp, or go for a bigger combo that includes things like sukiyaki beef, lobster and scallops.
- Go hungry, seriously. In true teppanyaki fashion, each meal comes with a myriad of vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms and bean sprouts (or “Japanese spaghetti”, as some chefs cleverly call it), that are cooked alongside your main dish. You also get soup, salad, rice and two sauces.
- You pay for what you get. The average price per person ranges from $25 for basic entrees, to about $40 for the Shogun Specials. Our bill was about $130 for four entrees and a (large) bottle of Sake.
- The restaurant is open for lunch on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and daily for dinner until 9:30 on weekdays, 10:30 Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 Sunday. I recommend making a reservation since it is a popular spot for birthdays and other special occasions and usually fills up fast.
At this time, Shogun does not have a website, so for more information, or to make a reservation you can contact the restaurant at: 780-488-9757.