SINGAPORE - It may not always receive as much fanfare, but the 'hamburg' steak (pronounced hahn-bah-gu) is as much a staple of Japanese home cooking as better-known favourites like sushi and ramen.
Perhaps that is why acclaimed chef Keisuke Takeda, founder of the Ramen Keisuke Group of dining outlets and well-known for promoting Japanese comfort food, has decided to place the humble meat patty front and centre of his 12th concept restaurant - Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei.
While some restaurants give diners a choice of just about everything under the sun, you won't face such problems here. The menu features just two main dish options - the Keisuke Prime Beef Hamburg Set (S$18.80++) or the Triple Cheese Prime Beef Hamburg Set (S$20.80++).
Naturally, we ordered both to try.
Made with prime US beef, the hamburgs are served fresh on sizzling hotplates, and are marinated in just the right way that allows the patty to retain it's tasty beefy flavour.
The cheese hamburg is extra-sinful, with the already-sizable patty stuffed with a combination of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan, oozing out as the patty is cut.
Diners pick from four sauces to go with their meal: sweet and spicy, demi-glace, oroshi ponzu (radish with vinegar) and teriyaki. While they do add flavour, we felt that they made the meat taste a little too sweet, and would recommend diners to go easy with the sauce rather than pouring the whole dish over the hamburg like we did.
Each set also comes with a bowl of Japanese rice, an ebi furai (fried shrimp) as well as strips of aburaage (fried beancurd) and tofu with bonito flakes.
But that's not all. To complement the meat, diners at the restaurant also get a free-flow of salad from the self-service salad bar, which boasts a rotating selection of 20 items daily, including lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, pickled cabbage and pasta salad with tuna and eggplant.
There is also an egg station where patrons can enjoy an unlimited flow of eggs served in their favourite style, be it sunny side up, scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled or tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette).
Situated in a cosy shophouse along Peck Seah Street, the restaurant exudes a casual vibe that makes it ideal for all dining groups, be it Tanjong Pagar office workers looking for a quick lunch or families enjoying a dinner out.
Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei
Address: 72 Peck Seah Street
Phone: +65 6908 4348
Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm daily (the restaurant does not take reservations)