Keyaki Japanese Restaurant is located on level 4 of the Pan Pacific Hotel. Being at the top of the podium block, they have made use of the rooftop to create a Japanese garden around the restaurant. This made our walk through the hotel to try the Keyaki teppanyaki a dramatic one, first past a Japanese Tanuki creature and then along the koi lap-pond.
The Keyaki Japanese restaurant has a regular dining area and the teppanyaki counter area. The Keyaki teppanyaki looks like a popular choice as the counter spaces were regularly filled up. We do not know if this happens all the time or only now when there are some attractive discounts (20 to 30%) if payment is made by UOB credit cards.
There are some fixed teppanyaki courses ranging from $140 onwards. As the UOB discount only applied to a la carte orders, this was where we turned our attention to. The Keyaki teppanyaki menu is not very long but it covers most of the essential things – meats, seafood, vegetables and rice. We ordered an assortment of dishes.
The chef in attendance on our grill was Alvin, a cheerful and skilful chef who made our dinner at Keyaki a delicious and entertaining experience. Cooking the food well is a given, but the teppanyaki chef has the extra responsibility of putting on a good show. This, Chef Alvin did in spades – from juggling the pepper shakers, tossing and catching eggs on a spatula to dramatic flambé cooking. Here are some pictures of his moves, before we get back to the more serious moments of eating.
Now we see the more serious side of the chef as he concentrates on the cooking.
We started the dinner with some sparkling yuzu flavoured sake ($25). The light fizzy drink was a delightful apéritif. We had some Keyaki house pour sake after that ($35 for 240 ml).
The seafood items were served first. The prawns were plumb specimens ($25 for each order of two prawns). The scallops were served soon after ($24 for each order of two pieces). They were all cooked just right and were more substantial than we thought.
Next came the fish – salmon and cod which costs $24 each but each order of the salmon comes in two slices. Eating them, piping hot and immediately after cooking is the perfect way to eat these seafood dishes. Accompanied by the sake, this was the next best thing to being in Japan. We thought the housepour Keyaki sake was quite decent, there is no need to spend more on the fancier names on the drinks list.
We decided to try some foie gras ($26) instead of the usual beef items. Being at the counter, we could specify exactly how well done we like the dish to be prepared, which is more well cooked than most restaurants like to prepare it. It was a good dish, especially when eaten with the crisp sliced garlic.
By now, we should have finished eating as we had already eaten more than we should, but we still have the rice and vegetables. The fried garlic rice ($8) and mixed vegetables ($13) are simple dishes that always taste better when prepared on the teppanyaki grill. The chef displayed his playful side by making heart shapes with the food while in the process of cooking. He had earlier made heart-shaped prawn arrangements as well. Which makes this an unexpected but quite interesting place to consider for the next Valentine’s day!
The meal ended with a nice parting note from the chef, written with salt on the grill!
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Keyaki Japanese Restaurant
Pan Pacific Hotel, Level 4
7 Raffles Boulevard,
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Lunch – 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner – 6:30pm to 10:30pm