Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Midori Japanese Teppan Yaki Restaurant

Midori Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon
"Where are you blogging about now?", friend asks.
"Midori! :D"
*Short pause*
"Wow. You alcoholic", friend says.

Just to clarify, I don't have any alcohol related issues. But I do have a very clueless friend! :)
So, I'm not an alco. I shouldn't drink. And to the mate that tells me that I should be training up my liver, good freaking luck with yours. Yeaaaaa buddeh! :D

So for those out there who aren't as clueless and empty-headed as the friend, Midori is probably on many foodie's wishlists. Upon hearing that I was writing about it, another friend asked how much dinner cost.
"$106", I said sadly.
"WHAT?! For each person?!?"
See. And that is probably the impression that most people have for this place, i.e., DAMN EXPENSIVE! (But no, that was the grand total of the bill, if you thought the same thing).

As such, I have mixed feelings about Midori. On one hand I desired to eat here real bad. On the other, I was very opposed to eating there, because I am frankly, not rich enough to eat there. So as we approached the restaurant, we were so very close to switching to Tony Romas instead. It might have cost only a little bit less, but I was certain it would fill our stomachs, unlike Midori.

Throughout the journey there and as I got closer to the entrance, I found myself finding every excuse NOT to eat there.
I was even prepared to say I HAVE NO APPETITE!, but that was too great of a lie.
But the one that came up time and time again, especially when we were at the entrance -
I HAVEEE NO MONEYYY! Because it was true.

Then the next thing I know, we were escorted upstairs to this hell of a different restaurant, greeted by waitresses in colourful kimonos and the sight of huge tables surrounding huge BBQ surfaces in the centre. This was going to be one exciting dining experience.
Yes, one, because I can't afford to go back again until I'm rich, which is probably never.

I was so intrigued by the patterns on the BBQ surface, which was written with salt crystals, which I later discovered that they were actually words. First thoughts were, coooooool! Seconds thoughts were, wow what a waste of salt guys. Especially when I couldn't read what the hell it said. And if you can, well, yeaaaaah whateverrrrrrr.
When presented with the menu, you initially get really excited. Then that feeling is soon taken over immediately, when you look inside the menu and spew up over the prices LOL. Ultimately we went for the Make Your Own set menu, which includes fresh salad, vegetables, miso soup, steamed rice, dessert and green tea (which we actually didn't get).

Seasonal salad
So this was the incredible starter to the incredible meal to come. A bowl of "seasonal vegetables" - yeah, I'd say year round instead - with traditional Japanese salad dressing. And this came out pretty fast, while everything else after it came out pretty slow. It made me feel like I came in here and ordered a bowl of salad only. Seriously it did.

Next up came the entree, which was a choice out of Tempura or Sashimi. This was a no brainer for us, with raw fish being the downright obvious choice. I can't go past this delicacy of raw salmon and tuna arranged delectably with cucumber slices. I think you begin to admire the presentation of food when you do a photo shoot with it - I know I do.
Of course, very fresh stuff, as you would expect at such a restaurant.

Shamefully, I have no recollection of what this cocktail is called, and what it tasted like, or what the heck it even consists of. I do remember the comment "this tastes like medicine" been made though. But from habit I'm pretty sure I always go for the creamy, thick ones over the fruity fresh liquid types of indulgences. Cause the latter just usually tastes like bitter softdrinks anyway.

Theatrical cooking
As Midori's tagline suggests, the place is all about the "Theatre of Dining". You really come for the experience of seeing these chefs, whose occupation double up as entertainers and if I may, cooking acrobats. They throw around salt and pepper shakers, juggle them, make a hell of a lot of noise and play with fire. Pyromaniacs really! That huge BBQ hotplate is pretty much their playground.

Word of warning would be the flame is pretty huge and pretty damn HOT!
I swear before the chef made the huge burst the fire, he told everyone to "watch your eyebrows".
I would say watch your whole face!

 If you choose the MYO set menu, main course is consisted of 3 selections out of meats, seafoods and mushrooms. For me, it was sorta ridiculous to be thinking mushroom or meat? Mushroom or meat? I mean if you're vegetarian, the choice is obvious. But for a non vegetarian, the choice is equally as obvious.
So obviously, I am not a vegetarian =p

Went with the yakiniku, which is chicken marinated in a special barbecue sauce grilled with slivers of onion and spring onion. Hot, tasty and delivered straight onto your plate. Doesn't get any fresher than that.

This expensive baby was not part of the MYO choices. Called this as an extra from the A-La-Carte menu, and from memory this was definitely pricey. By pricey I mean like it probably cost like half of the whole MYO set menu's price. And it wasn't even WHOLE, it was only HALF lobster! It was pretty extravagant though. And by extravagant I mean THE PRICE WAS FRIGGIN EXTRAVAGANT!

