My four year old grandson love hibachi style restaurants. Anytime you ask him where he wants to go out to eat, the answer is the same – – “the fire.” That is what he calls that type of restaurant because the chefs cook the meal right at the table.
Today we visited the Yakihana Japanese Steak and Seafood Restaurant, which oddly enough is located in a shopping center right across the street from where I live. It is located on Magruder Blvd. in Hampton, Virginia. I’m not sure how I managed to never visit the place until today, but I will be going back.
The restaurant is not large. It probably seats about 50 people around the various grills and at the bar. It is decorated in typical Oriental colors of black, red, and white, with the appropriate Oriental pictures on the wall. The style works very well for this restaurant because it is done with class rather than “cheese.”
A lovely hostess greeted us at the door as soon as we walked in. She offered us a welcoming smile and immediately seated us at the table of our choice. As we looked over the menu and considered the daily specials, she took our drink orders.
My grandson knew what he wanted immediately; fried rice. The rest of us had to choose from a large selection of menu items including chicken, steak, shrimp, scallops, and more in various combinations of meals. Each meal included fried rice or spiced noodles, salad with the restaurant’s signature ginger dressing, and a fresh orange desert.
My daughter settled on the chicken platter. I chose the steak, done medium rare. My husband went for the vegetarian plate.
Once all of our orders were placed, the waitress returned with cold crisp salads. As we enjoyed those, our chef came to the table and began his cooking exhibition.
My grandson immediately stopped eating, his eyes glued to his favorite part of the experience – – watching the chef doing his demonstration. Realizing my grandson’s rapt attention, the chef put on a little extra show; making a onion volcano which spewed seasoning right into the fried rice.
I admit that we all enjoyed the show. It was fun. The chef was humorous and he cooked everything specifically to our individual tastes.
I’m not sure what was better. The chicken was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. The steak was tasty and tender. The veggies were scrumptious. The rice was perfect! In truth, we enjoyed the entire meal.
Yakihana Japanese Steak and Seafood Restaurant is by no means expensive. Plus, it is worth every penny. My husband’s veggie meal was $7.00. My daughter’s chicken meal was $8.00. My steak meal was the most expensive at $9.00. My grandson’s fried rice was only $3.00, since each of us shared meat and veggies with him.
Dinner at Yakihana is a little more expensive, ranging from around $10.00 for a single meat platter to around $20.00 for complex, multi-meat meals. Dinners include soup, salad, and appetizer. As is the case with most restaurants, drinks are separate at an average of $1.75 for soda or tea. Water is provided at no cost.
The restaurant does require that a party sitting at a grill contain at least two meals for those who want their meal cooked at the table. Otherwise, it simply isn’t cost effective for the establishment. Others are welcome to have a seat at the bar.
Compared to other hibachi style restaurants that I have tried around the Virginia Peninsula, Yakihana is a pure delight. The food is excellent. The service is great. The atmosphere is wonderful. And the cost is reasonable. I give this restaurant four out of five stars.