With that being said, it should be clear that teppanyaki isn't my first choice. But eating out is a group decision, so it would be impractical to solely focus on the interests on a particular individual.
Upon first glance, the restaurant comprised of the basic elements of a proper teppanyaki dinner: sleek marble tables arranged around a well-ventilated grill, timeless decorations of seemingly Japanese origin, and hardcover menus consisting of both English and Japanese.
Unfortunately, it didn't take long for us to discover that the resulting experience would be anything but unauthentic.
Majority of the staff were also of Chinese descent with the exception of a select few that displayed evidently Japanese mannerisms. While some phrases were a tad hard to decipher due to slurring, most members, chefs and host included, possessed competent English comprehension abilities.
Conversation skills, as one member of our party had observed, were essentially nonexistent; the chef hadn't bothered to converse with us at all during the cooking process, but rather seemed hurried and eager to finish his job. The lack of exchanged words wasn't much of an issue for me, as I honestly preferred to keep to photo-taking during the experience, though it's an understandably important factor for chattier customers.
He seemed genuine enough, in my opinion, and even cracked small smiles from time to time.
< Pictured above and below: Tsukiji Market Spicy Tuna Roll, Appetizer Sashimi, and Crab, White Asparagus & Avocado Salad >
It was my belief that an upgrade would need to be executed quickly if customers are to be retained. However, as the night carried on, I soon discovered that Katsura's main client base stemmed from locals, many of which were large European families consisting of too many loud young children.
Truthfully, most of the champagne had sunk towards the bottom of the serving glass due to density differences emerging with the melting of the sorbet. Nonetheless, both flavour and alcohol content were found to be satisfactory.