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Welcome to TeaThymes! is a food and travel blog based in Sydney, Australia. From here you'll get to see some restaurant reviews, food and travel product reviews and the occasional recipes -all matters of food and drink!


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Yamagen, QLD


Here's a gem of a find! Whilst compiling the Gold Coast trip post earlier on, I managed to find my Yamagen shots from one of the evening dinners we had in Queensland.

Yamagen has been an old name for Surfer's Paradise. It's a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant situated inside a hotel that offers it's dining guests the appealing mastery of teppanyaki cuisine.

There's the six of us all eager to be seated at the show-stopping Yamagen teppenyaki section of the restaurant, but instead our waitress brings us to a zen garden lounge that overlooks a white Japanese style garden complete with white pebbles and bonsai trees. The restaurant itself is an old Japanese restaurant next to a hotel which on one side of the place, the wide glass windows can view the Gold Coast International hotel's pool.

To define Teppanyaki is like this: it's a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. To divide it up and loosely translate the "teppan" means iron grid and the "yaki" equals to be grilled or pan-fried and is an awesome experience to have. 

We choose a set menu called the Tsuki set at $68 a person. It's a set menu comprised of freshly cut sashimi and/or a tempura plate (not pictured), miso soup and salad (not pictured) then fried rice and the mains were grilled prawns and eye fillet with mushrooms, lettuce and beansprout in a teriyaki sauce.

Our food is divvied and cooked in front of us on a grill table, the experienced Teppanyaki chef showing off his skill at hand with juggling salt and pepper shakers and throwing fried pieces of egg into our bowls for us to try and catch.

The rice was doused quickly with seasoning, garlic and soy sauce over the grilled table top soon after we devoured our seafood selection. Our chef tosses in the rest of his ingredients to produce the finish product - fried rice.

Then there were the prawns which were grilled up and it's head served like a crispy chip to eat. I was a little hesitant at first to eat the prawn head, but it ended up being crunchy and quite an interesting thing to have tasted.

Just when I was all content and about to say to the chef "so... what's next?!" there's the sad realization that this teppanyaki set menu is done and dusted. With a respectful bow the teppanyaki chef proclaims "enjoy your meal!" and then begins to scrawl one last message to his dinner guests with only salt as his preferred means for writing.

Yamagen Japanese on Urbanspoon

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