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Teppanyaki Nakamura

神楽坂 鉄板焼 中むら

The teppanyaki restaurant is helmed by Chef Masatoshi Nakamura, who has been honing his skills at Imperial Hotel Tokyo nearly for 25 years. Kobe Beef from Kawagishi Farm, famous for producing the highest quality Kobe Beef, as well as carefully selected fish and seafood are grilled on the clean, carefully maintained iron griddle─but without oil.

Affectionately referred to by regulars as “Teppanyaki Nakamura”, the restaurant is located on the basement level of a building on a narrow side street called Kenban Yokocho. Stepping off the elevator into the entrance of the restaurant, your eyes will glimpse a large counter made with 230-year-old Asada wood (Japanese hop hornbeam) and the lustrous ‘teppan’ iron griddle attached to it.

Chef Nakamura specially ordered his teppan from a company in Higashi, Osaka in order to get his ideal version. Many teppanyaki chefs think a thicker teppan is better, but he does not agree. During his years of cooking, he reached the conclusion that the ideal size for his unique style of cooking is 24 mm thick.

It’s a cozy restaurant with enough personal space between seats, so it’s definitely romantic. Japanese maples in the garden visible thorough large windows make you forget you’re dining in the basement. Sequential murals expressing the moon cycle were made by the printmaker, Yoshiko Tsubouchi. Nakamura’s wife Kaori facilitates the show here with her graceful service and sommelier skills pairing the perfect wine or sake for you.



Teppanyaki without oil

Chef Nakamura grills all of his ingredients on the specially ordered teppan without oil. He sets the center of the teppan at 250 to 280℃, and the surrounding areas at 60 to 70℃. He cooks different areas depending on the ingredients. “My griddle technique may be very unique. I grill, but it’s almost like I’m steaming the ingredients at the same time,” says Chef Nakamura.

When grilling the beef, he has a big stack of clean white cloths ready at his side to wipe any excess juice or bits. He frequently changes cloths, so his teppan is always super clean as if he hasn’t even been cooking. His technique differs from conventional teppanyaki techniques that require a lot of oil or butter. He is able to serve the grilled meat without unpleasant bitter flavors, and as many foodies say, you’ll never get bored of eating beef cooked like this.

The courses typically include a few beef dishes, although the combination of ingredients changes depending on the day. On some days, you may have “Bresaola Kobe Beef with Autumn Truffles and Sautéed French Ceps”, “Fresh Salad with Soy-simmered Kobe Beef”, and simple but exquisite “Wagyu Steak”. For the steak, you can choose not only Kobe Beef but also any other Wagyu beefs cuts in Class A5.

Interspersed among those dishes are exquisite seafood items that are indispensable for teppanyaki. They are cooked on the griddle and include kinmedai, abalones, Ise-ebi lobster, and kuruma shrimp.

His garlic rice as the last course is unforgettable, too. He blends Himalayan salt which has a mild taste and Italian salt which has a sharp taste when cooking rice on the teppaan, but doesn’t use oil here either. Instead, he adds sliced garlic that was deep-fried with rice oil in advance, but that is all. You can take the garlic rice home if you’re full, but it’s so light that you may be tempted to eat it on the spot.

The main ingredient in Teppanyaki Nakamura is the Kobe Beef from Kawagishi Farm. He sources his fish and seafood from Toyosu Market. He purchases live Ise-ebi is directly from Katsuura and Boshu, live kuruma shrimp from Kumamoto, and live Ezo abalone from Chikura.

The wasabi is grown by Marusei in Azumino, Shizuoka. He has been using this wasabi since he was 28 and working at Kamikochi Imperial Hotel in Nagano.

He uses Hitomebore rice grown without any pesticides by Kurikoma Kogen Farm. The rice has a rich umami from being grown in the healthy soil that has accumulated nourishment for three years.

Teppanyaki Nakamura cuisine #0
Teppanyaki Nakamura cuisine #1


Masatoshi Nakamura

He was born in 1970 in downtown Tokyo. From a very early age, he always wanted to be independent and use his artistic skills. Chef Nakamura described himself as a “bad boy” back in those days.

He started working for the Imperial Hotel Tokyo just after graduating from high school and worked in a wide range of departments there. He started as a dishwasher and moved to the banquet and appetizer section. When he was 18 years old, he tried teppanyaki beef for the first time and was shocked, saying “there are such great tastes on the earth.”

He cooked at Restaurant Eureka for 7 years, Les Saisons for 4 years, a buffet restaurant, bar lounge Aqua, and moved to a famous teppanyaki restaurant called Kamon within the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. At the age of 38, he was the chef in charge of a teppanyaki restaurant in the Kamikochi Imperial Hotel in Nagano. During these years he researched the best beef, sought out the best griddle, and finally opened his own place in Kagurazaka, Tokyo, in 2011. His wife is also his business partner and he greatly relies on her.

He wants more people to know there are rare techniques like his, for example using very little oil when cooking ingredients on the teppan. He also says that he wants to elevate the impression of teppan cuisine, making it equal to sushi and kaiseki cuisine. He wants people to consider dining at a teppanyaki restaurant as cool and high-status.


For his famous Kobe Beef sirloin steak, Chef Nakamura buys an entire half carcass from Kawagishi Farm, called a “dressed carcass” in Japan. He only buys female dressed carcasses for their tenderness and rich umami. Kawagishi Farm is a renowned cattle breeder located Kurodasho town, Nishiwaki city, Kobe. Many of the top restaurants that feature beef use their exquisite meat, such as Miyoshi, a beef kappo restaurant in Kyoto. Chef Nakamura has been buying Kawagishi Farm’s Kobe Beef for three years. Wagyu Beef is the main event here but you can’t forget the seafood also grilled on the teppan with Chef Nakamura’s no-oil griddle technique. When making a reservation, you can request the top seafood in Japan such as live Ise-ebi lobster, kuruma-ebi shrimp, and Ezo abalone. For example, the Ise-ebi lobster will be cooked on the teppan griddle without oil, topped with a savory sauce made with its tomalley and sake, and served with fresh uni. Watching the chef cooking kuruma-ebi shrimp is exciting, especially when he disassembles the head rhythmically. The flesh will be cooked perfectly juicy and tender, and the legs will be cooked crispy with appetizing shrimp aroma.


Nakamura luxurious omakase course (abalone, lobster and Chateaubriand)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request
TABLEALL Special course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Teppanyaki Nakamura

神楽坂 鉄板焼 中むら

& UP
Teppanyaki, Kagurazaka
B1F, 〒162-0825 3-6 Kagurazaka Shinjukuku
5:00PM-9:30PM (last entry)
Sunday and holidays
+81 3-6280-8317


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