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Pepper Lunch & Azuma Cafe

I’m sure I’ve walked past Pepper Lunch on George Street hundreds of times. Every time I go past I curiously peer past its yellow doors, glance quickly at the menus mounted on the exterior walls and try to convince whoever I’m with that we should be eating here! Unfortunately for me, not many have shared my enthusiasm and curiosity for Pepper Lunch, that is until Squishies suggests it as a quick dinner stop before we go to watch a movie.

Pepper Steak has been a staple on George St for about 2 years, it’s hard to miss the yellow awnings as you walk past on George St. To those unfamiliar with the concept, Pepper Steak specializes in meat dishes which are served raw on their own sizzling platter. The platter is super heated thus cooking your food for you at your table.

I’m not totally unfamiliar with the concept and have had something very similar in Akihabara a number of years ago, on my recent return to Japan I was devastated to find that my favourite food court had actually been demolished! Oh sad days. With only two of us at the table we aren’t going for quantity with this round. Squishies, a seasoned pro (complete with loyalty card!) goes for her usual, the “Tokusen” Rib Eye Steak, after much scouring of the menu I go for the aptly named, ‘J-Curry’.

"Tokusen" Rib Eye Steak - $15.80

There’s nothing like the pop-sizzle of a steak on a grill and that’s exactly what greats us when the Tokusen Rib Eye comes out, convenient pre-cut into slices for easy consumption cooking is a matter of minutes. Squishies frets a little as I take my photos worrying that the steak with be overcooked, the moment the camera comes down she is all action and the steak pieces are quickly flipped over with a renewed sizzleeeee. I steal a bite and for a moment am genuinely taken aback at how tender and perfectly cooked the steak is. The seasoning is light with only the appropriate Pepper dusting and a generous smear of mustard.

J-Curry Hamburger

The Curry plate definitely wouldn’t win any prizes for visual appeal but at this moment is exactly what I’m craving despite the hot weather. When it arrives at the table the platter is so hot I can actually see bubbles forming in the curry sauce, very carefully I begin the task of mixing everything together. Rather than steak, the J-Curry is served with a whole Hamburger patty which sits on the plate, soaking up as much curry as it possibly can. Squishies tries a bite of the curried rice and nearly chokes, the pepper flavouring is more than generous and while I love it, it sends her groping for a glass of water.

Mix Green Tea & Vanilla Yoghurt, Strawberry Layer Cake

No meal is complete without dessert, and seeing the lack of dessert options on the Pepper Lunch menu we continue onto Azuma Cafe, which luckily is situated just on the other side of the theatre. I’ve been a big fan of the Vanilla/Green Tea mixed yoghurt and settle on a serving while Squishies goes for the cake option. I usually adore the Cakes at Azuma and have previously enjoyed the Strawberry Layer Cake, but found it almost dry this time around, perhaps a victim of sitting around too long?

Whatever the case, Azuma Cafe provides a quiet place for us to relax while waiting for the film to begin. In case you’re wondering, we went to see ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ which was simultaneously charming and disturbing. Definitely not a film for the kiddies!

Pepper Lunch
537 George St 
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone:  (02) 9264 3222
Web: http://www.pepperlunch.com.sg/

Azuma Cafe
Ground Floor Regent Place Shopping 
501 Greorge Street Sydney NSW 2000 
Web: http://www.azuma.com.au/cafe/home.php

In The Press

Local News Coverage!

Check it out, we’re in the papers! We were thrilled when Howie’s local paper called us up asking for an interview even though their final photo choice provided us with much hilarity (Photoshop submissions to minh@eatshowandtell.com).

Pepper Lunch on Urbanspoon

13 Comments

  1. I think most people have passed this place hundreds of times too and never ventured inside! The steak looks pretty good and I may try it one of these days. And Azuma Patisserie is such a great place for a quick dessert, I agree wholeheartedly.

  2. the sizzling steak has got to be a winner mmmmmm :-) congratulations on the local newspaper article, how AWESOME! pretty cool media shot as well of you. social media food blogging seems to certainly be becoming more talked about in the traditional papers :-)

  3. I’ve been past Pepper Lunch heaps of times, too, but have never ventured inside. The rib eye looks pretty good. I may try it next time I’m in ‘student’ mode! And congrats to Howard and es&t on the mention. Funny nom nom photo!

  4. Ahh pepper runch, havent been in a while but their meat isnt bad :) I always like to put the rice on the hot plate to give it some char as well as a bed for the meat to preven it getting overcooked hee hee

  5. Bubz

    My friend goes to Pepper Lunch at least once a week. I don’t know how he does it! I’ve been a grand total of two times, and now you’ve given me cravings :(

    Can’t wait for the photochops to come in :P

  6. Congratulations on the article, great stuff! Like many others I too have often walked past and wondered what it was like, thinking it was another Japanese food chain, thanks for demystifying it, I will now be able to go in and know confidently what to expect!

  7. abercrombie

    I LOVE PEPPER LUNCH!… ommmmmmmmg

    they have some really good tender cuts of meat.. everytime i can be assured of a really satisfying feed

    i’ve now been inspired to go again… thanks!

  8. The smells emanating out of pepper lunch always smell so alluring, but the thought of being bbq-scented when I head back to work is less tempting. Congrats on the local paper mention – great photo!I can see so many great photo editing opportunities here for a cheeky imagination :P But.. as it’s Christmas – I won’t make any naughty suggestions and wish you all a merry christmas instead!

  9. Y

    Like everyone else, I’ve walked past Pepper Lunch lots of times but haven’t been in. Have wanted to check out the Azuma cafe though. I’ve heard good things about that green tea yogurt thing!

    Congrats on the interview, Howard!

  10. joey: I can’t believe I ignored this place for so long… I’ll be back Pepper Lunch!

    Simon Food Favourites: I still get a thrill seeing blogs mentioned in traditional media, we’re making our way up there!

    Belle: I was really surprised at the quality of the rib eye, had expected it to be much worse.

    Helen: Go helen go!

    FFichiban: Haha I never even thought of doing that. Have to tell Qing to try that next time.

    Bubz: Wow, while I enjoyed it I don’t think I’d be obsessed enough for weekly visits lol. Kudos to your friend!

    mademoiselle delicieuse: Haha there’s something about the thrill of cooking my own meat that intrigues me.

    Moya: Thanks Moya! Definitely give it a go, it’s a great example of asian wackyness that somehow works.

    abercrombie: Mmmmm take me with you!

    Karen: Hehe thanks Karen!

    Forager: Ahh the terrors of BBQ smell, definitely worth the trip if you’re after a quick feed though.

    Y: Thanks Y! I love their green tea yoghurt, tho went a little crazy and got a large and couldn’t finish it lol

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