Did you know that Sushi Ginza Onodera has a sister? This sister does not serve omakase sushi, but rather a course menu with high end wagyu beef. Since then I have had Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera on my radar, and my birthday was the perfect special occasion to go check it out.
Much like its sister restaurant, Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera has a big emphasis on the experience of watching the chefs work. The restaurant is just one teppanyaki area, with seats for perhaps twelve people at any given time. The counter seating is U-shaped, with teppanyaki-style grills on all three sides where diners are seated. Throughout the meal you are presented with the ingredients about to be cooked, then watch as the chef expertly prepares each course.
This is not your grandma’s teppanyaki restaurant; No flashy tricks, no utensils clanging against the grill. The dishes are elevated and use premium ingredients. Here, in one of the early courses, foie gras is seared on the grill to obtain a delicate crust. It’s then paired with some beef jus and slices of roasted wagyu beef.
At Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera you have a choice of different course menus, ranging from a more basic “Intro Course” ($160 per person) to the Special Course ($300 per person). The lighter course menus do have the options to add supplemental items, such as the wagyu katsu sandwich pictured at the beginning of this post. Only the highest course comes with the option of A5 Kobe Wagyu without a supplemental charge.
I was a bit puzzled when I saw the chef bring out a plate of seafood which he then immediately starting putting onto a flat piece of plastic. I was even more puzzled when he poured some broth into the plastic and then started to wrap it into a pouch. This bag is placed directly on the grill, where the heat boils the broth and cooks the seafood, but does not melt or otherwise disfigure the plastic.
The premium ingredients here don’t stop at wagyu beef. One of my courses was a big portion of Hokkaido king crab, lightly steamed on the grill with just a hint of salt. The crab meat was delectable and sweet. Since I’ve had the good fortune of eating a lot of Japanese wagyu beef over the years, this was a standout course for me as I haven’t tried Hokkaido king crab prior.
Since there were two of us we decided to try the two different cuts of A5 wagyu beef that were available. The Kobe beef is considered more premium, and for lighter course menus actually comes with a $50 supplemental charge.
To be honest we enjoyed both cuts of meat equally. It was difficult to distinguish between the two. Both were luxuriously fatty, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality that just seemed to envelope the palate with beefy goodness. The chef serves the wagyu with some fried garlic chips and wasabi, which you can then use to vary the flavors of each bite a little. The wasabi was a welcomed addition to help cut the richness of the beef.
As with many traditional Japanese course menus, our meal ended with a rice course. The special course menu ends with big pot of uni kamameshi. The sweet, oceanic brine of uni complements the rice perfectly.
We enjoyed our dinner at Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera. The service, ingredients, and flavors were exactly what you would expect of this brand and the price point. While we felt it was well worth the visit, I’m not sure how often we would return. That being said I do think this is a place that’s worth checking out at least once.
Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera
1726 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826