While spending precious time in Japan, I like to focus on consuming things that are hard to get outside of the country. One of these rarities is known as Teppanyaki. Teppanyaki is a meal that is prepared on a large griddle that sits between the chef and the diners. Typically these meals include very high-quality Japanese ingredients. When you have Teppanyaki, there’s a good chance that you will ascend to food paradise! My most recent and arguably best Teppanyaki experience was at the Wajo Restaurant inside of The St. Regis Hotel in Osaka, Japan.
Wajo Restaurant sits on the 12th floor of The St. Regis Osaka. The dining rooms are very intimate and gorgeous in design. For the evening I was taking care of by Chef Taizo Tsuji and Restaurant Manager Akiko Murayama. All of the Wajo team were warm in personality which added to the experience. Chef Taizo Tsuji brought a lot of character to the evening, filled with great conversation and delightful jokes. A fun atmosphere, with serious food!
I wanted to enjoy the very best of the best that the restaurant had to offer, so I went for both their Kiku and Kiri set menus. The Kiku menu is only available with advanced reservation because some of the items are quite rare. For example, the beef from Ishigaki Island Kitauchi Farm in Okinawa Prefecture only produces six cows per month!
To begin the meal was a cup of fine green tea. This was very smooth but had a deep flavor and aroma. The menu was comprised of nine food courses and I also had a glass of champagne and a glass of red wine. The first food course was the braised beef tail and yuba, which is a soft Japanese tofu skin. This was a heartwarming – something that tasted like what a stereotypical mom used to make (but not my mom.) Afterwards the red spotted grouper was served. This dish was part of the Kiri set menu and absolutely delicious! Perfect texture.
Next up was one of my favorite dishes of the evening, the Japanese spiny lobster topped with luxurious caviar from Uruguay. The naturally sweet lobster was seasoned by the saltiness of the caviar, a match made in heaven!
Up next was another favorite, the Japanese abalone with clam sauce. I especially enjoyed this abalone because of the varying texture! A bit tougher around the rim of the abalone, but soft on the inside.
Next up was the fruit tomato. This was a real tomato but very special in the fact that it had quite a naturally sweet flavor. Refreshing!
Continuing with the tradition of luxurious ingredients was a wagyu beef consommé with freshly shaved truffle.
It was finally time for the main event, the course that I was looking forward to for nearly a month which was the Ishigaki Island Kitauchi Farm premium wagyu course. This was comprised of 50g of the tenderloin and 50g of the sirloin. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to fat content, but for me, the fatter, the better (not with my women.) There is a huge difference in fat content but both were incredibly delicious! I accompanied my meat with a little salt on the side and a glass of red wine. One of my favorite pairings!
I savored every single bite of the beef and eventually finished and moved on to the Wajo-style Sukiyaki. This was delightful and served with an egg that was much more viscous than I would’ve expected. The use of Sichuan peppercorns was incredible! There’s a few more items including garlic rice and Japanese spiny lobster miso soup.
For dessert I was served Monaka with ice cream, which was basically a Japanese-style ice cream sandwich with red beans. To end the evening was a cup of matcha tea. Perfection.
I’ve been having really good luck with restaurants lately (maybe it’s because I know how to pick them), and this just added to my winning streak. Nearly every single item was perfect! Although it was indeed incredibly tasty overall, personally, I only thought the garlic rice could used a bit more richness of flavor, maybe more beef fat? Everything else was perfect and the team at Wajo truly have a restaurant to be proud of! If you are looking for the best of the best Teppanyaki experience while in Osaka, it’s so very easy to recommend Wajo Teppanyaki Restaurant, inside of The St. Regis Osaka Hotel!
The Nitty Gritty
Taste - 9.5
Value - 9.5
Feng Shui - 9.7
Convenience - 9.7
Service - 9.3
3-6-12 Honmachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053 Japan, 12th Floor
Phone: +81 6-6258-3333