Teppan is the Japanese word for “iron plate” and a truncated version of the culinary term, teppanyaki, which refers to cooking on an iron griddle.
It is also the name of the new spot on Warren Street in downtown Jersey City, located not far from the PATH Grove Street stop, and a short walk westward from the waterfront.
Since its grand opening in May, this bar and grill has become a destination for fans of hibachi-style cooking seen at any Benihana, and locally at Ten East in Bayonne. For the uninitiated, envision a place where the chef does the cooking in front of you, and then add majestic, leaping flames and entertaining banter.
The proximity of the table to the grill will give you hot flashes, but the food will keep you cool.
All kinds of culinary delights
This writer, along with a guest, was seated at one of the hibachi tables in the back of the restaurant during a recent visit.
For starters, we were greeted with menu starters of adegashi tofu ($5) – fried tofu served with scallion and grated ginger – and edamame ($4) – steamed soy beans pods that call to mind roasted peanuts. Both were complimented with tempura sauce. The dragon roll ($18), a concoction of salmon, rice, and red and black tobiko (fish eggs), was flaky and meaty.
Then, Ricky the “Iron Chef” performed some hibachi magic with flames shooting high while preparing the chicken dinner ($17) and swordfish dinner ($25). Both offerings came with generous proportions that included shrimp sides, soup, fried vegetables, brown rice, and noodles. A special treat was Chef Ricky’s homemade apple mango sauce as a summery, flavorful alternative to the usual hot mustard and soy sauce.
The grill duck shioyaki ($12), in which meat is grilled, was not too fried and was succulent.
Squeezed into the evening’s feast was the jalapeno sashimi ($12), which is a sushi smorgasbord of salmon, tuna, white tuna, and yellowtail circling a lake of jalapeno sauce to add spice to the fresh catch.
To cap off the edible festivities, desserts of runny chocolate chip ($8), a mini cake-sized after-dinner sweet, and “fried” green tea ice cream (also $8) were delectable dreams.
The evening was summed up by my guest diner as “the proximity of the table to the grill will give you hot flashes, but the food will keep you cool.”
Teppan for the customer
Located at 319 Warren St., at the corner of 50 Columbus Tower, Teppan is open Monday through Friday for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (until 11 p.m. on Fridays), Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
Parking is available at the parking lot across the street at 350 Warren St.
Free delivery with a minimum $15 purchase. For those who choose to have just a liquid dinner, happy hour is from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check out www.teppanjc.com for the menu and anything else Teppan, or call (201) 451-9989.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.