The owners of a brand new Japanese fast food spot Sizzlin’ Suteki invited me to come check it out during their opening week. As usual, I dragged Matt out for dinner with me at an unreasonably early hour and we were able to enjoy the place to ourselves for a few minutes before the more appropriately timed evening crowd started to filter in. I really liked the bright, clean space and the open view of the tidy galley kitchen behind the front counter.
We were greeted by very friendly staff who explained the two menus. You can order rice with a choice of protein (beef, salmon, shrimp, chicken or tofu) or veggies and bean sprouts with steak, salmon, teriyaki chicken or two burger patties. We ordered a chicken suteki rice ($12.99) and a supreme suteki rice, which comes with beef, salmon and shrimp ($17.99). There were salad, miso soup, gyoza, karaage, takoyaki and spring roll sides for under $3 each as well, though we could see the portions for the meals were already quite large so we held off this time!
Our food was ready to be picked up from the counter after no time at all because of the “DIY teppanyaki” format. Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses a very hot iron griddle (called a “teppan”), usually with someone who actually knows what they’re doing at the grill. At Sizzlin’ Suteki, they bring out your raw seafood, tofu or beef (or freshly cooked chicken that’s already safe to eat) artfully arranged on a piping hot teppan for you to cook yourself.
When it arrives at your table and you’ve had a chance to recover from the dazzling sight of all that beautiful food fanned out and sizzling in front of you, you can sprinkle (or awkwardly glob) on some honey or garlic soy sauce, then use your chopsticks to toss your meat, vegetables and rice around until they’re cooked to perfection. I didn’t take photos of the cooking process because things moved so quickly and we were way excited to eat, so instead I’ll distract you with some of that sweet, sweet sizzle:
Between the two of us we weren’t able to pick one favourite protein out of the beef, shrimp, salmon and chicken as our opinions were divided, but we did agree that all were very tasty. We put the garlic soy sauce on the supreme suteki and honey soy sauce on the chicken – both sauces were delicious! Matt loved that he could control how much his beef was cooked by resting it on a pile of rice when he felt it was done. I loved the crunchy, toasty bits of rice that resulted from the teppan staying so hot throughout the entire meal.
The teppan was ringed with a paper crown, which looked silly to me at first until I realized how many times it would stop my wrist from brushing against the edge of the sizzling hot plate while also protecting my body from spattering oil. Dummies like me could definitely manage to sustain a burn without the paper. I also really like that they put the teppan on a wood block that sits on a food court-style plastic tray to keep you safe. Still, proceed with caution!
Sizzlin’ Suteki (1919 31 St SE) is a delicious, budget-friendly place to eat some hot and tasty DIY teppanyaki. I plan to make this one of my regular spots, especially since I need to get back there to try those tempting sides. I’m curious about the kids (safe and staff-cooked) bento box menu for my friends with little ones, too. They already have plans for another three locations in Alberta this year, including in Edmonton, so keep an eye out for one in your area. I highly recommend stopping by for a casual meal that also makes you feel like a pro chef!