Even though I had quite a few samples at the Dallas Farmer’s Market last Saturday morning, I didn’t go crazy on them; I knew that by the time I got back to Joni’s house it would be time to start thinking about lunch. My original plan had been to leave the market by 11, but of course I got sidetracked by all the goodies and didn’t leave until 11:30.
After some discussion of cuisine and locations, we finally decided on Asahi Teppenyaki & Sushi. I had been there with Joni once before 2 years ago. That was back when I wasn’t taking notes as I ate, and I was also way behind on doing my posts. So by the time I actually wrote the review I couldn’t remember the names of anything I had. I always apologize to new meal companions when taking notes, but they fully understand when I explain why.
We pulled into the parking lot from a back street, and really weren’t even sure if it was open anymore. There were only a couple of cars in the parking lot because it a Saturday past the lunch hour. And also there was no sign above the front door. I later noticed that the sign is on the side of the building that faces the main road. That kind of makes sense, but at the same time it’s still pretty odd.
What I remember the most about our last visit–other than the great food–was the unruly kids. We were seated in the bar area, and this group of little kids kept running all around the restaurant. They were even playing hide-and-seek, and yelling for each other. Mind you, this was during dinner, when the place was almost full. The worst part was that not once did the parents even attempt to control the kids. They didn’t even get up to come look for them. When I was a kid, if I had even thought of doing something like that, my mom would have spanked me in front of everyone. Heck, the manager could have spanked me and my mom would have been okay with it. Wait, I never would have acted like that because I was raised better. These days, if a stranger had confronted the parents or even said something to the kids, the parents would have flipped out. A couple times the kids were leaning over into this waterfall in the entry foyer. It was all I could do not to dump them in there.
Thankfully, the restaurant was nice and quiet on this visit, and we were seated in the main dining room. Asahi has 3 distinct dining areas. As you walk in and past the host stand, there’s a sushi bar area to the right with a long sushi bar and table seating. The main dining room is to the left of the host stand and is pretty small, with 6 booths and 3 tables. The hibachi tables are just beyond the main dining room.
Joni was in charge of the appetizer. She said she had been at a Thai restaurant lately and the spring rolls weren’t fried and were really good. But the rolls here are fried, so instead we went with steamed gyoza
I’ve had gyoza lots of times, and this was one of my favorites. I usually get it fried, but I think I might be a bigger fan of the steamed. The filling was so flavorful, and the dipping sauce matched it perfectly.
Joni doesn’t do sushi. Ever. So she went with the chicken hibachi, and she selected fried rice. It also comes with soup and salad
The salad is a small green salad. She had already dug in before I could get a picture, so that’s already a little mixed. The soup is miso. I didn’t try either one, but she said they were good.
I tried a piece of the chicken, and it was delicious. Very well seasoned. The fried rice was fantastic. I can’t tell you the last time I had fried rice, but I’m glad she got it and that I tried it. At the hibachi table they cook the rice with the veggies and meat so it gets all the same spices and flavor. I could have eaten that whole bowl.
I started with the sakura. I had never even heard of it before, but sounded very interesting and there were only 3 pieces. I figure if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t waste much.
These were awesome. They really were mini, little one-bite appetizers served cold. The menu says that the tuna is spicy, but I really didn’t taste any spice at all. I’m very slowly becoming a fan of raw tuna…as long as it is in small quantities and there’s other stuff to go with it. I never used to like masago, but I tried it once about a year ago and was hooked. The garnish was julienned carrots, so I dipped those into my soy sauce and ate those as well.
For my other roll I got the caterpillar. I don’t do raw eel, so before I ordered it I asked the server. She confirmed that it’s seared.
This roll was so good. The creamy avocado went really well with the rest of the roll. The pieces of eel were pretty big, and perfectly seared. The first time I tried eel sauce I thought it was made from eel. But there’s absolutely no eel in there. So I can’t figure out where the name came from.
I was a little worried with my order, because there were no prices listed on the menu. That’s usually a dangerous sign, and you end up unintentionally spending a ton of money. But it was just the opposite here, so I was happy.
Will I go back? No question. The food is delicious, the service is prompt and attentive, and I really like that the manager is there, visible; as a matter of fact, she was seating everyone during our visit.