The Short Course
Noise level: Quiet
Bathroom amenities: Clean and adequate
High chairs: Yes, and booster seats
Got milk? No, but iced tea, sweet tea, lemonade, and several juices – apple, orange, and pineapple, are available.
Kids’ menu? Yes, kids’ hibachi meal portions available
Food allergy concerns: Let your server know, but if you have allergy concerns I recommend caution, as there is a language barrier. They do not use peanut oil and said there is an emergency allergy medical kit at the restaurant.
I was hungry when our family stopped at Hokkaido Japanese Steakhouse, but that feeling brought on by a cold was in full force – sinuses throbbing, nose raw, my body achy and tired.
Yet, with a chef skillfully performing in front of us, a delicious meal was created, and as I became full, by the end of the meal, things had changed. Feeling replenished, warm and content, as if Mom wrapped me in a blanket and gave me a hug, a flood of thankfulness swept through me.
At Hokkaido Japanese Steakhouse, the hibachi chef, Min Pan cooked our food on the grill in front of us with some tricks and flair.
We giggled as he tossed a bite-sized piece of egg at each of us in turn to catch in our mouths. He lit a stack of onions ablaze, then blew a train whistle and slowly pushed the “train” across the grill. He banged and flipped his grill tools adeptly, tossing and maneuvering a whole egg in the air with such grace that it seemed connected to his cooking tools. The great show of slicing and dicing was met with our anticipation as the rice, noodles, meat and vegetables sizzled, with delectable aromas enveloping us.
“I want (my customers) to be happy and to enjoy the food,” Chef Pan said. If you’re not in the mood for hibachi, there are other options on the menu. Choices include a vast array of sushi rolls, specials, sashimi, or entrees served with soup or salad; teriyaki meat or seafood with rice, soup and salad; or tempura meals, deep fried vegetables or meat, with rice, soup, or salad. Nabemono, Japanese hot pot dishes and bento dinners which include soup, salad, shrimp, vegetable tempura, California roll, and rice; fried rice entrees; dessert and more.
We dined on a Monday and discovered that on Mondays and Tuesdays, hibachi meals are 20 percent off. A hibachi meal comes with a salad, soup and rice, noodles, vegetables and choice of meat – a lot of food! My 11-year-old son loves tuna rolls, so we ordered a tuna roll for him and a California roll – crab, cucumber and avocado – for me. The rolls were tasty, made of fresh ingredients with a pleasing consistency.
My 8-year-old daughter bravely tried the soup (She liked it.), but didn’t want a salad, a refreshing combination of ginger dressing and cold, crisp lettuce.
My husband ordered the filet mignon hibachi and was pleased with the larger portion of meat, cooked expertly. A big fan of “yum yum” sauce, he happily drizzled it atop his meat, vegetables, rice and noodles before he ate it all. The orange yum yum sauce is typically made with tomato paste, melted butter, garlic powder, paprika, mayonnaise, sugar, cayenne pepper, and water. You just can’t go wrong with yum yum.
My son selected the kids’ hibachi chicken. He ordered his salad with ranch and enjoyed it, gobbled up his sushi roll and made an honorable dent in his hibachi meal. Over the years he’s sampled enough food that he can fully appreciate a meal like this – deliciously cooked chicken, flavorful vegetables, fried rice and tasty noodles.
“I ate so much I’m stuffed,” he said after the meal, glancing at my plate. “How do you even have so much rice left? It’s my favorite part!”
When my daughter goes out to eat, she basically only eats chicken strips and fries, so it’s nice to know they can be flexible at Hokkaido. Our chef cooked her chicken with no seasoning, and she was brought a bowl of white rice.
The Healing Power of Scallops
I chose the hibachi scallops and shrimp, and, while every bit of the meal was wonderful, the scallops were marvelous and stood out. I love scallops and order them often. They have a melt-in-your-mouth, heavenly texture. My son, sitting next to me, thought I was a total weirdo because I couldn’t help but utter a little, “Ooo,” or “Mmm,” each time I bit into a buttery scallop.
At Hokkaido, we were treated to a delicious meal, it more affordable than other Japanese eateries in town. The secret is out! I would love to return to sample more of their menu.
Cheers to the mysterious healing found in perfectly prepared scallops.
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 4:30-10pm Monday-Thursday;
11:30am-2:30pm and 4:30-11pm Friday;
12-11pm Saturday; and 12-9pm Sunday
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Carryout available, ask about their late night food special menu.
Hokkaido Japanese Steakhouse
1219 Trenton Ave., Findlay | 419-427-0888