100 Favorite Dishes, No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
You can get a whole fish presented table side all over the the city, but there aren't too many places you can watch your meal cooked before your eyes. No. 82, the grilled branzino served at Tei Tei Robata, is a carry over from our previous 100 Favorites list, but this list wouldn't be complete without this artfully prepared fish, and a nod in a city that serves up some unexpectedly excellent Japanese food.
Sit at the bar as close to the grill as you can if you want a show, and watch as a cook threads your fish on two skewers before salting the cavity and the tail. Seared over the high heat of Japanese charcoal, the fish hisses and spits as it slowly cooks and perfectly blisters.
Another bonus of sitting at the bar is the grill chef may hand you the fish directly as soon as it comes off the grill. Grab that lemon wedge and give your newfound meal a hearty squeeze, and watch and listen as the citrus juice sizzles. This fresh fish grilled expertly over a natural heat source is the perfect expression of simplicity, which, it turns out, is what Japanese cooks do best. And the best place to experience that expression is up close and personal at Tei Tei Robata, where the sounds and smells emanate from almost within your grasp.
No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon