All about food. All about Edmonton.
Japanese Village has been in Edmonton since 1972 and has since expanded into three locations throughout the city. The restaurant is known for its teppanyaki-style cooking, in which the chef cooks your meal on a flattop or iron plate grill, often directly in front of the guest.
Modern teppanyaki restaurants fuse Japanese cuisine with western elements, serving up a full meal whilst entertaining guests with intricate cooking manoeuvres and flamboyant utensil-tossing performances.
The verdict? Sensational.
Japanese Village has been one of my favourite restaurants for years now and, while the excitement of the juggling and spatula-flipping has lost some of its novelty, the food and service themselves are just so consistently amazing that I find myself craving the JV dining experience at least once a month.
Here’s how the teppanyaki experience works:
You book a place (be sure to do this, because they need to fill tables of 8 and you’re unlikely to be served in reasonable time, or at all, if you don’t pre-book).
You show up, allow yourself to be seated, and browse the menu. JV offers a number of options – seafood, chicken, beef, and combinations – but I will always recommend the steak. Any steak, since they offer New York Striploins, Filet Mignons, and Rib Eyes. If you’ve never had a steak cooked on a flattop, this is something you need to try; I prefer it to an open grate grill any day of the week.
If you’re feeling particularly rapacious, try the Shogun Special: grilled Caribbean lobster tail smothered with creamy Misonaise Sauce and a New York steak or a Filet Mignon.
You will then be served your drinks, egg drop soup, and Japanese-style salad, without seeing even a hint of your main course. But don’t worry – it’s coming.
The chef will arrive and start cooking up a selection of items on the grill, probably whilst making polite conversation and cracking an adorable joke or two.
There will be a little show of culinary handling skills by the chef and, item by item, you’ll be served your meal: zucchini and onions, pieces of shrimp, mushrooms, bean sprouts, rice, and your prior choice of protein. The restaurant also ensures that everyone receives servings of their Ginger Sauce (great with the vegetables) and their famous Sesame Sauce (to die for when eaten with steak and rice).
The steak, cooked with green butter and a little bit of soy sauce, is tender and more flavourful than you can imagine. The vegetables are seasoned perfectly, and your shrimp samples are delicious bursts of heaven amidst a light gingery coating (if you choose to dip them in the Ginger Sauce, as I do).
Be sure to ask for a ladle of Sesame Sauce on your rice; if you end up loving it (as everyone does), take note that Mt. Fuji sells a similar product in bottles for approximately $5-7.
During my most recent visit to the Northgate location, we ended up being the only two diners at our table. The other couple had walked out after browsing the menu for a couple of minutes, likely due to the prices ($25 to $52 an entrée).
Yes, JV isn’t the cheapest restaurant out there. If you’re looking for a quick, cheap meal, this isn’t it. If you are, however, looking for a fabulous dining experience and the chance to be entertained whilst eating mouth-watering, freshly-prepared food, then this is the place for you.
I’ve been an avid and loyal fan of Japanese Village for at least the past 5 years, and I’ll continue to be a fan for many years to come, simply for the restaurant’s sizzling succulence, gastronomic integrity, and delightfully sweet customer service.
Japanese Village (Northgate)
1084B, 9499 137 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5E 6K9
(780) 422-6083 (Make a reservation for any location by calling this number)
11:30 AM – 2 PM and 5 PM – 10 PM
Saturdays: 4 PM – 11 PM
Sundays: 4 PM – 10 PM