Spent hours at Teppei for the friend's birthday. It's his current favorite restaurant, and he wanted us to try it. Our party of 20 took the 8.30pm slot and didn't leave till near midnight. Even then, the man and I were the first to leave, and the merry-making continued on till dunno-what-time. It marked my first visit to the much raved about casual restaurant. I never bother queuing for food or making a reservation weeks in advance, so these types of restaurants usually don't get onto my to-eat list, or 'happen to be in the area' mindset.
Teppei isn't a sushi restaurant. The sashimi is well...I can skip it. Cooked items are good; its sets consisting of 8 to 15 courses are competitively priced. I like it enough to want to return if there's an opportunity to. Not a place to sit down and chat in peace. Vibes are similar to its Tokyo hole-in-the-wall izakaya counterparts. Ventilation's poor, and it gets hotter and hotter as time passes. Certainly wouldn't go out of my way to do so unless a dinner date could somehow be fixed in advance.
Grateful that the affable Chef Yamashita Teppei noted my dietary preferences that night and remained unfazed with the lack of prior notice. I'm controlling allergies. So sticking to vegetables and fish only. No shellfish or meat. Declined scallops too. The items that appeared on my plate were quite tasty, except the kitchen's not too inventive with vegetables or the gravy they sit in. So fish came in many forms of tempura, soup, stewed and broiled.
The one thing I'm absolutely impressed by- Aunty Latha, who washes the dishes at the restaurant. It's hard work, and she does it with a smile, and at such speed because the plates are used at least twice to hold each diner's next course. Honestly, a dishwasher won't be as efficient. In awe of her work ethics. She was still there when we left. Amazing how everything runs so smoothly in such a tiny space with quite a number of humans moving through daily.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
1 Tras Link, #01-1863, Orchid Hotel
Singapore 078867 (located along the side of the ground floor retail units)
T: +65 6222 7363