First look: Teppanyaki Grill and Supreme Buffet

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Teppanyaki Buffett
Asian buffets are like drinking warm beer. You know the experience won't be as pleasant as it should be, but you also know that it will get the job done.

Another Asian buffet, Teppanyaki, has opened in the Hi-Lake Shopping Center at Lake and Hiawatha.  The Hot Dish stopped by to sample from the steam trays.



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The interior of the restaurant is exceedingly spacious. There are multiple rooms with dozens of tables and booths. These are the kinds of places for large groups, as everyone can find something to eat on one of the 10 islands.  We stopped by on the late end of a weeknight but still found a fair number of diners.



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Attack of the Mutant Mini-Lobsters!
One of the first things to notice at the buffet was a large pile of bright red crawfish. That's something you don't see at every buffet--and there's probably a reason. Most of the other offerings here were the same as other buffets.

The woes of Asian buffets have been well-documented by the Hot Dish in the past, and Teppanyaki Buffet does not escape those woes.


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When I think Asia, I think- kielbasa?
There were dishes that were lukewarm at best, and servers who seemed either awkwardly overattentive and apologetic or dismissive bordering on rude. Why do all of these Asian buffets feel the need to add so many non-Asian foods to the buffet? We understand the desire to cater to the picky palates of prepubescents, but is pizza and macaroni and cheese necessary?  On one island, we found this kielbasa, among other oddities.

Places like Teppanyaki Buffet raise an important question for all restaurateurs who are examining the potential of a buffet:  Is it better to take the "shotgun" approach and throw a massive smattering of dishes and hope that some stick, or is it better to do a smaller number of dishes and do them well and do them right?

Compare these Asian super-buffets with some local Indian buffet restaurants and a stark difference appears. Many of the Indian buffets are significantly smaller, but the food is fresher and more focused--at Great India and Gandhi Mahal, for example. Buffets like Teppanyaki prove the point that bigger is not always better.

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On right, the grill, to the left, sushi bar
It's not all bad news, however. The grill section features a decent selection of meat to have done fresh to your liking, including steak. We sampled one and found it to be reasonably good, with some nicely sauteed mushrooms. The sushi selection was a little thin at the time we were visiting, but most of the vegetarian rolls were fresh and tasty.  One roll was deep-fried and ice cold at the same time, which caused a bit of cognitive dissonance.

While Teppanyaki is a little nicer than some of the other local Asian buffets, it doesn't particularly stand out from the pack when it comes to the food. Yeah, the bottle's nice ... but it's still a warm beer.

Teppanyaki Buffet
2216 E. Lake St., Minneapolis (In the Hi-Lake Shopping Center)



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14 comments
annonymous
annonymous

YUCK! Hot food cold, cold food was warm. No crab legs, just the nasty mudbug crawdads. AKA science experiments. Kids touching food and putting it back. Come on people supervise your spawns. I wouldn't go back if they paid me. Over priced and dirty, not for me.

Mc
Mc

I just ate here for the first time today and I love this place and I'm bringing some friends and famlly back with me this weekend. Food is great and there is something for everyone.

Steve
Steve

Monday, July 18: This was the worst experience I have everhad in a restaurant and I will never return. I want to make sure that theperson responsible for my experience is held accountable for her actions and Iwant everyone to know what kind of people this restaurant puts in charge.

