Pepper Lunch is a unique restaurant that offers a “fast steak” concept to its diners. Hence, when I happened to be at Gaisano Mall The Peak for dinner time, I knew I had to give it a try. I thought this was your usual Japanese restaurant that I’ve tried before, but I was completely taken aback. The unique dining concept at Pepper Lunch will, however, please foodies that are up for something completely new.
The menu at Pepper Lunch allows you to pick from a wide array of choices such as Pepper Rice, Premium Beef Steak, Steak, Japanese Classics, and their Combo meals. Because E & I were really hungry that time, we opted for their Pepper Rice choices.
I went with the Salmon Pepper Rice (PhP 275) because… well, I just can’t resist anything on the menu that says salmon! Meanwhile, E went for the Chicken Pepper Rice (PhP 195). We both skipped the Bonus Meal offer, wherein you just add PhP 60 to get a drink and one side dish of your choice.
Now, onto the food preparation… I had to be honest, although I’ve tried Tong Yang Shabu Shabu and Smokeless Grill before, I was a bit nervous about the idea of preparing my own food using a specialized Japanese sizzling plate. But it’s actually fairly simple. When the sizzling plate is served on your table, all you have to do is add special sauce of your choice (that is provided on the table) and then flip the meat over. Make sure to mix it with the rice to incorporate the flavor. It’s actually kinda fun!
The great thing about my order is that the meat is fresh and so when you add in the sauce, it really brings out the flavor. Also, the pepper rice is flavorful on its own. One benefit to dining here is that your order is served fairly quickly as the cooking process is done on your table.
My only qualm about dining at Pepper Lunch is that it can be tricky trying to estimate how much sauce to put into the sizzling plate. Given that there is no way for you to taste it until after you’ve mixed everything together (lest you risk burning your tongue), you could end up doing the same mistake as I did – putting on too much sauce. It ended up being too salty for my liking. Also, the orders aren’t inexpensive despite being a “gourmet” version of Japanese fast food. It is therefore hard on your wallet trying to experiment with your food. I would rather pay the same amount to a real Japanese restaurant with an experienced chef preparing the food for me so I can truly enjoy Japanese food at its best.