The DIY fast-steak restaurant Pepper Lunch is bringing its signature sizzle to Richmond, opening its first North American location March 14.

With more than 350 locations worldwide, the Japanese eatery is a much-anticipated lunch-and-dinner spot to add to Richmond’s competitive cuisine scene. Its novel concept of serving food on a hot plate heated to 260 C allows diners to sizzle it their way, getting steak, salmon and Kobe beef burgers just right, every time.

In advance of the grand opening Saturday, 365 spoke to Pepper Lunch Canada owner Chris Sy to find out more about the new Richmond location (150-5951 No. 3 Road).


Chris and Denis Sy - Franchise owners of Pepper Lunch Canada_web


365: What separates Pepper Lunch from other lunch spots?

Chris Sy: “We use quality ingredients, from the meats, produce, down to the last grain of Japanese rice. Our beef is of the highest quality, Certified Angus Beef, and from Canada. No other Pepper Lunch locations use this beef. We source all our ingredients locally, including the sashimi-grade B.C. salmon. Our pork is also some of the best — Sakura pork.”

365: Why is the rice so special?

CS: “We use one of the best Japanese rice brands out there on the market today (Tamanishiki Super Premium Rice). Even Pepper Lunch Japan has commented on and has recognized us going the extra mile to use the best ingredients as possible.”

365: Can you tell me more about the design of the restaurant?

CS: “It’s very modern with contemporary industrial touches like the metal pendant lights and brick walls. This is the first concept store design to give guests a more warm and friendly atmosphere.”




365: Where does the name come from?

CS: “Pepper Lunch name came from Japan. It is derived from the classic Beef Pepper Rice dish.”

365: Why will Pepper Lunch use only Canadian Certified Angus Beef?

CS: “We wanted to use the best beef possible, especially since we believe diners can tell the difference. We source all our beef locally and from Alberta.”

365: What can you tell me about the special sauces at Pepper Lunch?

CS: “Top secret recipe from Japan! The Amakuchi is the Honey Garlic and the Karakuchi is the Soy Garlic. These two sauces were made especially for us — there is no MSG.”


pepper lunch kobe beef burger1_web

  Pictured: Kobe beef burger with fresh spouts and veg for  $12.95 before tax (rice extra). (365 PHOTO)

A few guidelines for the first-time Pepper Lunch diner:

  1. Obviously, use caution as the plate is hot! Thankfully a protective paper encompasses the plate to keep diners mindful of the burn factor.
  2. Spread the butter over chosen meat and then use tongs to flip it as desired.
  3. Meat will keep cooking the whole time you leave it sizzling on the special Pepper plate, so when it’s cooked to your liking, place it on the vegetables.
  4. Don’t forget, DIY means there’s no wrong way to eat your food!
  5. 365 tip: The secret recipe sauces taste great on everything.



Location: 150-5951 No. 3 Road, Richmond