Teppanyaki Steak Lunch in Harajuku
Welcome to Teppanyaki Steak Azuma in Harajuku. I think we all know what Teppanyaki is even if we dont know that word. If you’re my age you’ve probably had a childhood birthday at one. There would have been an iron griddle and then a chef with a great big toque blanche, which I suspect just means “white hat”. Then as opposed to simply serving your meal there would have been knife juggling, fire balls and at some point, steak. Although it probably wasn’t served as rare as it is here at Azuma.
Japanese Steak Lunch for One Please
Now that yours truly is a freelancer I have decided it’s time to find more places for lunch. By freelancer I mean, I spend all day folding laundry and waiting for Amazon packages. And by lunch we are talking, as cheap as possible. I’m not really sure how to approach this little project. Currently, I am trying to find places in the major tourist hubs in the hopes that I might help a hungry tourist find a place to eat. So I hopped on my bike and headed to Harajuku. I had a meeting with the people redoing Tokyo’s Official Website after this, their offices are in Harajuku. So it’s not all laundry and amazon packages.
By meeting I mean my friend that works there treated me to the free keg they have in their office.
I was greeted by the friendliest little old lady when I walked in. She was all set for me too. She had the English menu ready and sat me down quick. The menu is simple, cheap and the perfect amount for a slightly decadent lunch. Also, according to that sign up there they have been doing this for 28 years. I looked to be in good hands.
I went with the basic steak lunch. It was about 14 USD. This isn’t as cheap as some lunches you can find in Tokyo but we are talking Japanese Beef and a full lunch set. If you’re a tourist in hopes of checking off certain foods this is a great, budget friendly way to do it. Also, you will be full after this. As soon as I ordered the chef was on me like a hawk saying “Medium rare.” It wasn’t a question. I am almost certain he would have scowled had I asked for anything more cooked than that.
As soon as that was settled miso soup, salad, pickles and a house dipping sauce materialized.
The chef then brought over my steak for me to confirm that it was indeed steak and he let it sit for a few moments. I’m assuming this is because (and I’ve only been told this) you shouldn’t cook meats that are below room temperatures as it results in a drier dish. While my steak sat there waiting the chef then started grilling a bed of chopped garlic. I started taking my usual pictures when he walks over and in English says “Camera please.” I figured he’s either going to take a picture or throw my camera in the trash. I took my chances and let him have it.
As you can see the results were stunning. Either he was taking a picture of me, or of the steak or his composition is beyond me. I’m just glad he wasn’t annoyed with me clicking away through lunch. I am sure it is really annoying.
Moments later a bowl of rice appeared and then my steak followed immediately after. I dont know what kind of signal the chef and the little old lady have but she knew exactly when that steak was coming.
And voila. A piping hot plate of perfectly cooked steak and tons of garlic with a side of bean sprouts. Those rare middles were delicious. There is a bowl of rice to eat the steak with if you need to cut it with some starch. There is a bowl of house steak sauce which had a soy sauce and garlic base. I like mixing and matching each bite. This one with garlic and sauce. This one on its own. This one with bean sprouts placed over my rice bowl.
Then she brought me raspberry ice cream!
Enjoy. Then go get breath mints.
Sitting here writing this I imagine now I must have reeked of garlic in that meeting.