Monday, 10 November 2014

Sapporo Teppanyaki Restaurant in Manchester

Sapporo has to be one of the best restaurants I have been fortunate to eat at. Ok so it's  not in London which my blog is based on but its an absolutely incredible place and with its tables fully booked for the next four weeks, I had to seize my chance.

 I've never been to a Teppanyaki place before so I did not know what to expect. I thought it was going to be an evening of good Asian food but with that tackiness theatre style that you would expect from those buffet restaurants. Oh how wrong was I.

After a little mishap with my booking at reception (where they couldn't find my booking), my eventful evening was about to unfold. Whilst waiting for my table, I treated myself to an awesome cocktail known at the "Easy Ninja", similar to a Pina Colada (cue Pina Colada song) but with Sake added to it. A delicious fruity, creamy cocktail and trust me after having one of these, you'll be knocking them back all night. Even the lady next to me during dinner was intrigued by it and asked me what it was.

The restaurant had a great atmosphere, everyone was buzzing and getting tanked up on alcohol. The food was fantastic. My brother and I, his girlfriend and my uncle selected starters to share and we all picked extraordinary dishes. They all looked and tasted fantastic and you couldn't fault any of it. In my opinion the fish dishes were the pick of the bunch, I have never tasted fish so good. The salmon with the mirin and soy sauce was tantalising. It was a match made in heaven and it was flaky and moist. The tuna was so fresh and was seared to the point it was still raw in the middle, the way it should be cooked and eaten.

Chicken Gyozas

Peppercorn Salmon marinated in soy sauce and mirin.

Beef roll. Grilled sirloin of beef with asparagus. Dressed in teriyaki, sesame and spring onions

Duck rolls, Wrapped in pancake, mixed vegetables and served with a raspberry coulis

Smoked chicken rolls with beansprouts and mixed vegetables with a barbeque dipping sauce. In the background is the black pepper tuna loin
Vegetable spring rolls

When it came to the main course, it was the chefs who stole the show by showing off their tricks and brilliant theatre style cooking. Just watch the videos and check out the pictures to see how much fun it was to be a part of this amazing dining experience.


Before the show

Chef preparing himself

So it begins, potatoes being fried

Egg roll

Assortment of fish and meat

Griddled vegetables and noodles

Duck breast in teriyaki sauce
Sapporo is an absolute gem of a restaurant. I implore anyone to go there if they're in Manchester, Liverpool or Glasgow. Its a fantastic fun place to be at and the food is top stuff and done to a very high quality standard. It was so impressive that its now my uncles favourite restaurant. What more of a reason do you need than that.

The Bayou Has No Soul In Camden

This has got to be the funniest blog that I have published thus far. I'm going to keep this short and sweet if possible.

So lets set the scene. It was a cold Monday and I had just finished work for the week and I met up with a friend in North London because we were going to a gig later on in the evening. We took a detour and stopped at Euston to down a few pints and what a schoolboy error that was as we were drinking on empty stomachs .

We took the underground to Camden and after walking about a minute or so up the road, Alex and I went down a quiet street occupied by tiny restaurants, from Mexican to Italian. The one that caught our eye was the Bayou Soul, a restaurant that boasts about good old deep south American cooking. We were bloody starving and having deep fried, barbeque, high in cholesterol dishes was what we needed.

The restaurant itself looked okay if somewhat a little tacky. It was quiet, pleasant enough but I suppose it was a Monday night not a Friday. At the back end of the restaurant was a cool little platform with an impressive grand piano and a vintage silver microphone, the type Elvis would sing in to Oh and obviously no stage is set without the pioneer dj decks.

Before I get on with the food, I have to talk about the staff. The waiter who served us, I don't know whether to have felt sorry for the guy or embarrassed for him.
First of all, his uniform made him look as if he was dressed for the circus. Either I had beer goggles on or he was wearing clothes that were two sizes bigger than him. He brought our food out and dropped some of it on the floor, some landing on my jacket and the rest decorating the ground. A couple of minutes later he skidded across the floor as if he was trying to impress us with his dancing on ice moves. He did a Todd Carty and if you don't know what I mean, YouTube it. It was awkward to say the least and I don't know how Alex and I didn't laugh our faces off.

So now onto the food and drink. I will keep this very brief to be honest. Like I mentioned earlier we were starving and reading the menu displayed outside the restaurant enticed us to go in. We had a bunch of starters and made the mistake of ordering a main to share. We wanted to order it because it was fried chicken marinated in buttermilk and that sounded bloody good. We had it with a bunch of sides and unfortunately we wasted our money and the chefs effort and time because our eyes were bigger than our belly's. We hardly scraped the surface with the sides and ate about three quarters of the chicken. I did have a cocktail as it was happy hour and the name "The suffering Bastard" amused me. Actually that name sums up the waiters performance and mine and Alex's experience.

Smoked pork, grit cake (similar to polenta) and corn

The Suffering Bastard cocktail

Barbeque Chicken

Smoked shredded beef and gravy in pastry with garlic aioli

Creole style calamari, spring onions, chillies and lime chipotle

Bayou's Hot and Creole sauces

Buttermilk fried chicken with gravy, onion rings and cornbread

To sum up the food, it was average at best, most of it, if not all of it wasn't seasoned. Looking back, we went to town on it because we were like I keep saying starving and drank quite a fair amount of alcohol at which probably made the food taste better than it was.
I will however like to say that I was impressed by their hot sauces, all of which was homemade and they were excellent.

I wouldn't say that I wouldn't  eat at the Bayou Soul again, I just wouldn't go out of my way to go there.  I would maybe consider going there if they improved because it does have the potential to be a lot better and I hope they do because I don't like being negative.
Its up to you guys to decide whether to give it a go. If so let me know what you think. Peace out FoodPunkers.