They even make it easy to eat by removing the flesh from the outer shell and popping it back into place so the whole thing looks untouched. Ease of eating is always a winner with me. Topped with crispy and fragrant pieces of garlic, it was delicious, but I wouldn't go as far to say it was worth what it was =p

At a restaurant like this, even all the meats get their own little sauce partners. Friend had a smear of soy sauce in one of the compartments which led to the chef changing the whole sauce dish altogether. Contamination is definitely a big issue here and isn't treated lightly lolol.

Far left is a runny "beef stock" sauce, complementing the prime beef we ordered, while the middle liquid partners seafood dishes, having a light, tangy tinged flavour.
To be honest, I think it doens't enhance much, and you could go easily without anyways.

Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Vegetables
And finally we have the finished product here. I held out eating for so long, just so that I could photograph the final thing, talk about being considerate! =p It's hard work resisting gobbling everything down whilst the food is hot and steamy on your plate with aromas wafting around, and you have to just sit there and stare cause you have to stay dedicated to your food blog. =)

Clockwise, there's our prime beef, yakiniku, vegetables (more like, beansprouts), and salmon. Favourite? Probably the beef. That was some good stuff.

Grilled beef
And because I fell in love with it, I felt compelled to take another photo of the beef. I find that most Japanese restaurants cook their beef really well, whether that be their epic cooking skills or the cut of beef they choose to use. But one thing never changes, as the beef is always juicy and succulent and hell tasty.

Soft but not too soft, chewy but not too chewy, and yes I'm indecisive so put up with it. It's got just the right amount of chew for just the right amount of mastication :)

Salt scribbles
Upon finishing our meal, another surprise came. And upon seeing this, a flashback came upon me and I suddenly realised what that initial message said :$

The chefs do have some talent, all their appreciative messages are scrawled on with precision, written upside down and backwards. I bet that doesn't even make sense to you right now. Just understand this is probably what we are paying for. All this schmancy shit you don't see at your ordinary restaurants.

I initially thought the chefs mastered this out of habit and repetition, saying thank you to countless customers, so it musn't be too hard, right? I underestimated. Because they can draw/write/entertain to your request.
*I didn't request that butterfly though, if that is a butterfly at all!

Green Tea Ice Cream
The concept of Midori is pretty different. After all this, you are ushered into their lounge area, full of chairs and tables away from the stuffy atmosphere of where the BBQ grills are. You sit around waiting a while for the final part of your dining experience where you get served dessert, being a mound of green tea ice cream topped with a blob of cream and the recognisable glazed artificial looking and tasting cherry.

I hate those things. They make cherries look so bad.
Ice cream is never bad though =)


All in all, it was a good dining experience. But experience looks awfully close to expensive LOL and damn, I knew it was expensive but I didn't know it was THIS expensive! I'd be pretty disappointed if it wasn't a good experience to remember. It's something different, and it's something worth trying.

Probably shouldn't be frequently visited unless you're disgustingly rich and got money to throw around, but at least once is good. Even after once, your wallet is left with a dent and probably feels physically lighter.
Booooooooooo :(

Service is both slow and fast at the same time. Chefs are extremely fast and entertaining at preparing and cooking your food, all with an air of style and talent. Waitresses on the other hand, seem a bit slow at times. Waiting around occured a lot. Gives you more time to take in your surroundings I guess, which would probably lead to you making more drink purchases. They're also dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos and thongs (shoes, not the other kind, lol) and you wonder how hard it is to be waitressing in such a uniform. Must get hot and sweaty at times...

Oh, and one thing I find amusing is they don't have EFTPOS facilities, being such a high class restaurant and all. You have to like walk across the street to the nearest convenience store and cash out there, which jacks up your dinner an extra $2 because of the ATM surcharge =p It's devastating to see a sky high bill soar even higher.

And it makes you wish you were filthily rich enough to always have a stash of cash on hand, readily available to use at ridiculously expensive dinners.


  1. Mate, that looks delish.


  3. u really need to change banks

  4. My personal experience was that it was not even worth half the price they charge. Took the family there for sons 21st, only got offered drinks once ($8.00 for a light beer in a stubby - no glass)...had taken a birthday cake which was never presented as we were shuffled off to a dingy cold corner to eat our 1 scope of ice cream with cream. When I complained about the cake & lack of waitress service they started speaking japanese.......biggest rip off ever.....

    1. Anonymous,
      Yes, views on Midori are quite subjective aren't they! I think it comes down to every individual's own perception on what value is acceptable given the hefty price tag. I guess 21st birthdays usually come with the hefty price tag!
      Hope you got your cake in the end?


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