We love Hibachi, & this was not our first time here. My husband has come here occasionally over the course of 25 years. Over the last 10 years, he has brought me here 3 or 4 times. The last time was probably about 4 years ago. We often frequent other hibachi grills that are in areas where we work or travel, so kind of know what the standard norm is for hibachi.
We went this time as a party of 8 for a birthday. We had reservations, but the place was not too busy so we were seated right away. We ordered several sushi appetizers and drinks. The server was very efficient and attentive.
Three people with us had never done hibachi before so were excited. What a disappointment the chef was. Part of what makes hibachi worth the cost is the entertainment factor that is standard in most restaurants. He said virtually nothing except to confirm orders. He quietly made the onion volcano, then after that kept his eyes on the grill and simply cooked the food with no engagement whatsoever.
The fried rice wasnt very tasty. The vegetables were mushy. Overall, the flavor was lacking. One guest noted the soup "just tastes like water".
When the (large) bill came, we found they'd charged us $2.50 apiece for the fried rice! When paying $20+ for each meal, it is standard in every Hibachi restaurant I have been in that the rice is part of the meal, whether fried or steamed. When I looked at the menu later, it states only steamed rice comes. I dont recall this being the case before, and look, I realize menus and prices change. To me, tho, this is just simply misleading. It's included as standard in any other hibachi grill, and when taking your order, they specifically ask "steamed or fried?" As if it's an included option. Deceptive, IMO.
Then, after all was paid, we sat there for about 10 minutes or so while waiting for those who had (very expensive) alcoholic drinks they were finishing. I guess it doesn't matter that we still had paid items we were not finished consuming yet; an employee came to the grill with clean plates and utensils and stood at the grill with them in an effort to hurry us along. I get wanting to move tables, but not only were we not finished with some of our expensive items, but it's not like the place was hopping. It was flat out rude.
If you want your money's worth, and an entertaining experience, and tastier food, go to Tachibana in Lexington off Newtown Rd or travel to Georgetown to Sapporo. I don't think I will go back to Nagasaki Inn anymore if I want hibachi.
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