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'Cook it yourself' restaurants


torakris
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Some recent discussion in the Japan on cooking your own food in restaurants got me thinking....

Many of the restaurants I go to in Japan require you to cook the food yourself, I never really gave a second thought to it and actually enjoy it.

What do you think about cooking your own food??

Here are some linksto threads, most with pictures, of restaurants in Japan were you cook your own food:

Yakiniku (Korean style grilled meats)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory "pancake")

Monjyayaki (Tokyo's version of the okonomiyaki)

Nabe (Japanese hotpot)

Many teppanyaki (griddle cooking?) restaurants also have you make your own food. At this one you can cook the typical teppan foods of okonomiyaki and monjyayaki as well a various meats, vegetables, noodles and even risotto!

At Pepper Lunch restaurants you are given are served your raw meat and vegetables on a sizzling hot plate with instructions on how to cook everything before the heat wears off...

I am sure there are many more I can't think of at the moment....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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It's really not "cook it yourself" - but most Chinese buffet restaurants where I live have "Japanese style" grills. You pick the stuff you want - chicken - beef - bean sprouts - eggs - noodles - etc. - then the chef grills everything for you - and it is topped by a mayonnaise based sauce. I really don't care for it at all (especially don't like the mayo sauce) - but is it something that corresponds to any type of authentic Japanese cooking? Robyn

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Vietnamese restaurants in the U.S. offer a lot of "cook it yourself" dishes, either hot pot style or grill/griddle.

Korean BBQ restaurants cook the food at the table, though there's generally some assistance from the server.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Funny you should mention this phenomenon .. my very first post at eGullet on Mar 18, 2004 was on this topic here and I offered this piece by way of explaining it ...

restaurantedge.com

"Cook-it-yourself restaurants"? Boy, talk about an oxymoron — with the accent on the last two syllables.

Why would you go to a restaurant to cook your own food? Don't we go to restaurants in large measure so we won't have to cook, so we can eat without worrying about shopping, chopping, boiling and broiling? What's next — restaurants where you clear your own table and wash your own dishes?

Well, according to Time, "restaurants where diners chop, grill, boil or dip their food are hot in the heartland" — which, based on the examples Time provided, includes everywhere from Florence, Ky., to St. Paul to Houston to Las Vegas (surely the first time anyone has called Las Vegas "the heartland").

Vinoklet in Cincinnati also offers 'do it yourself' dining :wink:

"It's a marvelous place." But next time, unless they pay me, I'll let them do the cooking

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Fondue (the kind with oil) is probably the foremost non-Asian example of cook-it-yourself dining.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fondue (the kind with oil) is probably the foremost non-Asian example of cook-it-yourself dining.

That it is, Fat Guy, but the idea of going to a nice restaurant and having to grill my own steak seems, I don't know, like, you know, "work" ... :laugh:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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oh man, I love cooking at the table, but I'm also a total control freak when it comes to dinner. I really like things "just so" so when i can cook my meat to my accepted doneness, or undoneness as is usually the case, I'm as happy as a clam. I love shabu shabu, korean bbq and anywhere you can pick toppings or mix and match...and hotpot! I love hotpot! You know? I really appreciate the experiance of dining at a do- it -yourself that much more than a regular restaurant.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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use a pair of tongs that have been resting on whatever piece of beef is lying there, and then get the pleasure of cooking it yourself!  While that may sound a litte expensive, you do get to butter  your own garlic bread (usually with the same pastry brush that somebody used to put butter on thier steak) while your steak cooks and the loaded baked potato bar that consists of a dry baked potato, neon orange pseudo-cheese sauce, some mushrooms swimming in butter oil and fake bacon bits.  YUUUUM, can't wait to go back there!

Bubblehead ... and you ain't!... your wit and sarcasm are not wasted upon me ...

I think that type of restaurant is a total waste of time, money ... I prefer to have the cooking done by chefs in a nice, upscale steakhouse, and not get my clothing soiled by doing anything other than eating my steak ... why not just stay home instead and save the money on the meal and tip? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The Shorebird Beach Broiler in Waikiki offers "broil your own dinners." I'm told it's very popular with tourists. I've never been there. Seems like too much work!

(I have been to Korean BBQs and fondue restaurants in Switzerland, though.)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Fondue (the kind with oil) is probably the foremost non-Asian example of cook-it-yourself dining.

This reminds me, I forgot about some of the all you can eat kushiage restaurants. Kushiage are deep fried skewered foods. You choose your selection from the buffet and then take it back to your table to deep fry them yourself.

Here are some pictures

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Wow... Earlier today I was just thinking that was the one exception to the cook-it-yourself universe, since I hadn't seen any kushiage place like that in Japan so far.

Kushiyaki as do-it-yourself, I can imagine, but I can only imagine the liability insurance costs on a kushiage place in the U.S.... even the oil fondue at the otherwise unremarkable US-based Melting Pot chain seemed strictly engineered to minimize the possibility of disaster.

The "chop it yourself" extremes of some U.S. restaurants probably wouldn't work too well in Japan, though... presentation is really the art of the chef in Japan, even if the guest has to "finish the job." Even in a humble okonomiyaki place the not-yet-grilled bowl of vegetables and other ingredients is generally fairly elegantly arranged.

This reminds me, I forgot about some of the all you can eat kushiage restaurants. Kushiage are deep fried skewered foods. You choose your selection from the buffet and then take it back to your table to deep fry them yourself.

Here are some pictures

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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A past discussion on this cook-it-yourself trend:

"Grill Your Own Steak Restaurants, Have it your way 'cause you're making it"

The first link in my post in that discussion redirects, so here is the new link to the Gaslamp Strip Club. The second link in my post is completely dead but the third link works.

 

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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Tim Oliver

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