The moment you enter the Miyako Teppankyaki restaurant on the top floor of the Arcadian centre, you are greeted by Japanese memorabilia including a Samurai armour suit, which gets you into the spirit of the occasion. The female staff even wear beautiful traditional clothing.
The first thing that grabs you is that the restaurant is extremely clean and the staff are very welcoming and friendly.
A relaxed area for drinks and a bar is at the front of the eatery, and this is where diners peruse the menu and make a choice while enjoying a drink. It's only when the starter or main dish is neatly prepared, that the guests are led through to their table in the main restaurant.
Miyako Teppanyaki Japanese restaurant
The main restaurant has a series of hotplates with six to eight chairs around. Diners are sat next to other guests and the chef brings the fresh ingredients to the hotplate to cook it in front of their eyes.
It's quite a treat for the senses as wafts of garlic, ginger and other fresh herbs and spices fill the air. There is also a sense of entertainment as each meal begins with an elaborate display by the chef involving soaring flames.
The restaurant is based at the Arcadian centre
When it comes to the food, there is a wide variety of choices. There are three course set menus and pre-theatre menus at £14.95 for three courses (as it is very close to Birmingham Hippodrome and the New Alexandra theatres), plus regular specials.
Seafood and fish dishes are particularly good. The sushi and sashimi starters are exquisite and taste fresh from the sea. There is an assortment of nigri sushi and freshly sliced raw fish beautifully presented, which make them almost a shame to eat. They range from £4.50 to £7.50 a plate, or there are sharing sushi platters for £15.
For those that prefer cooked appetisers, there is also a choice of other starters including agemono (breaded and deep fried king prawns, chicken or scallops) and tempura (lightly battered vegetables, fish or meat) for between £4.90 and £8.75 a dish.
Oriental artefacts adorn corners in the restaurant interior
Moving on to the main course, there are straighforward teppanyaki dishes grilled on the hotplate in butter and soy sauce - teppanyaki means a dish cooked using an iron plate. These cost from £10.95 to £18 and includes a wide range of fish, lobster, chicken, beef and duckling.
But it's worth checking out the mouth-watering specialities that add a few more vegetables into the mix. Dishes such as Ozuyaki - Sirloin of Beef - rolled and stuffed with mushrooms, spring onions & garlic. Delicious! Specialities start at £13.95 for a dish, but can be shared.
Food is fresh and prepared in front of your eyes
The desserts are along the lines of ice cream with fresh fruit, but nothing as special as the previous courses. A nice way to end the evening, especially if you have a set menu.
And when it comes to a drink - make sure you sample the Japanese delicacy of plum wine. It's sweet but soothing and unforgettable.