Teppanyaki Table Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that involves cooking food on an iron griddle. This unique way of cooking has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is no wonder why. The teppanyaki experience is not just about the food; it is also about the showmanship of the chefs and the communal aspect of dining with others. However, if you are new to the teppanyaki experience, it can be daunting to know what to do and what not to do. In this article, we will explore teppanyaki table etiquette, dos and don'ts that will help you navigate this unique dining experience with confidence.
Do: Wait for the Chef's Instructions
When you sit down at a teppanyaki table, the first thing the chef will do is introduce themselves and explain the cooking process. It is essential to listen carefully and follow their instructions. The chef will tell you how to use the utensils provided and how to cook and eat the food.
Don't: Reach for the Food
Teppanyaki is a communal dining experience, and the chef will cook the food in front of you. However, this does not mean you should reach for the food. The chef will place the cooked food in front of you when it is ready, and you should wait until then to eat.
Do: Use Chopsticks (If You Can)
If you are comfortable using chopsticks, this is the perfect opportunity to hone your skills. Most teppanyaki restaurants provide chopsticks as the primary utensil. If you are not comfortable using chopsticks, it is acceptable to use a fork and knife.
Don't: Use Your Hands
Teppanyaki is a formal dining experience, and using your hands to eat is considered impolite. Stick to using the utensils provided.
Do: Be Polite to the Chef
The chef is an integral part of the teppanyaki experience, and it is essential to show them respect. You can do this by thanking them when they cook your food, and you can also ask them questions about the food or the cooking process.
Don't: Criticize the Chef
Teppanyaki chefs are highly skilled professionals, and they take great pride in their work. If you have a complaint, it is best to address it politely and respectfully.
Do: Try New Things
Teppanyaki is an opportunity to try new and exciting dishes. If the chef offers you something you have never tried before, be adventurous and give it a go.
Don't: Waste Food
Teppanyaki is a communal dining experience, and it is essential to be mindful of other diners. If you order more food than you can eat, it can disrupt the experience for others. It is best to order a moderate amount of food and finish what is on your plate.
In conclusion, teppanyaki is a unique dining experience that is as much about the showmanship of the chefs as it is about the food. By following these teppanyaki table etiquette dos and don'ts, you can enjoy the experience to the fullest and show respect to the chef, other diners, and the tradition of teppanyaki.