Full Disclosure: I paid for this meal with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post. The opinions are completely my own.
Last week I went out to dinner with some friends. When we go out together, we want to food to be good, worthwhile, and sometimes even entertaining. This time, we chose to go to Ginza of Tokyo on Odana Rd. We had all been there before, but not for a while. There were six of us, so we had almost a whole table to ourselves, which is always fun.
If you are not familiar, Ginza is a Japanese hibachi restaurant. You know, the kind where they cook the food in front of you on a large flat top. If you have not been to one of these places, I highly recommend it. (Although, they are not generally very vegetarian or vegan friendly.)
We started off with some drinks. I tried some cold sake. It was not as strong as I expected, but it actually tasted pretty good. This particular one was pretty fruity and sweet.
There were also some other blended fruity drinks, and Japanese soda!
The husband and I always order the “Dinner for Two” which gives you a little bit of everything. Shrimp, chicken, steak, veggies and the traditional appetizers. It is easily the most money efficient way to go if you can agree on what you both want.
The appetizers that seem to be pretty standard for hibachi style restaurants are a mushroom “soup” which is really more like a salty flavored broth, and a salad with a ginger based dressing.
After a few flips and tricks with his cooking utensils, the chef made the fried rice.
Tip: fried rice is not standard with a hibachi meal, but you should definitely get it. If nothing else because there are fun things that the chef normally does with the eggs used in the fried rice. You’d miss out on the “egg roll” and maybe even a toss into the chef’s hat!
They have two sauces that come with your meal. One is a plum sauce and one is a spicy mustard sauce. I will be honest with you and tell you that I don’t eat either of them at all with my meal. Some day I might try them when I am feeling adventurous.
Most of the meals also come with a shrimp appetizer, which is just a couple of small pieces of hibachi cooked shrimp. But it is always some of the most delicious shrimp that I’ve ever had.
Fun Fact: The first time I EVER had shrimp was approximately 9 years ago when the husband (then boyfriend) took me (he might say he had to beg me to go) to Benihana, which is a hibachi style chain, in Chicago while we were down there for a weekend getaway. I still remember that shrimp appetizer as pretty much the best shrimp that I’ve ever had. Buttery perfectly cooked goodness.
I don’t have a ton of photos of the rest of the meal, mostly because I was concentrating on eating it, and since it just comes as it is cooked, there isn’t really a full meal shot. But I’ll show you what I have.
Some delicious zucchini getting ready to be cooked. My first hibachi experience may also have been the first time that I had zucchini as well, but I’m not entirely sure.
If you have been to a hibachi style restaurant, I’m sure you have seen the “volcano” that the chef usually makes while preparing the onion. Well, this chef was super cool and let one of our friends actually help him make the volcano! I’ve been to hibachi many times and I’ve never seen a chef do this. It was a lot of fun.
After the “volcano” was made, the chef switched it up, and turned it into a campfire! Super cool.
Then came the cooking of the meats. Let me just remind you that this is the meat for the whole table – 10 people total. Not just the husband and I. That would be an even more ridiculous amount of food than our portion already is!
Somehow I do not really have a good photo of the finished meats and veggies since you kind of just eat it as it comes, but here is a photo of some of it.
The only thing I have to really complain about the meal (if you can even call it a complaint) is that it is a LOT of food. I generally try to pace myself so that I have a good lunch portion left to take home so that I don’t stuff myself to be uncomfortably full.
Taste: A, really good from beginning to end. Fresh, lightly seasoned, buttery goodness.
Cost: B, this is not somewhere where we would go all of the time, as it is not inexpensive, but I really believe that the fun experience as well as the delicious food makes up for the fact that it is a more expensive restaurant.
Would I go there again? Absolutely.