I cannot believe it took me this long to experience hibachi for the very first time.
My girlfriend frequents the restaurant and has experienced the live action BBQ on teppanyaki grill a handful of times. So after hearing I have never, she immediately set about to making plans for us to do so together. The result, a rowdy night of drinking with the chef and wooo-ing until our throats were sore.
We would visit for our 2year anniversary (03/02/23) and this was definitely the way to celebrate. Especially as you are asked if you are celebrating anything when you are seated and the staff make note, adding little flourishes to your meal as a result.
Reservations are necessary and you will be asked to make a deposit to ensure you keep your appointment. On this Thursday night we were lucky to get our own table, with our own chef, as we were seated front and centre for the show. Otherwise up to 3 smaller parties can end up sharing one table, seated in a semi-circle around the chef at the centre. He would be back-to-back with another chef, facing the opposite direction, in the centre of his own semi-circle seated table.
We would definitely earn the privilege of having our own table as we would order two ultimate feasts with plenty of sake and wine to pair. Not to mention a couple of add-ons to bulk up the bill. We also wanted to order their specialty cocktails served in their keepsake tiki mugs, shaped like either a geisha or a happy Buddha. Unfortunately they were sold out due to distribution issues, so we contented ourselves with a few orders of warm sake and a bottle of white wine instead.
Drinking really adds to the experience. Liquid courage to fully engage in the fire and smoke show before you. You can hear yourself rooting for your chef as he flips shrimp shells into his puffed up chef’s hat, and then bat around a raw egg on his cooking spatula without breaking it.
It was especially fun when we included him in our drinking and shots. Cheers went around as we were able to step behind the grill and cause a stir in front of the other seated tables.
To be honest at this point the food is tertiary as the drinking has consumed and the show has distracted from anything else. Although from what I can recall there was plenty of “mmmmm’s” from all that hit our mouths and everything was just as tasty the following days as leftovers.
The Ultimate set is the largest set feast option. It starts with miso soup to warm up the stomach and the following is prepared right before your eyes as the table is set a blaze and the Chef begins his table side banter. I feel he had just as much fun with us as we did with him.
The Ultimate set includes broiled Atlantic scallop, aged New York steak, lobster tail sautéed in sake and set aflame in brandy, and teriyaki-seasoned chicken breast. For vegetable there was onion and beansprouts. The latter was formed into a heart shape for our amusement. I found everything flavourful as is, but we were also given miso flavoured sauces to help the meal along. There was plenty of quality proteins, just kissed by the fire to ensure a tender centre and a fragrant char.
You get white rice with the order but my guest raves about their Kobe fried rice so we had to add that to our already large amount of food. Acclaimed as their famous fried rice prepared with diced zucchini, button mushrooms, and fresh cracked eggs it offered a much-needed base for all the salty and savoury protein above.
This our chef also formed our fried rice order into a heart, and then went the next step further to also spell out “happy anniversary” in white uncooked rice to cook and serve on the side. Naturally this was a photo op.
To end our meal our set included Mario’s Gelati ice cream in either mango or green tea for dessert. We went for one of each, and in celebration they added a sparkler to one instead of the typical paper umbrella. Once again a small thoughtful gesture that really customized our experience.
IN closing I could not have had a better time at my first hibachi experience. I’ve been talking about it since, and I can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good time. I definitely will be back and know just the rowdy friends to return with! Highly recommend!
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
1042 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A3, Canada