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Sen Nin Restaurant Review – Teppanyaki with a Twist

BY Boon Koh
Published 11 October 2009
Our Review Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Sen Nin Teppanyaki Restaurant was one of the more unusual dining places that I have been to in London, and ended up being an incredibly good place to bring someone for a Birthday or celebration!

The whole experience seemed to be pretty normal until the chef arrived; we were shown our seats on a big square table, facing all the other diners and with a big hot teppanyaki cooking plate in the middle. The decor seemed very neutral typical Japanese, and the restaurant itself is very cosy although the big glass windows all around meant that as much as we were people watching, passerbys outside were watching us too!

Teppanyaki is a very leisurely style of Japanese eating where you can see the food being cooked and presented right in front of you, almost like a show in itself (bringing a whole new meaning to the dinner-show concept!). Typically, there are multiple courses, but each course is quite a small serving and is more like a sampler. When I went, my partner and I had the Summer Sizzler Set Menu, where there was a combination of meats, veggies, sushi, starters, miso soup, rice, and desert at the end.

Things started to get really interesting shortly into the cooking, with our chef in a very playful mood! To summarize, we had to catch pieces of fried egg playfully thrown at us, learn how to flip an egg using the teppanyaki metal spatulas, and someone even had a whole egg thrown at them! Luckily, it was a fake egg, and our chef seemed to enjoy playing these little tricks on his “audience”, as much as we enjoyed the entertainment while eating our food!

The food itself was well cooked, with the prawns and beef very well seasoned. The starters were a bit of a disappointment, especially the spring rolls, but the sushi was decent, and the meal overall was very filling. Service was a bit slow at times seeing how the restaurant is rather small.

Verdict: Overall the experience and fun of the place is the main selling point, with the food being decent but average. The original prices, £50 for the Summer Sizzler Set Menu, is way too high and the food (even with the chef antics) is definitely not worth that much. Thankfully, we had gone when they were running a 50% off promotion, and at that price it was quite a reasonable experience.

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
Cuisine: Japanese Teppanyaki
Price Range: £60 for two, with non-alcoholic drinks

Main Branch Address: 206 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1RQ (They also have another branch in Camden, check their website for more details)
Nearest Tube Station: Highbury & Islington Tube Station (8 minutes walk), or Angel Station (10 minute bus journey)
Booking/Reservation Tel: 0207 704 1890

Alternative London Branch: 35 Patt Street, Camden, London NW1 0BG
Booking/Reservation Tel: 020 7096 1276
Website: http://www.sen-nin.com

Picture gallery of Teppanyaki at Sen Nin Restaurant: