Pepper Lunch, a Japanese franchise offering sizzling hot Teppan-style food, apparently has been open in Canada for several years now – with the Richmond location the first one in this country.
According to what I’ve read online, Pepper Lunch was the most talked about place when it first opened, and lineups could be seen out the door on a daily basis. Ahhh… by now, all the hype has died down and when I visited last week on a rainy day in Richmond, there were no lineups and the place was half empty.
Again, from what I’ve read online, your order comes with some sort of special electromagnetic cooker which will heat up to 260˚C in 70 seconds – and then remain hot for more than 20 minutes at a lower temperature. Therefore, your food is still kept warm without overcooking.
At Pepper Lunch, you order at the front first, and then you are assigned a table number where you are seated. When the food is ready, they bring it to your table.
I ordered the Beef Pepper Pasta (C$10.95), and was asked if I wanted a combo – which was Miso Soup plus a pop (for an additional C$2.75). I decided to go with that.
Based on what I noticed during this visit, Pepper Lunch seems to be a place for young Asians, as practically every occupied table had young Asian couples or groups of Asian friends. I also noticed the service staff was predominantly Filipino, not Japanese.
The food came with my pop and Miso Soup, and also sauce for the pasta. There were also two jars with special sauces, and I tried all of them to add more flavour.
Okay, so I was looking at this dish, and the first thing I thought was that the portion was small. And this was a meal for over C$14.00 including taxes! I’d looked at the menu for a bit before ordering this, and I’d seen some items (eg. their steaks) priced at over C$30.00! So… I had to wonder about this overpriced pasta.
As it turned out, I was proven right. An hour after the meal, I was feeling slightly hungry. Two hours later, I was definitely very hungry. Yikes.
Where: Pepper Lunch, #150 – 5951 No 3 Road, Richmond, BC, Canada V6X 2E3