Little over a week old, this new and exciting addition to the city of Leeds offers pan Asian food with modern spin and more than a nod to locally sourced ingredients. The aim, to offer a high quality menu using fresh ingredients with little fuss in a matter of minutes. I went along accompanied by my better and hungrier half to sample their ‘bill of fare’.
Thankful of shelter from the ‘monsoon’ downpour, we were greeted warmly and shown to a peaceful window seat amongst a décor of clean grey lines and occasional modern art. The well-staffed kitchen sat discreetly in the restaurant, exuding tempting aromas to expectant diners.
Comfortable with a glass of sparkling, a member of staff gave us guidance on ordering from the ipads at our table, yes ipads and left us to make our selection! This was a first for us. ‘Dip into’ the menu, choose what you would like to eat and send your order to the kitchen. Simple as that. I was sceptical that it would go without hitch, me of little faith.
Our starters arrived in no more than a few minutes.
Mieng Gai;- my choice. This appetizing little gem had a real lightness of texture and flavour. Traditional Thai Betel leaves gracefully dressed with lightly spiced minced chicken, crushed peanuts and shallot. Invigorating notes of fresh ginger and lime with just a little punch of heat. The idea is to roll the ingredients inside said leaf and eat.
Bang, Bang, Chicken;- my guest. A favourite of many,Teppan 260’s interpretation of this traditional street cuisine had plenty of ‘boom, boom’. Torn breast of chicken with peanut butter and a scattering of crispy potato sticks and spring onion. Good flavour and balanced heat of Sichuan.
Our mains;- I would advise a little concentration on this part! Decide on your main dish and then select from a variety of accompanying sauces and rice, noodles or cubed chips. A side salad comes with all. Your choice of sauce will have a big flavour impact on the overall dish.
Aberdeen Angus Rib-eye;- my choice. Sizzling and spitting in a cast iron ‘teppan’, with a disposable cardboard guard, my sliced beef arrived, part cooked ready for me to finish to my liking. That done, I poured my Singapore spiced soy sauce over meat, vegetables and noodles and delved in with chopsticks (optional) not to let the side down. The meat was succulent and well complimented by the sides.
Chicken Tonkatsu;- my guest. After much deliberation he opted for the chicken breast, cooked in a very light batter served with button mushrooms and an accompaniment of egg fried rice and black bean sauce. As he comes from a family of ‘big eaters’, I began to wonder if I should revert to knife and fork before he polished his plate and began to ‘eye up’ mine.
(My only reservation on both dishes was a lack of accompanying sauce, easily remedied by politely asking for more)
The Head Chef, Kenneth Poon is no ordinary chef. This is a man who knows how to cook. Small in stature and modest in the most humbling way, he is a prince amongst men in the culinary world. Hugely experienced, he is a former Michelin Head Chef of the Dorchester.
A delightful and satisfying experience for good reasons. We were not overwhelmingly full of the wrong kinds of fats or carbs, the type that leave you feeling sluggish for the rest of the day. Service of fresh quality food was prompt without any sense of feeling rushed. The staff were attentive without being obsequious and there were no unnecessary interruptions, ideal for a business lunch or romance! It was well priced given the quality of the food and the input of the esteemed Head chef, Kenneth Poon. Would love to visit again in the evening and soak up the atmosphere on Millenium Square.
Teppantwosixty, 6 Millenium Square, Great George Street, LS2 3AD
Tel;- 0113 243 1888
Teppan 260 – restaurant review
27 Jun 2014
Innovative restaurant experience Teppan 260 has just opened in the centre of Leeds, combining mouthwatering East Asian cuisine with iPads at every table. Intrigued by the buzz around the fledgling destination,Mark Butler paid a visit.
There are so many good, well-priced and distinctively trendy eateries in the centre of Leeds these days, that standing out from the crowd can be a daunting task for a new restaurant.
But Teppan 260, located in the former Casa Mia segment of the Electric Press building, just off Millennium Square, certainly has a few fresh tricks up its sleeve.
The Asian fusion establishment offers a warm welcome from its staff the moment you step through the door, but once you are led through to your table and comfortably seated, that’s where the novelty begins.
Every table comes equipped with an iPad from which you order each course, and any drinks you may like at any point.
It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but once our waiter talked through the system and showed us what to do, the advantages quickly became obvious.
If you turn up absolutely starving fresh from a hard day’s work, as we did, you can request whatever starters you fancy straight away – and within a few short minutes, they’ll be sizzling right in front of you.
Need to grab a swift lunch between meetings? No problem. Want a second glass of Pepsi to wash down your next mouthful of noodles? Just key it in and it’ll be with you in a jiffy.
It essentially means that you can dictate the flow of the meal exactly as you’d like, tailoring your stay as you do so; and you can go completely at your own pace.
For those of you worried that this makes the whole Teppan experience impersonal and robotic, I can report that the waiting staff are every bit as considerate, physically present and engagingly chatty as you’d wish them to be: only now you won’t ever find yourself looking hopefully around to catch someone’s eye when you wish to place an order.
As someone who once sat waiting for an hour in an upmarket country pub before someone came to ask what we wanted to start with, I can certainly see the benefit.
Of course, a novel system of ordering is one thing – but what about the food?
Fortunately, I can report that it’s delicious stuff.
The menu takes in elements of classic Chinese, Japanese and Thai fare, but offers a nifty twist on iconic dishes. We had Bang Bang Chicken and Crispy Tiger Prawns to begin: the former offering a perfect blend of peanut-butter sweetness, potato crisp crunch, and a lovely hint of heat, while the latter was a kind of top-class take on a prawn cocktail.
Main courses are where it gets really interesting. You order a dish, sauce and accompaniment, and it then arrives at your table on a red-hot sizzling plate – which you then use to stir, spice and cook the offering to your liking.
If I’m honest, when my Mixed Seafood arrived I was slightly daunted by the prospect of overseeing the final searing of the food. I’m no chef (as anyone who knows me will attest), and wasn’t really sure what to do. However, a helpful waiter was on hand to explain that I simply needed to flip things over and wait around a minute. So no harm done!
My dining partner’s fried Chicken Tonkatsu fillet, which she had with a rich curry sauce, was – luckily for her – ready to tuck into on arrival, and proved absolutely spot on.
As for my own plate, the squid, mussels and prawns were all absolutely perfect, the noodles sublime, and the whole thing really came together when combined with a fiery ginger sauce.
If you’re the kind of person who thinks that Asian cuisine often lacks a bit of spark when it comes to puddings, then you really need to re-think that here. We tried both the Portuguese Egg Tarts – rich, warm and buzzing with a sweet touch of ice sugar – and the inspired Chocolate Spring Rolls: with liquid white, milk and dark portions enclosed by wafer-thin pasty and accompanied by ice cream. Utterly superb.
Are there some downsides to the Teppan experience as it stands? A few minor ones perhaps. My dining partner did comment that the decor is currently a little underwhelming and could do with a bit of ‘wow factor’, but once the evening got into full swing and the place began to get busier, there was an infectious atmosphere around.
Managing director Bokmun Chan trained at The Dorchester in London, has led The Orchid in Harrogate to general acclaim, and has clearly brought a touch of class here.
Teppan 260 offers a taste of the new and the delectable. And it’s well worth paying a visit.
6 Millennium Square
Great George Street
0113 243 1888
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