Restaurant: Aka Teppan
Location: 3235 Highway 7, Markham, ON L3R 3P9
Price Range: $$
Note: Cash Only
I can’t remember exactly when Aka Teppan first opened, but if I remember correctly it has been opened for 2 years? Apparently it follows the concept of Pepper Lunch franchises, which is very popular and an affordable DIY fast food in Hong Kong. This isn’t my first time at Aka Teppan, hence this post will comprise of the few occasions that I went :).
Beware, this place fills up really fast, it is ideal to come here early as they don’t take reservations. I remember visiting this place on Friday at 7 pm and the wait was at least 15 to 30 minutes. In addition, they have added the stamp card now (when I went in summer they didn’t have this). I can’t remember what the rewards were, so I can’t comment whether the stamp card is worth it or not.
My friend ordered this appetizer to share and we didn’t enjoy it at all. The ox tongue itself was a bit dry, and it didn’t taste like it was roasted or BBQ. I felt like they reheated it in the microwave, and put some sauce and peanuts on top. Also the sauce confused me…. It was overly sweet for a savory dish, and I believe the sweetness came from honey? It was nothing special and I don’t recommend this dish at all.
I forgot to take picture of the menu, but when you order, you are given the options to choose the sauce and add toppings (extra $$!). Additionally, other than rice, they also have pasta and seafood options, albeit a bit more expensive. Also, although the “paper ring” is suppose to protect you from the splash of hot oil, be careful while mixing as I got a hurt a few times.
As you can see, all of the Teppan dishes come with a sizzling hot iron plate and be quick! Mix the ingredients and the heat from the iron plate will cook your beef slices. Actually, I recommend to cook the beef slices upon its arrival and mix the ingredients, as my friend once got raw beef because he mixed the ingredients first before letting the beef cook fully. The sauce itself is inside the rice, and it’s like a teriyaki black pepper sauce. The sauce was a bit sweet with a kick of spiciness throughout the dish, but I would have like to have some more salt as I felt the dish itself was a bit bland. In my opinion, if you don’t know what to order in the restaurant, I think the Supreme Beef would be a safe choice to order.
If you know me, you know I prefer pasta over rice. Yea sorry, I’m that kind of Asian lol, my mom would disown me if she knows this :(. I can go rice-less for a week if I have to, so sometimes I end up giving my friend my portion of rice as I don’t eat it at all.
Anyways…. Over the past few visits to Aka Teppan, I realized all the pasta dishes are really oily. I’m not sure why it is so oily though? I think they put more oil in pasta than usual to stop the noodles from overcooking and dry up too fast? The shrimps were already pre-cooked and were not bland. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the dish and it wasn’t as spicy as I expected. I remember the Tom Yum sauce was spicier so be careful!
Same as above. It’s oily but the chicken was tender and flavorful, I definitely think this is much better than the beef. With that said, I don’t recommend the cream sauce as it was bland and very light. This dish is like Alfredo pasta except you are cooking it on an iron plate.
This is a single hot-pot set and I think it’s a very unique concept, especially for a cold winter night! It’s quite expensive for 5 pieces of meat, but my friend enjoyed it and she was quite full afterwards. I didn’t get to try this as I hate herbal soup so I can’t comment on the taste. The herbal soup base reminds me of those bitter dark Chinese medicine and I still feel traumatized by it until now. With that said, I will try this on my next visit, but with a different soup base :p.
To be honest I can’t remember exactly how it tastes since it was 2 years ago, but I remember enjoying it. The rice cake was a bit salty and it’s a very filling dish. But again, anything with baked cheese is good man.
Isn’t the pot plan so cute! The chocolate crumbles on top is like soil with a mini plant in a small clay pot. The portion was quite small for $6 and it didn’t have the coffee and cream flavors of a tiramisu, quite disappointing. In my opinion, order this for the cute presentation (and a worthy instagram picture) but don’t expect too much.
Overall I enjoyed my time at Aka Teppan. I have tried the Teppan dishes so many times that I think for my next visit, I would just order the hot pot and that’s it. The service is not very consistent. I remember having rude servers for one of my visit, whereas other time the servers were very nice and attentive. In addition, I remember they used to accept debit and credit, I don’t understand why they only accept cash now? I can only think of one reason and I don’t want to mention it. It’s quite annoying that they don’t accept other type of payments as the bill can get quite high (an average of $40 – $50 for 2 to 3 people respectively).