Birthday Week: Gyu King Teppanyaki

So the boy and I are born two days apart. This, as you might imagine, means a lot of birthday dinners.

… I’m not used to eating so much.

Last Sunday was his family dinner at Gyu King Teppanyaki.

I’ve had teppanyaki once in recent memory, at a place tucked away in Steveston. I went with J–it was a 10 course deal offered on Social Shopper, a localized groupon type site. It was a good deal, but the food wasn’t all that great. (Don’t go, is what I’m saying.)

Seated in a room to ourselves, the chef soon came in to begin preparing. We ordered a series of Deluxe Dinner for Twos–three for six people total.

[DISCLAIMER: three of these photos (it should be obvious which) were taken by the boy on a different day. The same food was ordered, though, so it’s essentially the same. I chose to use these because they were better than the ones I took the night of. Only difference is that he received beef fried rice, and on Sunday we received seafood fried rice.]


First was lobster miso soup, which was tasty.


What followed was the sashimi. The boy likes sashimi, so he dug in while I opted out of it. (Raw seafood problems.)IMG_6639

A zesty salad topped with tomato, cucumber, smoked salmon and (I think) Japanese mayo arrived next. The sauce makes it taste a bit different from your average western salad, which was refreshing.IMG_6641

At this point, the chef began the teppanyaki portion of the meal.

After slathering on some butter to the hot-hot metal surface, lobster claws and tails were chucked into the centre. Water was poured over, and a lid quickly enveloped everything.

The claws and tails were cooked at separate speeds (the claws seemed to take longer), and there was some alternating between which lobster part was cooking at the centre.IMG_6643

Underneath the lid in this picture was the lobster claw.

I’m generally not a fan of lobster claw. The meat weirds me out. It reminds me of that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Mr. Krabs sheds his shell and is left this wrinkly vulnerable hunk of meat. I guess that makes me weird to associate the two things, but anyway–I actually liked these claws. Maybe because they weren’t as floppy as usual lobster claw meat is. (Blech.)

Despite liking the claw, I still enjoyed the tail more. Mmmm, lobster!


Conch meat succeeded the lobster. I had never had conch before, and it had a surprisingly chewy-crunchy texture. I liked it, but it wasn’t the highlight of my night or anything. I’m glad I tried it though!



Giant scallop.

I should probably mention that the portions were generally larger than what I chose to put on my plate & photograph. I haven’t the hugest appetite, so I had to pace myself.

I also skipped the foie gras. Not my kind of thing.


Foie gras on toast.

Next was tenderloin steak. JUICY!


And soon after, ribeye usuyaki. Usuyaki is the mix of garlic chips and green onions waiting to be rolled into the ribeye in the picture below. It’s basically a beef roll. (Usuyaki tamago–egg–is also a very popular form of the roll.) While I’m not a fan of green onions unless used sparingly for hints of that extra something, the flavours mixed well and made for a crunchy, flavourful beef roll.



They threw in an extra ribeye usuyaki for us.

Finally, we started wrapping up. I was very full at this point… like to the extent that I’d pluck a little bit of my portion of each course from my dish and drop it off on his. As per usual with teppanyaki, the meaty part of our meal was over and the rice and veggies would top it all off.


Cute, 5-second design for his birthday.



Cabbage, broccoli, etc.

And finally… dessert! Mango ice cream.

It wasn’t very good (there were chunks of ice inside), but the rest of the meal was delicious and it was nice having something icy cold to end that hot ‘n heavy meal.


The fact that courses aren’t too big and come one at a time helps digestion a bit, but that won’t stop you from getting full. Still, overall I’d say the Deluxe Dinner for Two is worth it. However: it left no dent in my wallet. If it had… would I have gone? Mm, probably not. I’m not about that full-time employment lifestyle. So there’s some food for thought. (It doesn’t have the best Urbanspoon rating too, but as always, take those ratings with a grain of salt. Just as you should with this review, too!)

Teppanyaki experiences are cool–and there aren’t that many places to find them in Vancouver.Some people expect food to go up in awe-inducing flame as part of the teppanyaki show, but we didn’t see that at Gyu King. We just ate good food! Which I have to say I’d prefer to that little place in Steveston.


Gyu Japanese Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon


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