I’ve finally tried Teppei!!!! :) The lunch, that is. Haven’t managed to snag that coveted seat in their affordable omakase dinners as yet. I was really happy that I managed to get a taste of their lunch before I officially started work (far far away…). While the restaurant is famed for its wallet-friendly omakase meals, the lunch sets are kept affordable as well, for really great quality and value!
There is always a queue at lunch, but it was honestly not as intimidating as I’d imagined it to be. The turnover in the restaurant is really quick, since there are only bar seats, and the food is served pretty efficiently too. I arrived at 11.45am (the restaurant opens at 12pm) and faced a queue that had extended beyond Tonkotsu King right next door. At 12pm on the dot, the doors were flung open and the crowd poured in, filling up the seats in an orderly manner. I was just shy of going in for the first round, with a couple of people in the queue in front of me. From then, it was like clockwork – the staff handling the inflow with Japanese precision, while taking orders and settling bills inside the restaurant. You can tell that they’re used to the crowds, and they somehow manage to keep everyone happy, whether you’re waiting for your food or standing in the line.
The Barachirashi set ($17.60) is in my opinion, hands down the tastiest Chirashi under $20. The ultimate Chirashi winner for me is still Aoki, but this comes a close second at a price that is wayyy more affordable for regular eating ;) This is not exactly written on the menu, but it is served every day. I was a little shocked when the bowl that was placed in front of me. It looked…small. When I dug into it though, it was as if I was opening a treasure trove. The quantity of fresh, succulent slabs of sashimi they managed to fit in that small bowl was stunning! There was such a wide variety of fish in that bowl, most of which I’d never seen before, and it seemed almost never-ending as I ploughed through the bowl. And each piece of fish was supple, tasty and simply delectable. The wasabi they gave was awesome too, with a freshness that was befitting for the expertly-sliced fish.
If the main dish itself is insufficient to satisfy you, there is no need to worry, since there are free-flow side dishes for you to pick at. Actually, I have no idea what the side dishes were meant to be, but they were useful in quelling the hunger pangs while waiting for our food to arrive. The top is some shredded vegetable dish, while the other is some sort of stewed/braised dish filled with lotus root, mushrooms and other ingredients.
The meal also comes with free flow tea! XT ordered the Niku Tempura Set ($19.80), which was a selection of various tempuras. Didn’t manage to get a good picture of this because the tempura was all served separately – fresh out of the cooker! I loved how the batter was so light, scarcely oily, and the freshness of the fish shone through in the form of its supple, fluffy meat, despite the fact that it was deep fried.
I can totally understand why people would queue for this meal, and I would come back again and again if I could! I miss the Barachirashi already :’)
1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel #01-18
Daily 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm