If your kids are the antsy type, this family-friendly teppanyaki restaurant—often affectionately dubbed the “Benihana of Beijing”—may be the place for you. Keeping kids entertained when dining out can be quite a challenge, but with the food grilling in aromatic splendor before their eyes, boredom is hardly an option here. Teppanyaki, or 铁板烧 (tie ban shao, or “iron griddle cooking”) in Chinese, is a style of Japanese cuisine that combines show and food by bringing the kitchen right before your hungry eyes. All dishes are cooked by expert teppanyaki chefs on an iron griddle that makes up the center of the table, with seats surrounding it for ideal viewing.
Take it from us and order the RMB 178 per person buffet—it’s pricey for sure, but the delight of ordering whatever you like off of the extensive menu makes it well worth the investment. Culinary options range from fruit salads to sushi and sashimi to grilled meat, with a host of desserts and drinks to round out the meal. The buffet includes all drinks, including a delicious selection of fresh-squeezed juices (watermelon, papaya, mango, and cantaloupe) that make great healthy choices for kids and sake and other alcoholic drinks for parents. For seafood fans, the codfish is delightful, while those more preferential to meat may enjoy the grilled beef with onions or grilled chicken. Pickier kids may be appeased by the traditionally tasty fried rice with beef, salmon, or shrimp. While the sushi and sashimi is mediocre, the scallion pancakes, a traditional Chinese delight, are delicious and fun to watch being made as well.
Though it’s easy for even the hungriest gourmands to get full here, make sure to save room for dessert! Fried banana is a great choice, and comes with a scoop of deliciously rich vanilla or strawberry ice cream.
Service is hardly a strong point in most restaurants in China, but the waiters at Tairyo are attentive and quick to respond, if a bit nippy in manner. The teppanyaki chefs are generally friendlier and can develop quite a nice rapport with guests, though their English isn’t as strong as the wait staff. Just watch out for timing—the chefs get off at 3pm after lunch hour, so make sure to ask about hours your stay at the buffet may be more limited than you expect!
Check out the Suzhouqiao branch of Tairyo Teppanyaki at 15 Wanliu Zhonglu, located a short walk from the Hepingxijie Beikou station on line 5. There are also four other locations throughout Beijing. For more information, visit our Directory here.