First off, I think that the food was as good as any other Chinesebuffet but the cost was a little high. It cost about $24 for two of us for the DailyDinner buffet but we didn’t have the Daily Dinner buffet! We walked through thedoor at 3:26pm – I checked my cell phone because we wanted to do the Lunchbuffet which, according to the sign on the door, ended at 3:30pm. I asked thehostess, “The lunch buffet is still on, right?” but the hostess said that theirclock showed that it was after 3:30pm. I said, “It’s not 3:30 yet…” and showedher my watch. She said, and I am quoting here, “Oh, okay, no problem”. More onthe time and so forth later. We went up to get our food and when I returned,there was a restaurant worker walking away with a dirty, black, string-mopwhich I noticed because it was so dirty and unsanitary looking.  When I got near our table, I slipped and didthe splits. The floor was covered in a layer of greasy water, right in a majorpath. I guess I let out some sort of a sound of distress and waitress turned andasked if I was okay. The man had returned and he came to me saying, in broken English,“It’s okay, I put signs, I put signs”. I told him that the signs were good butthe floor was way too wet and that he needed to dry it right away. When I madeanother trip and came back, the water was still standing on the tiles so I wentto the mop man again and told him that he really, really needed to dry thefloor right away. He said, “See, I put machine” referring to a fan but I toldhim, “No, no, you really need to get some towels or something and wipe up thewater right away!” That’s when a woman in her early twenties named Mavina (or aname close to that) came up to us and told the man, “No, no”, shaking her head.Then she told me, in broken English, that she had taken care of it. I told herthat, no, that water was still standing on the floor and it was still veryslippery. She told me, “Sir, it’s taken care of, you go sit down”. I tried tostress to her that the standing water had to be wiped up and, looking for aword she might understand, I said, “It is like, illegal”. But she just kept up,making condescending gestures, as if brushing me away, and saying, “You go sitdown, you go sit down. I’ve taken care of it.” Losing my patience I said, “Whatpart of ‘get some towels and dry this up’ don’t you get?” She pushed me out ofthe way and walked to the front desk. The man, against her orders, came to me withan arm full of towels and said, “I will fix”, which he did. I thanked him andsat down. Our waitress came to me and, patting me on the shoulder, said “Sosorry, so sorry” over and over again and “She bad”. Then the bill came… Wherethe hostess had marked “Lunch” was crossed-out and Daily Dinner was written. So,when we went to pay, Mavina struck again. I told her that we came at 3:26pm andthat someone had crossed out Lunch and written Daily Dinner. She said, “You cameat 3:30”, but I explained what the hostess said. She said, “Our clock show youcame at 3:30”. I said that her clock was wrong and that she should check itwith her cell phone. But, it was like talking to a robot, a very rude one thatkept repeating the same thing. She even went so far as to show me the papersign on the hostess station, which now conveniently read 3:25pm, next to wherethe 3:30pm had been crossed out. She had actually gone to the point of alteringthe sign that I had seen on the way in – what, to “punish me”??? Good gawd!!! Istill can’t believe that a restaurant employee, much less a manager in charge,would treat a customer that way. I know that the adage “The customer is alwaysright” is an old one and that it can be taken to extremes by some but,really??? Telling a customer, who is complaining that he slipped on a greasy,wet floor, “You go sit down”, while making condescending gestures and doingnothing about the problem. Then arguing over the correctness of a clock and adifference of three or four minutes – and forcing a customer to pay more thanthe price that was basically agreed upon earlier. This Mavina is some piece ofwork. She obviously has some sort of a chip on her shoulder and has absolutely nocustomer service training or experience. With her aggressive attitude, I don’tbelieve that she could ever take a subordinate or service role when dealingwith customers and I would find it hard to believe that she could even take a peer-levelrole with coworkers. I think she should lose her job over this. As a matter offact, I suggest that any potential customers call and ask if Mavina still worksthere and avoid that place until she’s gone.

Joedro
Joedro

teppenyaki grill is number one buffet ever in U S A !!!

Ashley
Ashley

as a worker at the Teppanyaki buffet, i think that it is a wonderful place to go hang out with old or even new friends pluss the food is the Bomb.......lol =D

Midtown Pat
Midtown Pat

The reason they offer non-Asian food is probably due to the neighborhood it serves.At $8.99 for dinner use the $1.00 off coupon in City Pages and it brings it down to $7.99 plus tax. Not bad for a meal that includes appetizer, multiple main courses, dessert island and multiple beverages. When dinner runs more than $5 @ fast food joints this is a reasonable value for only a few dollars more.And, of course the important thing is to eat sparingly to avoid buffet hang-over and the resultant necessary siesta.I am glad they are in my neighborhood.

Honestly
Honestly

They should just call places like this the "Teppanyaki Feeding Trough" and given customers there very own cowbell around their neck as they enter. Bleh...

Sunnysidegurl
Sunnysidegurl

Bad costumer service no drink refill and rude waitress walked away.without getting us a drink.we had to ask for water but food was good neefs to.work on costumer satisfaction workers to rude

124343abdfd
124343abdfd

Grow up and stop being such a fucking baby.  Plus get a life.  Have nothing better to do then right a ten page report. 

Sonyarae
Sonyarae

so you really like this place..thinking about doing my son's graduation party here, but we r from MD, so we can't taste the food first. tell me...is it at least a B- when it comes to taste? I need to do a buffet in VA since most of our family is from there, so i need some advice. or should i try old country buffet?

Steve Feldner
Steve Feldner

I wrote what happened to me so people know what kind of place and people they are dealing with.  Obviously you are the one who needs to grow up as you have to resort to personal attacks when you have nothing better to say.  No one else has made such a comment in six months so what makes you think that your uninformed opinion is so important that you have to share it with everyone?-Who do you think wants to read your tripe?  -And why not post under a real name?-Why not make a comment about the restaurant instead of people who do.And, as far as having nothing better to do...  I wrote that post in about 5 minutes.  I supposed it would seem like forever to someone who is as illiterate as you but some people can actually compose sentences and type in a reasonably quick manner.

annonymous
annonymous

We call old country the Old Hog Trough. All the springs are broken in the seats from the hefty customers. Someone that used to work there said he wouldn't take the food home to his dog it was so dirty in the kitchen. I got sick there so I might be biased. I prefer clean, hot and tasty.

ppl
ppl

i dont know why ppl like u have to make up silly things to try and get others to not go somewhere just because u got sick smh

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