Sizzling Lunch opens restaurant on Telegraph Avenue

Japanese fusion restaurant Sizzling Lunch celebrated the grand opening of its Berkeley location on February 18 on Telegraph Avenue.

The restaurant, located in the former Sojo Ramen space, offers an interactive dining experience, where customers are greeted with the rich smell of grilled meat and a sound that can aptly be described as sizzling.

Sizzling Lunch’s menu is inspired by teppanyaki grills, says manager Bob Chan. Customers have many options for their griddle to choose from, including rice, pasta, beef, salmon and tofu, Chan added.

Chan noted that the restaurant has changed traditional cooking techniques into a convenient time for customers.

“In teppanyaki, the chef serves on a hot iron stove and they cook the food on it,” Chan said. “We branched out the process to serve our fresh ingredients in a hot cast iron skillet, and they cook on their own. Then the guests can cook(ing) the items.

Of all the options on the Sizzling Lunch menu, Chan recommends the garlic peppercorn rice with beef. For vegetarians, he recommends the cheesy corn and cucumber salad.

Chan added that he is continuously working to add new dishes to the menu.

“For everything, we don’t serve what we don’t think is perfect,” Chan said. “That’s our bottom line. We want to test it before releasing it to everyone. We want to make sure it’s perfectly executed.

Already, Sizzling Lunch has been met with strong participation from the Berkeley community.

On opening day, Sizzling Lunch served more than 500 free meals to a long line of customers, Chan said. Since then, the restaurant has served about 300 plates a day to UC Berkeley students and other members of the community, he added.

Although Sizzling Lunch stays true to its name in that its food “sizzles,” the restaurant actually differs from its name in one aspect, Chan said.

“We not only serve lunch, but we (serve) dinner as well,” Chan said. “So one of our slogans is ‘sizzle all day’. ”

The majority of Sizzling Lunch’s six other locations are located in the South Bay, including Fremont, San Jose, and Cupertino. Opening a new location in Berkeley, Chan said, provides an opportunity to connect with the local community and university students.

Chan said he was “super excited” about serving new customers in a new location.

“The turnout is better than we expected,” Chan said. “We are so, so grateful to be able to serve everyone in this community. We are so excited to see everyone coming to us.

Contact Grace Nelligan and Karen Vo at [email protected].

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