Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oyama Japanese Restaurant

Shp30/ 115 Cathedral St, Fortitude Valley 4006
P: 07 3257 0738

When Vicki suggested Oyama for dinner we were more than happy to go along with that - especially since I'd never had the teppanyaki experience before! I'm not sure if I was disappointed or relieved when there was a minimum amount of food-flinging... either way it was a tasty experience.

First course: salad. Cucumber, tomato, nori, lettuce, with a dressing that tasted of sesame.

Nothing can compare to the sashimi presentation of Shoya (with its carved ice bowl), but even so this plate looked good, and the sashimi was beautiful. Kingfish remains my favourite, but the tuna was also divine, the salmon lovely, and the scallop you can see at the front topped with yummy popping goodness was bloody nice too.

While we'd been eating, our chef had been heating and preparing the hotplate. These scallops were cooked with butter and minced garlic. They're actually the first cooked scallops I've ever eaten! Very nice.

Another first for me: lobster. Pieces were thrown on the hotplate and cooked with a little more of that particular type of mayonnaise. Where it had caramelised slightly was drool-inducing. The flavour of the mayonnaise reminds me of a marinade I do for chicken sometimes... although mine is dijonnaise-based.

Here was my first challenge of the night. Prawns. These were done the same way as the scallops, with a dollop of butter and plenty of garlic. The taste was delicious, but as always the texture just turns me off (I had much the same problem with the lobster). That being said, that's my problem - the course itself was great.

See this baby? Seared on both sides, perfectly cooked throughout, it fell apart with the barest encouragement from my chopsticks. It was topped with a dollop of mayo that had been heated separately on the hotplate.

One of the things that did get flung (is "flung" a word? I somehow don't think so... but if you fling something in the past tense, what do you do?!) was the egg for the fried rice. Thankfully I caught mine. Vicki caught hers. John was... not so lucky :) Watching our chef prepare the egg before adding the other fried rice ingredients was amazing. Unfortunately he added a touch of MSG to this dish which didn't play nice with me later. Ah well, it was worth it! Once he'd dished it into bowls they also got thrown at us, to catch in a second bowl. I'm pleased to report 100% catch rate on this one.

This little delicacy wasn't actually on the menu, but the chef was quite happy to whip it up for us on request. This was my second challenge of the night - fried prawn heads. Y'know, I actually quite enjoyed them... until a leg stuck itself into my gum, then into my tooth... But yeah, all the great flavours of prawn without the texture that I don't like. Now if only I could get that served with sans legs...

Final course - fruit! Considering the rather crap fruit platter John and I had had the previous night at the Casino, this was a wonderful improvement! I love finishing my meal with a few choice pieces of fruit to sweeten my tastebuds and give my mouth a cleaned feel.

There are a few options for the teppanyaki, ranging from a $48 menu to the $88 one we had. The only difference is the more you pay, the more courses you get! There's also an a la carte menu. Staff are friendly and polite.

Next time I'm northwards I think I'll be heading this-a-way again.

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