A sassy signage outside Japanese fast food grill, Pepper Lunch hinting cheekily to customers of the fun they were about to experience was displayed.
I for one have never cooked my own food, besides maybe the occasional steamboat. So, I was pretty excited to see how clumsy I would be handling a grill. The outlet was pretty much empty on a Sunday afternoon, allowing us to selfishly select a cosy eight-seater couch to fit four of us.
Just like a regular fast food outlet, we were told to order at the counter. Service was good, but I thought that lady at the counter could have smiled a little more.
However, we did get our onion rings and potato wedges shortly after. When it arrived, everyone was silent and eating for a good few minutes. This could only mean one thing: they were to die for!
The onion rings ($4.95) were huge and the batter was thick, crunchy and well seasoned. It was sensational!
The sweet potato wedges ($4.95) were really worth the price and tasted amazing.
Now the fun begins. The grill selection arrived with a sizzle! The Salmon Pepper Rice ($12.50) was placed before us, sizzling in all its' glory. We noticed the salmon was getting cooked fast and that prompted us to take our first bite.
Hot plate meals have always been my favourite and not seeing many of such restaurants in Perth, this was definitely a treat. The rice was garnished with corn and of course pepper. I will definitely come back for more because it tasted so good!
"Design" your perfect lunch (or dinner) and add just $1 for an egg, mushroom or cheese.
While we were about to finish the Salmon dish, we were introduced to the King of all Pepper Lunch Steaks, the Giant Rib Eye Steak ($26.90). We were nervous and excited to try our very first Asian style steak, especially because we wanted to have it medium rare.
Having the hot plate serving was a bit tricky. Nevertheless, it was a challenge we enjoyed, as we got to decide when it was time to eat it. Each bite was different in terms of texture. The vegetables complimented the peppery addition and it was actually pretty refreshing to have a strong flavour blending well with the sides.
Next came the Scallop Katsu Sizzling Curry ($16.90). We had been advised by our friends who had tried this lovely dish that there is a technique to cook the scallops so that it does not overcook.
I marvelled at the art of mixing the rice with the onions and seafood, adding the curry in for some tang and spice. In my opinion, this is a very unique dish that deserves a standing ovation. One plate was not enough for the four of us, we wanted more!
For the last of the mains, we tried the Teriyaki Chicken ($9.90) from the Sizzling Teriyaki section of the menu, as recommended by the chef. In this selection, customers can pick either Salmon, Beef or Hamburg.
Since we had tried all the other meats mentioned above, we decided to stick with the classic chicken. We were discussing what a good teriyaki chicken meal would encompass; tender chicken, juicy, flavoursome with a slight crunch to the skin. The waiter brought this out with similar vegetables as the previous dishes. The teriyaki sauce really pulled the dish together and the corn as well as slightly cooked mushrooms was a good match made in heaven.
And now onto dessert, which is often the climax to my food stories.
They call this the Volcano Waffle ($12.50). It is packed with all things that are good for you; chocolate, strawberries, banana, whip cream, ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce on that sizzling plate! For the price you pay, I'd say go for it! Especially, if you are dining in a group.
Personally, I preferred the premium sundae ice creams better, as it had a more familiar taste. Breaking into the hardened chocolate layer on the Choco Nut Sundae ($4.95) was so satisfying. Sealed with a love letter, this ice cream definitely wanted me to know I was loved.
We also had the Green Tea and Red Bean Ice Cream ($4.95) to finish off our scrumptious meal. The only thing we would have preferred was a stronger green tea flavour, as I thought red bean was quite overpowering.