my week! trying some japanese at tei tei robata.
when: 8:00pm, thursday
wait: around 45 minutes for a table
customer service: A+
food rating: A+
tei tei is on n. henderson (uptown area) – right at the corner of the intersection where the road curves. across from the old monk and next to the porch. good luck finding parking on a thursday night. after circling once, i lost patience and just pulled the valet card. only in dallas would i consider valet… haha! at first glance, tei tei doesn’t look like anything spectacular, just a plain tan colored building. but right in the entrance, it takes the ambiance of a japanese garden – leading you to a very cozy restaurant with max occupancy of 48 customers.
ambiance is pretty much… romantic. dim lighting, modern lights & decor. tei tei is split into two parts – the restaurant (very small) and the bar. i arrived at the front of the restaurant where the host put my name down on the list, and pointed me in the direction of the bar until the rest of my party arrived. the bar has a bit more breathing room – some large cushioned benches surround rectangle tables. a waiter came over right after i got off the phone with steph and quickly got my requested water. steph joined soon after, and jessi around 10 minutes later.
customer service is pretty good here. it’s not out of the ordinary to wait for a table on a thursday night, in a tiny restaurant. the host came over soon after jessi got there to inform us the sushi bar will be opening up soon, but it would be around 15-20 minutes more to wait for a table. after some thought, we decided to sit at a table. there was no complaining, but still, the host brought us two appetizers – edamame and shishito peppers – on the house while we waited. really nice and considerate… and it wasn’t even necessary!
quick note: edamame was normal (how can you screw that up). first time i ever had shishito peppers – and they were good! soft and tender and bland by itself… but they give you some spices and salt to dip it in for taste. i actually enjoyed it a lot more than i thought i would!
our table opened up quicker than the host mentioned. when we sat, our waitress was really helpful and polite. she brought us out this scoop of what looked like.. potatoes/yam but it tasted a little like fish as well. no idea what it was, but it was still good. just a little something to start out the evening.
we ordered the following: cornflake crusted shrimp, “feed me” roll, marinated sea bass, scallop and shitake robata and sizzling seafood in garlic sauce. between the three of us, it was just a little too much food (but we finished it anyways).
cornflake crusted shrimp: i’m not the biggest shrimp fan, but this was good. the cornflakes were fried and pretty tasty. the only issue is when biting in at the wrong angle, the flakes jab into the roof of your mouth – not a pleasant experience. but the taste was great. the crispiness mixed with the shrimp’s softness on the inside was a tasty contrast.
“feed me” roll: the price on the sushi sheet just said ‘market’ – so we assumed it was some sort of fish. when i asked our waitress what was in it, she gave a mona lisa type smile and said “it’s a surprise”. “is it a good surprise??” i asked – and just received a little chuckle in return. she did not dissapoint me! it was yellowtail, tuna, salmon and avocado on the top, with spicy tuna in the middle. delicious!!! 8 pieces for $14 – not that bad at all.the sushi was fresh… just thinking about it is making me crave it again!
marinated sea bass: whenever i go to a restaurant that has sea bass – i’m immediately drawn to it. can you say “delicious fish”?? i love it so much. it’s like… a smooth, buttery fish. yum! the sea bass here was so good. very, very tender on the inside, with a slightly crunchy outside. the glaze on it was pretty much soy sauce, and probably some other stuff – but yum. i could definitely go for some more.
scallop and shitake mushroom: these little skewers were actually my least favorite of the night – although they were still good. the scallops had a very strong fishy taste, and were a little tough from sitting on the grill. however, the shitake mushrooms were sooo good. i’m used to eating shitake mushrooms in lots of sauce so that it’s very juicy and soft. these were so fluffy and light! never had shitake mushrooms like this before, and i really liked it.
lastly… the sizzling seafood in garlic sauce. this came out last so by this time – we were all pretty stuffed. the assorted of seafood included mussels, octopus, squid, shrimp, fish, shishito peppers, and… some other items that i had no idea what they were – but they were all chewy and delicious. the garlic sauce was really good, and served as a great dip. all the seafood was fresh. even though we were stuffed, every last bite was consumed!
unfortunately, no room for dessert – although i would love to try some another time. didn’t really glance at the menu either because there was just no way we would eat it.on our way out, the host had the door open for us and with a smile said “goodnight, olivia!”. i don’t think that’s ever happened before, and it was a great personal touch – even though it’s so simple to remember a name!
summary – definitely would go again. for all those items, i spent around $75. not too shabby for delicious food, amazing customer service and a great time. not to mention there are SO MANY items on their menu, and there are items i eyed that i didn’t get to order this time around (lamp chops in red miso… washu beef… yum). check this place out if you’re just out for a good time, or taking someone on a date.