Dinner and A Show at L Hotel’s Teppanyaki Table with A View


You won’t find many tall buildings on the island of Bali. While it’s great that there aren’t any skyscrapers to mar the skyline of the tropical paradise, it also means there are very few places to take in the island’s beautiful scenery and sunsets from up high. L Hotel’s rooftop restaurant area, Luna, is one of those few places. Although only four stories high, thanks to a lack of similarly sized neighbours, Luna offers an amazing 360 degree overview  of the hip Petitenget area of Seminyak, as well as stunning panoramic views of Bali’s gorgeous sunsets.

The open but intimate space also offers up several interesting dining concepts rolled up into one. There’s a grazing menu  encompassing a variety of canapés, mezze and antipasti. There’s also a menu of tandoor prepared canapés and dishes at L’Tandoor by Mama L. Luna also has two private dining rooms, dubbed 1908 and Labu, as well as The Ice Boxed Bar.

The last intriguing component of this eclectic F&B lineup is Kitano, Luna’s teppanyaki concept. It is named for a lovely historical district in Kobe, Japan, where the owners of L Hotels & Resorts worked in the textile trade. The traditional teppanyaki table seats just six guests (although special seating for larger parties can be arranged), making for an especially intimate and interactive experience between diners and the chef. And that’s a very good thing, because the chefs at Kitano do much more than just cook you tasty teppanyaki treats; they also entertain their guests with theatrical flair.

The night we visited, Chef Trisna joked that it was only his first day on the job. But as he spun his knives and spatulas deftly around his fingers, it was quickly apparent that he not only had plenty of experience but a quick wit as well. He received big laughs from everybody at the table, cracking jokes and never missing a beat while he pulled off culinary stunts like carefully assembling a smoke-spewing volcano out of an onion slice and catching a spinning egg out of the air on the flat of his spatula.

Kitano offers several set menus featuring a variety of seafood and meats. Our meal began with some delicious sautéed veggies followed up by juicy, charred morsels of seafood including delicate scallops, flaky red snapper and toothsome squid. Trisna seasoned his food with gusto and sliced them with incredible speed (with the help of his razor sharp Ginzu knife – “just $49.99 from eBay,” he joked).

This was followed with more morsels of juicy chicken and steak, served while still sizzling directly from the chef’s spatula to our plate. All the sets come with three different dipping sauces, including a ponzu vinaigrette and sesame sauce, to give each bite a different accent. The teppanyaki portion of dinner came to an end with Trisna making some chahan (fried rice) directly on the sizzling hot table, giving the grains a nice bit of crunch. Our meal concluded with some traditional miso soup and some not-so-traditional, but very tasty tempura-fried ice cream. The vanilla ice cream comes coated in a crispy shell of tempura batter besides strawberries and chocolate sauce.

Eating at Kitano is as much about entertainment and socialising as enjoying good food. To help get in the spirit, be sure to pair your meal with one of Luna’s selection of premium sakes or one of the bar’s inventive cocktails, conceptualised by a team of mixologists headed by Dr. Cocktail (David Cade), a professional cocktail consultant who has crafted drinks in Ibiza, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Monte Carlo and more. Many of the drinks feature refreshing, locally grown ingredients like lemongrass, chilli and ginger. Cocktails like the “Hibiscus Kiss,” which features hibiscus, rosella, lime, organic longan honey, Finlandia Vodka and angostura bitters, are great accompaniments to a teppanyaki meal or Luna’s spectacular sunset views.

Kappo Restaurants


The modern teppanyaki restaurant, in which guests sit around the teppan grill as the chef does his work, can be considered a form of kappo restaurant.  The word “kappo” refers to traditional Japanese cooking techniques such as slicing, boiling, stewing and frying. Kappo restaurants are those in which the customers sit directly in front of the chef and are served by them directly. This intimacy gives guests the opportunity to talk, interact with the chef and see exactly what kind of work goes into each dish, ultimately heightening their appreciation of the food. (Although sushi bars are similar in concept, they are considered distinct from kappo restaurants because sushi chefs use a different set of cooking techniques than kappo chefs). Restaurants such as Kitano and Benihana take the idea of kappo to their extreme by offering up theatrical cooking experiences that entertain guests and treat their tastebuds in equal measures.

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