Japanese Teppanyaki at Sake Restaurant;Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa

Japanese Teppanyaki is a culinary performing art.

The first time I tried Japanese cuisine I did not like it. The honey glazed chicken didn’t go well with my taste palettes especially because whoever prepared it put too much salt in the chicken, so it was more like eating salt mixed with sugar.To make matters worse,the meal cost me an arm and a leg. Since then,I decided to go slow on experiencing foreign cuisines.

During my recent visit to Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, my previous not so good experience with Japanese Teriyaki chicken was thrown out of the window.

The Sake Oriental Restaurant.

The restaurant offers Japanese, Indian and Chinese cuisine. Inside the restaurant,there are two Teppanyaki tables. There is also another set of normal dining tables and a floor sitting arrangement synonymous with the Japanese dining style. The set-up of this restaurant is personal and intimate.

Inside Sake Restaurant.
Japanese Chabudai table.
Teppanyaki dining table.

When we walked in, we were told we would be served a Japanese Teppanyaki dinner. I did not know what to expect. I was not sure whether it was alacarte,buffet or something else.However, I was curious to know what teppanyaki was and on enquiring, I got to understand teppanyaki is a technique where food is cooked and served on an iron ‘table’ where the customers are dining. ‘Teppan’ means (iron plate) and ‘yaki’ means (grilled/ pan-fried), so teppanyaki means meals grilled in an iron griddle. The interesting performance during the preparation of the dish is called ‘Hibachi.’

The Teppanyaki experience and Calvin, the chef with culinary theatrics.

We were shown to a window facing table at the furthest left of the restaurant. A few moments later, Chef George(the culinary arts guy) who welcomed and walked us in,handed us safely to Calvin and stepped aside. Calvin; the Japanese cuisine specialty chef, took over. He looked shy at first, while the rest of us seemed unsure of what to expect. Little did we know the performance that was coming our way. He was exceptional at Hibachi; you’d think he was born and raised in Japan.

The Food entertainment in the making of  Emperor course.

The Emperor course is the five-course teppanyaki meal served at Sake Restaurant .

It basically consists of an appetizer course consisting of vegetable salad and/or sushi,followed by seafood.

Vegetable starter…

The seafood of choice that paired nicely for this meal was lobsters followed by prawns, both of which were prepared separately.

Fried lobster.

Cooked Prawn.

The third course was meat. He made chicken followed by beef fillet with steamed vegetable mix.The vegetable was also pan-fried and then covered to steam for about two minutes.

Chicken fillet,garlic,mushrooms and butter.
Frying the chicken.
Beef fillet chunks.
Smaller pieces of beef cooking.
Beef and vegetables served.

The fourth course was vegetable rice.

Boiled rice,carrots,onions and green pepper.

The rice was pan fried with garlic, carrot and green pepper.

Finally, the soup was served. It was made of chicken soup as the base, mixed with miso paste and beef dash.


The whole time, watching Calvin skillfully flipping, turning, cutting, stirring and setting flames to the grilled meat added more excitement to the suspense in the air. Almost a nail-biting experience.

Flaming up the grill.

Speak of meals with an adrenaline rush.

My recommendation

Book your next stay at Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa. Ask for Japanese teppanyaki, and thank me later.

Contact Diani Reef on facebook, twitter, instagram.

Check them out on trip advisor for great deals as well.

Alternatively, you can call them on: +254 709 481 000.


8 thoughts on “Japanese Teppanyaki at Sake Restaurant;Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa

  1. Reply
    bye: myself - September 25, 2017

    Japan is on my list for next year. Looking sooo much forward. Thanx for sharing – and happy travels.

  2. Reply
    Flo @ Yogawinetravel.com - September 25, 2017

    Yum! I actually don’t eat raw fish so I love teppan – but there are tons of different types of Japanese cuisines, ranging from teppan to sushi to ramen to yakitori. Teppan chefs are so talented – it’s such a fun way to watch the performance then eat the product!

  3. Reply
    Adrianna Vogel - September 25, 2017

    When I lived in USA I went to Hibachi restaurants a lot! I love the show they make while cooking food in front of you! And the food is super delicious as well! I am going to Japan soon so I am super excited to see it from the original country! I hope I won’t be disappointed!

  4. Reply
    Lydia Smith - September 28, 2017

    About your first experience of having a bad time with Japan’s meals, I can’t but stress that not every restaurant out there should venture into Asian Cuisines. It’s stressful. Besides that, I like the way Diana Reef Beach Resort and Spa made you feel after Teppanyaki(I can’t allow you hate the food from one of my best country). The decor at Diana Reef is also beautiful.

  5. Reply
    Pack Your Baguios - September 29, 2017

    Bonnita thank you for sharing your experience. As I have traveled there were different takes on teppanyaki as you described with the U.S. a chef showing their flare by flipping an egg onto their hat or spinning it on their spatula and showing off their knife skills. While stationed in Japan i found a intimate teppanyaki restaurants with the grill in a 4 person booth. You and your friends become the artist and experiment with the different offerings of vegetables and meats. A different take altogether.

  6. Reply
    Tiago Ferreira - September 30, 2017

    Japanese food are so delicious and well presented. Their patient to prepare such dishes is amazing and some chefs don’t know how to prepare it and also some people don´t enjoy this type of food. Japan is a place that I dream to visit but it´s so expensive, if you want to experience really good Japanese food, visiting japan and search for most traditional places is where you gonna enjoy more.

  7. Reply
    Adrenaline Romance - October 1, 2017

    This is what we love about Japanese food. They put so much passion into their food preparation that the dishes actually become art. Those dishes look so pretty!

  8. Reply
    Neha Verma - October 1, 2017

    A restaurant and spa together! That’s so thoughtful. I am a vegetarian and that vegetable platter looks particularly attractive to me. Would love to try it when I happen to go to Japan

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