There was a palpable buzz of anticipation as the guests streamed in and packed together, almost cheek by jowl, in Teppei – the Japanese restaurant with an almost-cult following, and a 1 to 4 month reservation wait.
Why do we say that? Because people book months in advance for a seat! Their omakase (from the Japanese word “to entrust”, which refers to a meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef) is legendary, given a wonderful array of fresh and exotic ingredients, priced at a fraction of what other joints charge for the same experience.
After following all their FB page instructions closely, and pre-registering at 8am on that fateful Saturday in March this year, we managed to be one of the 200 folks who got a chance to make reservations because we submitted our details within 30 seconds of the registration webpage going ‘live’.
Since we are all about sharing and caring on this blog – let me explain how to next secure a place at Teppei (for dinners from July-September 2015):
1. Stalk their FB page at 7:30 am on Sat 13 June 2015, which is the upcoming date of release for the online registration website link.
2. Cut and paste link in browser, start to refresh at 7:55 am. It promptly goes ‘live’ at 8 am. Before that, you’ll just get a holding message.
3. Enter your name and hp number, check quickly that there are no typos in the hp number especially, then click submit FAST. (i.e. within 5-10 seconds is best)
4. Successful names and their truncated numbers (first and last 2 digits only) will be posted in their FB page a few hours later, to inform folks of the call slots, which go like this:
- 1-10pm – Teppei will call the 200 successful pre-registered customers in blocks of 60 every 2 hours. We were in the third call slot (registrants 120-180), even though I had clicked ‘submit’ within 10 seconds! I’m sure the first 10 folks just clicked ‘submit’ within 2 seconds.
- They have this funky excel sheet that is updated every 2 hours on their FB page, to reflect what slots have been taken up by earlier pre-registrants. So when it’s your turn, you can only choose from the available slots.
- Each person can book up to 10 seats without making a deposit. If you want to ‘bao’ the full 22 seats, you have to deposit $1000 buckaroos, and pay $80++ per seat, even if there are no-shows.
- They only offer S$80++ sets for all Friday & Saturday sessions. All other sessions will still have a choice of either S$60++ or S$80++ set. They are closed on Sundays.
When we realised that we were successful, we decided to go on a Friday, and make it our belated wedding anniversary celebratory meal!
The first main, in my opinion was the sashimi plate. The salmon was one of the most delicious I have ever eaten in my life. It was almost like it was from another planet altogether. I have no idea where this salmon is from, but once you’ve eaten this, every other slice of raw salmon is going to taste very ho-hum. All the other slices of sashimi were awesome too, in terms of freshness, but none came close to the salmon.
Teppei-san painstakingly preparing every spoonful – this one featured Hokkaido Red Scallops and Foie Gras – ridiculously yummy.
He proceeded to shock us (I hadn’t read many reviews prior to coming) by feeding every single guest their mouthful! Urm, but we’re all Asian, guys!
Apart from the gastronomic odyssey that this was, the small number of guests meant that the atmosphere was kept very casual and fun. No need to dress up, or mind your P-s and Q-s too much. The chefs and other staff were always very busy, but service was friendly, and we had a nice chat with the lady who helps wash the dishes, who’s been working there for more than 2 years!
But what more of the food?
Well, these spoonfuls in particular were decked full with ikura (salmon roe – my fav!), uni (sea urchin) and sashimi! Which Teppei-san also fed to every guest. Truly oishii-desu, as he made us exclaim loudly at one point, haha.
Then there was the (from top left, clockwise) cod fish roll, the cheese baked cuttlefish-like crisp, the top shoots of the ice plant, and marbled Wagyu beef before it was cooked and apportioned out to each guest.
We were slightly surprised to be asked for our choice of ‘main course’, which seemed more like the ‘carbo course’ that is served towards the end of Chinese wedding dinners to make sure that guests are full.
The hubs chose the sashimi rice, and I didn’t because I thought it would be similar to what they serve at Hanare. Ended up? Regret.
Cos it came served like that.
The hubs very generously let me have a bit of each spoonful (except the blow-torched fish which he had finished by the time I asked to share) and it was all delectable.
I had ordered the fried rice with sunny side up egg (which came with more wagyu beef!), which was very tasty too. But nothing compared to the sashimi rice, I must say. *regret!*
Towards the end of the meal, we were also served very sweet cherry tomato wedges, prawn broth that was slightly spicy, and ice-cream (we could select from Yuzu, matcha, salted caramel, and black sesame).
All in all, we had a splendid time, and it was certainly a meal to remember.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
1 Tras Link
Tel: +65 62227363
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11.45am-3pm / Sat 12.15pm-3pm
Dinner: 1st seating 6.30pm-8.20pm / 2nd seating 8.40pm-11pm
Note: This is not a sponsored post. Or rather, it is sponsored only as far as the hubs sponsored my meal, haha.