Saturday, December 01, 2007

Kobe Steakhouse of Japan

“Let’s go somewhere different tonight. I’m getting tired of the same thing.” Father-in-law had a good plan, and he pursued it. With his family in tow, he took us to the Kobe Steakhouse of Japan, the newest restaurant in the Willow Knolls Shopping Center. What was expected was a culinary acrobatic show performed by gentlemen who knew their way around a set of utensils and a lot of banging and slamming on the griddle top. We did indeed receive all of this, but sadly, it was in an absolutely frigid room.

Featuring steak, chicken, and fish, along with a rather short sushi menu and the typical appetizer accompaniments, the menu gives the diner a good summation of the types of dishes and the way they are prepared before your very eyes, and only a few entrees were priced above $20.

It was obvious that throughout the day the room in which we were seated went unused until the dinner rush began, because the large room that we passed through was comfortably warm and cozy… and full. We reluctantly removed our outerwear and hoped that the grill would get us warm. Starting us off with a round of drinks, our orders were quickly placed and the salad and soup arrived. The small garden salad was topped with a dressing that we could only describe as some sort of creamy Italian taste with a splash of soy sauce, and it was very tasty despite its simplicity. The onion soup, garnered with two large mushroom slices, was not overbearing in taste and was quickly chilled, another victim of the room temperature.

Our chef arrived with a cartload of squeeze bottles filled with sauces, plates with meat and vegetables, and a large platter of rice to go along with the rest of his tools of the trade. He began by firing up the grill, during which time we leaned closer in anticipation of gathering some of the warmth. The chef started squirting various liquids on the grill and, upon whipping out a lighter, set fire to said liquids, pushing us right back into our chairs.

He prepared our orders with great skill and flamboyance, even delving one more time into his pyromaniacal side by creating a volcano-like structure with three rings of onion, dumping his magic liquids in the middle, and watching the flame spew forth once again. Various combinations of steak (including filet mignon, which was described as “very nice and tender”), chicken, halibut, and shrimp were cooked up and served before us fresh from the griddle. A large serving of fried rice was prepared and dished out before the meats were prepared, and it had to be eaten quickly before it went cold.

Towards the end of our meals many looks of satisfaction were exchanged and promises to return to this restaurant were exchanged. The sounds of our party blowing on their hands to regain warmth signaled our exit from the restaurant.
Kobe Steakhouse of Japan is well worth the visit, but make sure you get there early, lest you be seated in the walk-in freezer.


Peoria Peepers said...

Good to see you're out and about again.
Thanks for the shout out!

Anonymous said...

We tried to go to dinner here with a group of 20 people the other night and ended up leaving the restaurant because we had to wait for over 1 1/2 hours even though we had a reservation for 8 pm that was made about 1 week prior. The hostess kept telling us they were cleaning up a table and it would only be 5 more minutes. Finally after watching everyone else in the bar get seated and around 9:15 we left. Would not recommend.

Anonymous said...

I just visited Kobe today and was slightly disappointed. I sat in the regular dining area to have an appetizer and a quick sushi lunch. The waitresses were very indifferent, almost robotic. And I felt the menu was a bit misleading. I ordered the Oshinko expecting as the menu said an "assortment of Japanese pickles" but I got six slices of one type of pickle. No assortment. The miso tasted saltier than I'm accustomed to and the freshness of the fish was shaky. The shrimp in particular tasted a bit strange. This visit was much worse than my previous at the teppanyaki grill!