It’s a nice feeling when you start your day doing all your errands and then finishing it off with a nice trip to a new restaurant you haven’t tried before. At a new mall along Daang Hari, stands the Evia Lifestyle Center, which gives off the European vibe here in the south. It’s a new mall, still lots of empty stalls, very limited parking (but I think they’re doing something about it already), and they have this huge activity grounds inside and at the very heart of the mall. It’s surrounded by stores in a circular fashion, glass ceiling for natural light which is very cool since they have this enormous Christmas tree as the main attraction. So why was I here? To visit Bagoong ni Sisa and hoard goodies haha. Mission accomplished on that one!

After roaming around the mall, my mom, sister, and I decided to eat lunch somewhere, some place new, as I’m trying to tear them away those fastfood joints they so love. And after searching online, I found this restaurant: Teppanya. A Japanese joint that has a tagline of “It’s not just dinner. It’s entertainment!” And they weren’t kidding. Customers are seated on a bar-like setting surrounding the iron griddle where the chef will cook your meal. In our case, since there were just 3 of us, we were grouped with a family of 5. The host gave us the menu and suggested items to order for first timers like us. So I ordered the set meal (came with salad, soup, and stir-fry veggies) for mom and sis, beef, chicken, and pork for protein, and I ordered salmon and uni nigiri for myself.

The chef then proceeded in cooking our food in front of us, staring with the fried rice. Interestingly, that took the most time to cook, as there was an assortment of ingredients in it. Eggs, carrots, sauces.. enter the eggs show. Chef did a number of tricks with the raw egg in shell, throwing it in the air with his ladles, catching it with his toque blanche, AND not breaking it (imagine if it broke on his head haha!). He also made some cutesy heart forms on the griddle, maybe that would be amusing if his audience were all couples (at this point, I was really thinking he’s just playing with our food, see I called us his audience already!). Then came the cooking of the proteins. First the pork, drizzled with a medley of sauces, making it sweet and tangy. It was cooked nicely, it wasn’t tough nor under-seasoned. The chicken came next, cooking it to perfection with what I reckon the same sauce as the pork. It wasn’t overcooked, still juicy. He cut both in cubes and continued cooking it for a few more seconds before serving. And the beef came last, before going any further he asked us what temperature should he cook our beef, I told him medium rare, and the father from the other group said well done and I winced in pain at that, even giving him a quick glance which initially I thought he didn’t see. I mean, I wanted to ask "did you not see how he cooked the other meat or do you really just want to eat rubber?" LOL and not 5mins after, just before the chef starts cooking their portion, he changes his mind and made it medium rare, too. Haha! That felt like that was a small victory for the steak gods.

Verdict: 3/5 
Considering the live show and the flavor and cook on our meat, this restaurant would have good marks. The crew were informative, helpful, and courteous. But I have to pull it down a little because I just didn’t like the narrow aisles inside the restaurant, customers were more or less bumping on each other. They also lacked proper ventilation, we pretty much came out the restaurant smelling like the food we ate haha! Lastly, I thought they could do something about the wait time before the service began. Maybe give it another go next time when they’re more accustomed to serving multiple groups of diners.

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