Friday, 16 April 2010

Sen Nin, Camden

Last Friday I experienced my first Japanese teppanyaki meal when (thanks to Alex and Kid) we eventually managed a school reunion type get together. Teppanyaki being food cooked on an iron griddle.

The venue was Sen Nin in Camden

NOTE - Don't be fooled by the 50% off food offer on Toptable, they craftily presented an alleged half price Samurai Teppanyaki menu which would be a complete and utter rip off at the non discounted price of £45. We paid £22.50 each for 3 courses beginning with starter selections including dumplings, sushi rolls and veggie spring rolls. I was a bit perplexed about how well these items sit served together but went with it, eating most of the Kid's too. Soy and chilli sauces were provided for dipping and individual bowls of miso soup. The dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me as far as the food's concerned.

For main you must choose (in pairs - strange) 3 from 5 meat/fish options which are grilled in front of you by a rather flamboyant chef with the odd egg smashed on the floor (1 by Alex's feet which was cleaned up about an hour after the accident) for good measure. We were a little afraid of the guy in all honesty, knives were flying, flames were roaring, it was incredibly hot when the grill got going and the boys each had food thrown in their general direction to be caught with their mouths.

Nibs and I went for steak, prawns and calamari (ignoring the chicken and white fish). I thought that the food was served in a peculiar order, fish done first, meat, veggies then rice. Fish and meat eaten before the sides arrived. I will say that we all did our best to embrace the spirit, cheering, clapping and drum rolling the table when required, whilst the chef grilled, pouted and posed for photographs. He later emerged with marigolds and cleaned the grill. I would have thought there would be a kitchen porter for such duties? Things all felt a little odd really.

The dessert choices were green tea (?) or fruit salad. Poor. One might say I am a spoil sport and it's more for the fun than the eats but they probably wouldn't know me very well. I enjoyed the evening far more once we'd left the restaurant for the much safer surroundings of the Camden Head and few pints of cider.

Needless to say I won't be back for the food that's for sure and if you do visit, look out for 'sexyboy' (the chef/cleaner's favoured moniker) and be advised to steer well clear if there are any eggs in close proximity.

Sen Nin
35 Pratt St
Camden, NW1
4/10 (not my cup of tea)

Aplogies for lack of pics - it being a reunion we all got pretty merry, the atmosphere is fun actually. Total bill was £35 each with 10% service charge and booze.

Sen Nin Japanese Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon


Chris said...

What a fucking ripoff. Sounds like a pretty average restaurant attempting to impress with its stupid theatrics instead of serving decent food.

"sexyboy" ffs.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't let that put you off teppanyaki forever. I've had some really good experiences - although I think when the food is good, a little bit of theatricality adds to the atmosphere too.

Boo said...

Chris - I know, I was a bit shellshocked by it all really. At least I didn't get egged!

F&T - I certainly won't let it put me off, Alex (our event organizer) went to a great Teppanyaki restaurant in Manchester. Shame this didn't live up to the occasion.

Laura Nickoll said...

Egos and eggs. Oh dear. Sounds like they cared little about the customers, or the food. Fingersandtoes: which Teppanyaki restaurant in the capital rocks your boat?
Great post.

Gourmet Chick said...

I really enjoy teppanyaki for the kitchen theatre of watching the chef cook (by the way it is pretty standard for the chef to clean the grill I think). Sounds like this place was not good though so hopefully there is somewhere better in London. Annoying about the top table deception as well.

Gav said...

If you haven't already been do try the Dim Sum up the road at Yum Cha it's really very good!

Sen Nin looks pretty terrible thanks for the heads up!

Crackles said...

...while you're on the Japanese tip, if you haven't already been, Asakusa (right near mornington crescent tube) is hands down the friendliest, tastiest, most reasonably priced Japanese I've had in 4 years in London. It's no Nobu, but its still damn good. I go there minimum once a month, absolutely love it.

Boo said...

Laura - indeed, that sums it up perfectly.

GC - I'm all for it in theory so definitely need to find a better place.

Gav - not tried Yum Cha yet, been meaning to for a while, will get there soon I hope!

Crackles - I'll look that up, never heard of it but thanks so much for the rec.