Hanahana Teppen – Yaki, Bath Lane, Newcastle

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IT has been more than two years since my fiance and I last ate at Hanahana and as I stepped inside I could not believe we had left it so long.

When you walk through the door of this Japanese restaurant the mouth-watering smells that hit you are incredible.

The staff are very attentive and after ordering a lovely bottle of champagne we were given the menu to browse.

The menu itself is enough to get your taste buds jumping.

You can go a la carte here and choose from a range of dishes including kaki yaki (fresh oyster grilled with bacon, and fresh garlic), gyu tataki (wafer slices of lightly-cooked tender fillet steak with a Japanese citrus sauce) and ebi furai (deep fried king prawns in breadcrumbs with fruity sauce).

This is just a tiny selection of what is on offer and if nothing on here takes your fancy Hanahana offers a choice of sushi and sashimi.

We opted for one of the banquets, which I imagine most people would choose. The Hanahana imperial includes king prawns, lobster, fillet steak, teriyaki chicken and scallops.

These are accompanied by miso soya bean soup, egg fried rice and fresh vegetables.

This particular banquet costs £32.90 per person and it is the most expensive on the menu. However, the restaurant has a number of other banquets and set meals available to suit most budgets.

Once our table was ready we were escorted into the main dining area, which was announced by several loud bangs as a member of staff hit a gong.

The restaurant comprises of eight teppanyaki grill stations where diners sit amongst the authentic Japanese decor including lanterns, lucky cats and pictures of geishas, and watch the brilliant show as the skilled teppanyaki chefs go to work.

They start by making the rice which involves balancing three eggs on the hot grill - the chef then flicks them with his spatula into his hat.

It’s great to watch. Our chef was having a bad night and dropped a few attempts on the floor, but this just made it all the more entertaining.

Unfortunately our table wasn’t offered the opportunity to give it a try. Last time my partner gave it a go and it’s definitely worth having your camera ready, as we have some quality photos with the egg in mid air.

Once they have finished playing with your food the chefs skilfully create each of your dishes in front of your eyes.

I really can’t do the flavours enough justice, everything that was put on my plate tasted fantastic – I could have sat there and eaten lobster all night.