Masayuki Watanabe

Wharf Teppanyaki’s master of teppanyaki, Masayuki Watanabe aka ‘Masa’, was born in Niigata on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan.

He moved to Australia when he was 18 and got his first job in food and beverage in a Japanese takeaway shop. It was only when Masa moved to the Gold Coast and saw a position vacant sign in the window of a small teppanyaki restaurant that his journey into the fine art of teppanyaki cookery began.

As his skills improved, Masa looked for bigger challenges, moving to Sydney and attaining a role at Suminoya, a well-known Japanese yakiniku (BBQ) restaurant in the CBD. Inspired and trained by the Head Chef, it was here that Masa finally decided to devote his entire work-life to Japanese cookery, the customers it attracts and the many conversations he can have about it with his customers.

You see, Masa loves to smile and engage with customers, which is fully encouraged in the teppanyaki experience. And which brought Masa to Wharf Teppanyaki in 2016. His first signature menu, Niigata, infuses childhood memories of his mum’s home cooking in Niigata and the very best of Teppanyaki by Kobe Jones’ produce and flavours.

When he’s not cooking at Wharf Teppanyaki, Masa loves to go mountain biking, enjoys all types of Asian food… and home-made nachos!

Being from Niigata, Masa considers himself a country boy at heart, so the next stop after Wharf Teppanyaki would be to regional Australia or very possibly Tasmania to open his own Japanese cafe. We’re fairly sure his customers at Wharf Teppanyaki hope that next move is some years in the making!

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