Lunch Report: Exquisite Teppanyaki Steak at the Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Steak on Fire at Himorogi , in the Brighton Hotel Kyoto Japan 京都ブライトンホテルの鉄板焼 -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Steak on Fire
at Himorogi, in the Brighton Hotel
Kyoto Japan
京都ブライトンホテルの鉄板焼

We had a nice family lunch at the Kyoto Brighton Hotel's teppanyaki grill Himorogi (燔). With a teppanyaki meal, the chef prepares it on a grill in front of you.

This kind of meal at a Japanese Restaurant in The States often involves a big theatrical performance of spinning knives, flipping shrimp, and corny jokes, but that's an invention purely for the foreign market, and there's absolutely none of that in Japan as far as I know. Rather, real teppanyaki involves quiet, reserved, and exceedingly precise preparation with the main emphasis on quality.

Though it's not theatrical, it is a performance, one of perfection in movement and preparation. No movement is superfluous, every cut is precise and perfect. The chef doesn't speak except to explain something such as which sauce is what, or when spoken to.

Appetizer scallops and veggies prior to cooking -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Appetizer
scallops and veggies prior to cooking
Work in Progress -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Work in Progress
Now with Sauce -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Now with Sauce

I'm a big guy and like to eat, so this tiny appetizer scared me a bit that this would be one of those places where you got food that was good but not enough. My worries turned out to be misfounded.

More Veggies precisely cut and returned to the plate to await cooking ( the pile of garlic chips was out of place on the otherwise unworldly-clean grill ) -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
More Veggies
precisely cut and returned to the plate to await cooking
( the pile of garlic chips was out of place on the otherwise unworldly-clean grill )
Placement neat and precise -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Placement
neat and precise
Stirfry without the “ stir ” -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Stirfry
without the stir
Touch of Spice -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Touch of Spice
Presentation and the grill has already been returned to a pristine state for the next course -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Presentation
and the grill has already been returned to a pristine state for the next course
Tempura -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tempura

Tempura is veggies and/or fish deep-fried in a light batter, so I wasn't expecting it in a grilled setting, but they did it. The chef dipped each item into the batter (which seemed a bit thicker than normal) and placed it within a large circle of ever-hottening oil.

The circle of oil would gradually expand as heat reduces its viscosity, but the chef's quick spatulas kept it pooled around the items being cooked...

Re-Pooling the Oil -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Re-Pooling the Oil
Dripping Hot Oil to cook the top -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dripping Hot Oil
to cook the top
Crunchy Results -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crunchy Results
Quick Sear this fish went from raw to fully cooked in about five seconds -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Sear
this fish went from raw to fully cooked in about five seconds
Main Dish I could eat the whole thing, but this was for five -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Dish
I could eat the whole thing, but this was for five

Preparation of the steak was somewhat involved. First the bottom and the edges were seared on the grill, then they were placed on a grill for a while...

Grill? or just a mesh to hold away from the heat until ready for the next step? -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Grill?
or just a mesh to hold away from the heat until ready for the next step?
The Next Step seemed conventional enough -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Next Step
seemed conventional enough
Steaming? -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Steaming?

Then came the one moment in the entire meal that could be considered show...

Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos

It's just a brief flash of fire so I don't suppose it has any practical purpose, but it offers an oh! moment. It's not quite the same as the flaming ramen that I once wrote about, but seemed to match the setting well enough.

Immediate Cleanup -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Immediate Cleanup
Precise Movement -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Precise Movement

When you ordered you could choose between two different cuts of meat; the steaks seen above were for those who had ordered one type. The other type was then prepared, but in a different way, as the oh! moment for this cut came while the meat was on the little mesh.

Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Aftermath -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Aftermath

The meat was served on a plate with a square indentation in the bottom, on top of a thin slice of bread place into the square. You can sort of see it in the shot above. We were told not to eat the bread.

When we were done with the meat, the chef took the bread, now flavored with juices from the meat, and grilled it, then added some grilled sprouts and tarter sauce...

Making a Mini Sandwich -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Making a Mini Sandwich

The bread was folded over the sprouts into thirds, making a tasty little pocket of yummy.

Yakimeshi Japanese white rice grilled with garlic and spices it was fantastically good -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yakimeshi
Japanese white rice grilled with garlic and spices
it was fantastically good
Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos

While digesting after the meal, I finally thought to take a picture of the name of the restaurant. Based on the writing on the coaster, I thought the name was 火番, but it turns out to be the rare character , which I look up to find means burn. That seems appropriate for a grill.

Dessert -- Restaurant Himorogi, Brighton Hotel (燔、京都ブライトンホテル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dessert

It was a great meal and great experience, a reasonable value for $70. Dinners are much more pricey, starting at $120 and going to $300. Drinks not included, of course.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

You do food photography so well! Everything looks very appetizing.

That’s very kind, thanks, but I think it’s just that the photos go along nicely with the stories… they’re certainly not good enough for menu photos or advertisements. I was a bit sheepish about using the camera anyway since it was a family event where photography was not the main course, so to speak, so I just tried to sneak in some shots here and there. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom in SF on May 28th, 2014 at 12:30pm JST (3 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Since I read your blog the first thing in the morning before breakfast, seeing these food photos make me even hungrier, so I can blame you for ruining my efforts to lose weight. What kind of son does that make you?? (Besides being a son that takes such fantastic photos that one can vicariously enjoy the experience without being there.)

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on May 28th, 2014 at 11:32pm JST (3 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Such modesty from you in the comments. -You and you’re camera do a fantastic job with fire. Really enjoy the flame shots in this set. I just finished lunch and a huge breakfast and the food shots still make your mouth water.

— comment by Ron Evans on June 3rd, 2014 at 4:27am JST (3 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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