October 18, 2019

Minami at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Minami is a Japanese restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka that specializes in Teppanyaki. The restaurant got its name from Minami which is an area in Osaka popular for shopping and dining. The Minami area of Osaka is comprised of the districts of Shinsaibashi (the main shopping district of Osaka) and Namba (where Swissôtel Nankai Osaka is located).

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Teppanyaki is a style of cooking in Japan where meat and vegetables are cooked on a teppan (iron griddle). While teppanyaki is very popular around the world for the entertaining way chefs prepare the dishes, guests dining at Minami will experience the traditional way of serving teppanyaki sans the acrobatic and fiery spectacle. Here at Minami, the highlight is the food.

Chef Shingo Komoto of Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Chef Shingo Komoto | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Heading Minami's team of talented chefs is Chef Shingo Komoto who has been with the restaurant for fifteen years already. He is responsible for planning Minami's menus which features the freshest and best quality meats, fishes and seasonal vegetables. With his years of experience in Germany, Chef Shingo is also responsible for designing menus that combine Japanese and European dishes.

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Chef Shingo Preparing Teppanyaki | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

It was summertime when I dined at Minami and the set menus featured fish and vegetables that are in season during summer. We chose the Chef's Lunch set menu which included a selection of seafood, seasonal vegetables, a prime cut of tenderloin, rice and dessert.

Fresh Seafood | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

We started our lunch with a trio of seafood consisting of kuruma ebi (tiger prawn), hotategai (scallops) and isaki (grunt fish). When Chef Shingo showed to us the platter of fresh seafood, the prawns were still alive and moving. Tiger prawns taste the best when cooked alive. You can taste the natural sweetness of the prawns in every bite. Chef Shingo also cooked the prawn head to a very crispy texture and the fats inside the head give it a rich umami taste.

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Tiger Prawn, Scallops, Sauteed Fish | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

The scallops were very also very tender and juicy and their sweet aftertaste can tell how fresh the scallops are. The isaki is a seasonal fish popular during summer. It has a thin layer of fat between the skin and the flesh which gives this fish a well-balanced blend of umami and sweetness.

Seasonal Vegetables | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

While we were enjoying our prawn and fish teppanyaki, Chef Shingo started cooking the assorted seasonal vegetables. Yellow corn and zucchini are seasonal crops popular in Japan during summer, and here in Japan, the sweetness of fruits and vegetables is equivalent to high quality. Chef Shingo also started cooking mushrooms, onions, bean sprouts and crispy garlic which will accompany the main dish of our lunch.

Garden Salad with Japanese Dressing | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

In preparation for our next dish, we were served with a bowl of fresh garden salad. It has lettuce, radish, and cherry tomatoes. The greens were very crunchy while the cherry tomatoes were very juicy and sweet. I was told that it was actually during summer when vegetables are at their best quality, which for the Japanese this means they are at their sweetest.

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Japanese Beef Tenderloin | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Before cooking our main dish, Chef Shingo showed to us the cut of Japanese Beef Tenderloin he will be using. Although this was not a wagyu beef, the meat did have an excellent fat content. The beef also had a vibrant red color which is a sign of its freshness and high quality.

Minami Teppanyaki Restaurant at Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
Japanese Beef Tenderloin with Seasonal Vegetables | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka 

After carefully grilling the beef on the griddle, Chef Shingo sliced the tenderloin into smaller chunks and arranged them on a plate together with the seasonal vegetables he cooked earlier. The beef chunks were very tender and juicy. I enjoyed combining each bite of the beef with the grilled vegetables. Interestingly, the sweetness of the vegetables went well with the mild umami taste of the beef.

Japanese Beef Tenderloin with Seasonal Vegetables | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Here are chunks of beef that I placed on top of the grilled onion. The crunchiness of the onions and the beansprouts complemented the chewiness of the beef. I did enjoy the beef without any seasoning but if you want to bring out more of the umami taste of the beef, you can sprinkle each chunk with a little salt. I also enjoyed the vegetables because they were not very oily.

Garlic Rice | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

The Chef's Lunch set also includes a serving steamed which you can upgrade to garlic rice. The garlic rice is seasoned and its salty taste will perfectly complement the beef and vegetables. And of course, no meal in Japan is complete without miso soup and Japanese pickles on the side.

Miso Soup | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Finally, for dessert, two flavors of sherbet were served to us. The darker orange color is made with sweet oranges while the pale yellow one is made with yuzu. Yuzu has a fragrant aroma that has hints of sweetness and bitterness. Yuzu also tastes as good as it smells, with no strong citrusy taste like lemon, making it perfect to cleanse the palate after a flavorful meal.

Orange and Yuzu Sherbet | Minami, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Teppanyaki known outside Japan concentrates too much on the entertainment aspect of the food preparation, but my teppanyaki experience here at Minami is a more authentic one as it focused more on the freshness and quality of the ingredients and in the use of seasonal ingredients. Teppanyaki may have originated in Osaka's neighboring city of Kobe, but you should never leave Osaka without having an authentic Japanese teppanyaki experience here at Minami.




Minami
10th Floor, Swissôtel Nankai Osaka
5-1-60 Namba Chuo-ku, Osaka, 542-0076, Japan
Contact: +81 6 6646-1111
Email: osaka@swissotel.com
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