Remember a time when Benihana-esque teppanyaki places were just the coolest damn things ever? Yes, it seems like a long time ago, but that time was very real. Well, the excitement has certainly passed, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to get a group together to hit up a teppanyaki place every few years. Well, we did just that in Pittsburgh’s South Side at spot called Nakama (which weirdly translates to “fellow”).
Before moving into the whole teppanyaki part of the meal, my buddy and I ordered a little appetizer called Crab Fritters and they were exactly what they sound like, being served with something called shrimp sauce. They also tasted exactly what they sound like, which is either a good or bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. I was looking for fried goodness, so I definitely couldn’t complain.
As for the main course, I ordered Suzanne’s Splash and Menu, which didn’t seem to be Japanese at all. What it did seem to be was the poor man’s surf and turf, which was perfect to me. It was a cut of New York Strip, but it came with a shrimp appetizer, plus salad, onion soup and grilled veggies; all of which seemed terrible to me. Fortunately, the steak and shrimp were not terrible. The cook put on a mild show before serving them (much less exciting than in my memories), but in the end they were pretty delicious.
Nakama turned out to be exactly what I expected it to be. Since I hadn’t been to a teppanyaki spot in years, it was delicious. But while I wasn’t disappointed by the food in any way, it will still likely be while before I get back to another one.