The latest trend to hit Manhattan may be a throwback to the 1970s, unseating a long-time king of the genre.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking done on a flat-top grill. The style became popular in America by groups of diners sitting around a large grill while the chef did tricks while he cooked, like juggling utensils or making a flaming onion volcano.
For years, the first and last word in teppanyaki has been Benihana. The upscale chain brought teppanyaki-style dining to America, and it remains the only restaurant of its kind in NYC. But recent rumors published in Tribeca Citizen bring word that all this may change.
Battery Park City has been having a gastronomic renaissance, as we’ve seen with the addition of Danny Meyer restaurants like Blue Smoke and North End Grill, and it may soon be getting even more upscale and exciting. Chef Masa Takayama, of the NYC sushi mecca MASA, is opening a high-end teppanyaki restaurant called Tetsu later this year. Here’s what we know to be confirmed: that Chef Masa is opening Tetsu inside his current Las Vegas Japanese restaurant called barMASA (shown in photo). According to a press release, Tetsu will be high-end teppanyaki featuring luxurious ingredients like toro, Wagyu beef, and Mediterranean turbot. Here’s where the speculated rumor comes in: that Chef Masa is also planning to open a similar restaurant under the same name, Tetsu, right here in NYC (perhaps Tribeca/Battery Park City?).
It seems a far cry from the steak and shrimp dinners that made Hiraoki Aoki (founder of Benihana) a wealthy man—these meals are focused on the luxurious ingredients as much as the show. And by putting it in the up-an- coming Battery Park City area, it could attract both Wall Street businessmen and serious foodies who flock there during dinner hours.
Since Masa’s first NYC restaurant has been a smashing success, will his popularity spill over into this new venture regardless of its high price? Or will Benhihana reign supreme? Moreover, is this a harbinger of things to come? As long as the food of the ‘70s is the only thing to make a comeback, New Yorkers are still safe—leave the bell bottomed jeans in the vault. Of course, this is all speculation now—the public will have to wait to see if Masa really does enter the teppanyaki game here in New York.
Tribeca Citizen. (2012, May 15). Rumor Tuesday! Retrieved from http://tribecacitizen.com/2012/05/15/rumor-tuesday/
Image: Inside barMASA, Las Vegas, courtesy MGM Resorts International