Cheri's sister gave us a gift certificate for Yamato months ago, but we were waiting for the right time. And so we finally made a reservation, over 6 months later.
dark and ruby, very thick
From the outside, Yamato is written in well spaced Trajan Pro, Japanese characters below it, all knocked out from a purple background with small fans, floating like parachutes above. Walking down to the entrance, you can feel the warmth behind the black framed glass - incandescent paper lights, beige fan pattens on the walls and birch furniture.
long legs with higher than average viscosity
This warm space welcoming from the front is actually just the walk-in area, which doesn't seem anything more than a regular sushi place. The host welcomed us and as we informed him of our reservation he walked us to the back and then to the left. On the way, we saw some ikebana arrangements, and it got very dark as we crossed a descending corridor to the second room.
Once inside this dining room, you feel like you are part of the show - dark marble walls, mirrors around, open concept room, big tables with hot plates and plenty of space. People are expecting something, not to mention the numerous kids there and the noise level going out the roof. Some tables had a chef, like our other half, but many were waiting.
sweet and sour, very fruity
As we sat we were given their menu - gold, textured, old-looking hard cover with 1 asymmetric flap. On the table lay fan-folded white cloths covering the chopsticks underneath. Inside the menu there are white laminated pages, not the perfect match with those lovely covers.
I picked their Sake Teppanyaki Dinner, which Cheri asked for their New York Sirloin Dinner. Out of curiosity, he had to check what was the Kobe Style Beef market price. We were betting if around under $60, we should try. It turned out to be over $200 - perhaps another time. Our waitress asked if we would like egg on our grilled veggies, and we should've said yes.
Weeding through the many sakes offered, we asked our waitress for help. After some thinking and confusion, we refined our question - "Which one would Japanese people pick?" She pointed at the Shirakawago Sasa (Nigori Unfiltered Sake) but, I swear, she felt like she's doing something illegal.
despite the color, surprising refreshing
The Shirakawago Sasa cake in a blue bottle, served in an ice container- just like any quality sake should be enjoyed - chilled. It was smooth and creamy, not particularly fragrant, perhaps a bit near the end.
We few minutes later we got our clear, onion, miso-based soup, followed by their green salad with a sweet, house dressing.. Now we were getting anxious. Is our show coming? All 7 of us filled our table, and now we were watching the chef on the other side of table clean up. Quickly after our chef came out, dragging a little cart of raw food. As if somebody was listening to our surprised conversation that chefs are rather international - ours was Japanese. He started off with the veggies cut right in front of us - his knifes looked like pleasure to play with. He put in the salt and pepper with hits, a rather loud melody. As we noticed later on, the egg is the ultimate thing to play with. Some chefs let it bounce in their hat, while ours made it jump a few times and landed it right on the edge of his spatula - to be broken in half. Then he added the rice and served it for the lucky people who picked that option. We got our rice in a bowl on the side. Another trick he did was making a mountain of onion rings and lighting them on fire. To be honest, I felt old to be there or rather lacking a child. Chefs kept on looking at the kids' expressions, parents being often more excited than the kids. I was happy to see a table full of adults, on the other side. Overall, a good vibe though, I can't deny.
an intriguing aftertaste, unexpectedly crisp
Food presentation of our plates was not a main concern of theirs, but the flavours really made up for that. My Salmon was very tender and smooth, probably one of the freshest I've had. Cheri's sirloin was a bit dry but still rare inside, not my type a thing. He didn't mind it, but no doubt the Sake salmon was great choice.
I don't think dessert was an option, but either way we were pretty filled.
It was quite the experience overall, definitely a very unique night for us.
A delicate Japanese plum wine.