A birthday party, and a different style of Japanese cuisine in Ballarat.
Location: 109 Bridge Mall, Ballarat - see map
Website: official website (currently not very useful, under construction), urbanspoon reviews
Price: $15 to 25 for mains, $25 to $45 for set meals per person (which is what you would have, if you were eating the teppanyaki). For teppanyaki, you needed to have a minimum of 4 people required.
Set menu - can't recall which set we opted for but there were about 5 choices, we had the standard most non expensive one (but not the vegetarian option). There were "deluxe" options which included tempura, other more expensive options with seafood and wagyu. The set menus come with a salad and miso soup as entree, chicken, beef and lots of vegetables which are cooked on the teppanyaki, and is finished off with tea or coffe, and a small ice cream.
Picture above is the chicken we had, teriyaki sort of flavour, quite tasty and juicy. Beef tasted similar and the fat portions of the beef were cut up separately - some of my friends found eating the fat quite revolting. The fat was tasty, but a little too chewy haha.
Above is our chef frying up the vegetables, which had beansprouts, lots of lettuce, and carrot. Same sort of seasoning as the meats. Below is the green tea ice cream that we had for dessert, flavour was a bit weak but it was still a good finish to a filling meal.
Deluxe option with tempura - fried prawns and vegetables in tempura batter that some of my friends ordered.
Other: the inside had a strange warehouse feel with bare brick walls and floors, no ceiling so all the pipes and everything were visible. The teppanyaki was a fun way to get together and slowly enjoy the different courses in a meal. Note: you probably want to wear something that you wouldn't mind smelling of food and smoke by the end of the meal! Vegetarian friends had a difficult time getting their teppanyaki to be cooked separately. Oh yes the staff are Chinese, and whilst it's reassuring to have Japanese people cooking Japanese cuisine I don't really mind as long as the food doesn't remind me of Chinese takeaway meals.
Rating: 3.5/5 good place for a gathering, food was reasonably tasty but lacked variety (the vegetable tasted the same as the chicken, and the beef). Also relatively expensive for the quality we paid for. However, I would go back and try some of the other items on the menu if I were to live in Ballarat for a longer period of time.