This teppanyaki restaurant is on the fourth floor of the Roppongi Hills complex, having opened in April 2007. As so often in Japan, finding it is a little fiddly. You can take the main of the Grand Hyatt hotel lift to the 6th floor, walk ahead of you into the open air viewing gallery where you will find a smaller lift ahead of you to your left; take this to floor 4F, which opens out onto another platform with a bar called Maduro. Walk into the shopping complex over the bridge and turn left, the take the next bridge between the complex and the hotel, to your left after less than 100 metres. The restaurant entrance is discreetly tucked away to your right.
The dining room has two main sections, with counter seats placed alongside the teppan grills. There is also a private dining room for up to five guests. After your order is placed your chef prepares your food in front of you. As well as half a dozen tasting menus (mostly from ¥16,000 to ¥20,000) there is an a la carte selection too. Starters were ¥1,500 (£10) to ¥3,000, main courses from ¥2,800 to ¥18,000 for a 180g sirloin of Kobe beef. Desserts were ¥1,200.
A nibble consisted of a little quenelle of scallop, prawn and seafood sauce, cooked on the teppan grill. This was pleasant enough but rather bland (13/20). My starter was tuna tartare (¥2,800), which featured reasonably good tuna but was seriously under-seasoned, so you tasted tuna and spring onions, but little else (12/20). Much better were snow crab spring rolls cooked on the grill, served with a salad. The rolls were lightly cooked with a delicate coating and plenty of crab flavour, the salad having a well-balanced sesame seed dressing (15/20).
A main course of sea bass (¥2,800) was prepared en papilotte, in a little bag cooked on the grill, effectively steaming the fish. The bass itself was cooked properly, served with a few vegetables, but the end effect was rather dull, the dish perhaps needing a sauce or some other element to liven it up (13/20). Live prawns were prepared by the chef at the counter and then grilled, served in a copper pot with a tomato and olive-based sauce, the legs of the prawns served on the side. The prawns themselves were undeniably fresh and had reasonable flavour, though they compared poorly in flavour to the superb prawns I had eaten at lunch that day at Rakutei (14/20).
For dessert, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries were cooked briefly on the grill and served with Marscapone ice cream. This was a slightly odd idea but the fruit itself had nice flavour (13/20). Crepe Suzette was also prepared on the teppan grill, flambéed at the counter and served with slices of oranges and Grand Marnier sauce, the pancake wrapped into a cylinder shape and topped with vanilla ice cream. This was pleasant, though the pancake could have been thinner, and the dish was let down a little by rather ordinary ice cream, which lacked enough vanilla flavour (13/20).
Service was very good, the chef friendly and English-speaking, happy to chat about the dishes. The bill came to ¥14,266 (£94) per person with beer to drink, and that is really the problem here. The food is simple and pleasant but the bill is out of proportion to the level of food delivered. There seems to be a hefty premium for the smart Roppngi Hills setting.