When I think of “teppanyaki”, I imagine a food experience, where you not only get to eat but also get to play with your food, whilst being entertained by the chef. Tem Ichi Teppanyaki at Parramatta definitely did deliver a food experience, but not quite the one I expected.
What first drew me to this restaurant was the prospect of enjoying a cheap meal – Groupon offered a great deal of $15 pp. Having previously used group buying sites before, even for some of the delicious reviews here (Cafe Ish and Kobe Jones), I thought I’d give it a shot. Groupon has never let me down before but everyone makes an error now and then, and I think I’ll research my restaurants twice before being attracted to cheap pricing. Let’s just say that Tem Ichi is a teppanyaki restaurant where the show of watching your food being flung at you and your friends overshadows any culinary experience your tastebuds may be expecting. The food looks tasty enough as you watch it being prepared with some showmanship from the chefs, but the flavours and textures leave a lot to be desired.
Our dinner was booked for 8:30pm, but the chef didn’t start cooking on our side of the table until 9pm. This would have been fine had we been served the green tea, salads and miso soup included in our voucher to keep us going at the beginning. I do forgive them for being understaffed, with the chefs doubling up as wait staff, but it is disappointing to approach the same wait staff three times and then be only served salad and 2x miso soups for our group of six.
Eventually, our first course of spring rolls is served from the back kitchen as a starter and they are rather small and taste unremarkable, like any other spring rolls you can get at a Chinese takeaway.
Fresh Fish and Prawns
Next up came our fish and prawns. These were cooked well but the flavour was disappointing…they just tasted like butter and were fairly dry.
Chicken and Beef
Our meats came out next including some chicken and beef. The beef was covered in a slightly strange tasting bean sauce which was supposed to be a “misoyaki” from memory. The chicken was a bit better in teriyaki sauce but it was overcooked and not tender.
Some assorted fried vegetables came out next and this was soy and miso flavoured, or meant to be. It tasted watered down and quite bland.
The last savoury dish for the night was fried rice, and I thought surely this classic Asian dish could not go wrong, but the rice was somehow deprived of any oil and sauce and was subsequently very tasteless and dry. Our set menu also included some Ice Cream but rather wait around to be (hopefully) served some dessert, we decided to head to our beloved Yogurberry newly opened just around the corner.
All in all, our experience at Tem Ichi was certainly not a feast for our tastebuds, although it was an experience in watching the chefs interact with the diners through games (like throwing eggs and fried rice to be caught in bowls) when preparing our food. As they encourage everyone to get involved in the games they play however, don’t bother wearing anything too fancy to the restaurant because it is very likely to get dirty some way or another. Nevertheless, the food was highly disappointing and I won’t be ever returning here.
Tem Ichi Restaurant
51 Phillip St Parramatta NSW 2150
Ph: (02) 9893 9594
I love teppanyaki and I would always go to a good quality one which does not come with all the useless theatrics that make a mess of the entire place.
Yeh it was just an unfortunate choice of mine, sucked in by attractive pricing 🙁
I had bad experience with this place too. I can clearly see similarity of our experience but mind is even worse: Here’s my official complain letter.
Redeemed yesterday 8:30pm 13/07/13.
2 Cudo vouchers of 10 courses for 4 people: Myself, husband, 4 yr old and 6 yr old boys.
Chef didn’t start cooking 30min after start time, we just sat around and waiting with a small bowl of salad. The miso soup was very weak with beansprout (!?) rather than sea weed. The prawn was just a single prawn. ( I don’t think a single prawn is considered “a course”). Green tea was missing. Spring roll is missing.
Mixed sir-fried vegetable weren’t offered to my children ( which I don’t understand why, as we are all equally paid).
NO BEER OR WINE offered (as it should be included), we paid $6 for a beer for my husband, $5 for a glass of Sprite, which was poured from a 2L bottle (not on tap or from a can) with half glass of ice.
Because they took the coupon away I didn’t know it should be included. As I assume they would serve everything according to description. This dinner was booked and coupon printed out a long time ago. My kids shared the soft drink, because of the price I didn’t even get a drink for myself.
They insisted my two young children sat together at a corner (to save chair spaces), when I prefer a parent/child/parent/child sitting, so I can help them if necessary. They didn’t offer the food game to my children or an explanation such as”sorry your children might be too young”. My 6 yr old were quite disappointed.
The chef ran out eggs and had to went back and get more to continue cooking.
Food looked diff from your first 2 pictures on the website:
1) No rice under the chicken, no spring onion garnish.
2) Beef no served in a bowl (just the same plate), diced not sliced and no spring onion, black and white sesame garnish.
As you can understand why I’m not happy with the whole experience. There were a few Indian people sitting with and they are obviously not impressed either. And I’m not even going to mention about the cheap furniture (fold up chairs) and tasteless decor inside restaurant.
In the end I want a refund for this because the service not matching the description, They over charge us $11 for drinks. And awful experience overall. Pls respond by email. A refund meant to my credit card NOT Cudo points.
I’m glad other reviewer in Urbanspoon commented about how terrible this place looked. I just want to add that the gold fish/koi tank (that you would see at the entrance) is bad condition. The cheap colourful small pebbles on the bottom have a layer of black coating of fish waste.
Bottom line: DO NOT GO THERE ! EVER !
We’re so sorry to hear about your bad experience! Shame that this is affecting quite a lot of customers and it wasn’t just us. Hopefully they can improve soon
What a disappointing experience. It started from the time of booking when I was shouted out and was told that every Saturday night was booked two months in advance. Tried for a Sunday and booked it for one month in advance. Two days earlier called to confirm booking only to be told there was no booking and that they could not fit us in as “very busy”. Was told that I left it to the last minute to confirm but how and why I had to confirm 2 days prior is ridiculous. Again shouted out and made to feel I was in the wrong. We turned up in the hope we could be allocated a sitting only to see that the place was empty and they did not even check our name for the reservation. Food was eventually served which was a total disappointment. Everything was stewed instead of BBQ and was tough and no flavour. Servings were small and no food presentation. Don’t get me started on the lack of cleanliness of the restaurant. Never ever will we return and suggest you save your time, money and You go a decent and reputable restaurant
Wow your experience was certainly horrible. Ours was pretty bad as well but yours sounds even worse. So sorry to hear about that! Hopefully the restaurant does something soon to turn it around