Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse
1800 Tiffin Ave., Findlay
“Tokyo Steakhouse” on Facebook
Monday-Thursday: 4:30pm-10:00 pm
The Short Course
Noise level: Average.
Got milk? Yes.
Kids’ menu? Kids hibachi menu available.
Food allergy concerns? Ask a server for guidance.
Cheers erupted from the back seat, hands clapped and feet kicked. Three voices united in chanting, “Sushi, sushi, sushi,” as I tried to explain over the raucous that we were going to “the sushi place” but were going to try hibachi for the first time. Josephine, our sushi fanatic, was skeptical but – with the promise of fire – she warmed to the idea.
We pulled up to the outdoor entrance to Tokyo Steakhouse, passed the intense gaze of the regal fu dogs and left the land of beige suburban America for the elegance of Japan.
Extensive menu for your family’s meat, seafood and veggie lovers
As we sat down, my husband, Jeremy, immediately launched into a safety talk – pointing to the large, flat metal cooking surface and the singed wood edging it. The kids’ eyes got big as he explained the hibachi. As they buzzed about the upcoming show, Jeremy and I perused the menu which included a huge selection of appetizers, sushi rolls, combination platters, cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic!) and hibachi meals offered with an impressive variety of protein options such as filet mignon, several seafood choices and even duck! When the server arrived, we selected three kids’ hibachi meals (shrimp, chicken and steak), an adult entrée of steak and scallops for Jeremy and I ordered several sushi rolls. We also opted for edamame as an appetizer, miso soup and salad with ginger dressing.
The soup, salad, and edamame arrived quickly (hallelujah!) and the kids set to work devouring edamame. We enjoyed popping the green beans into our mouths or onto a plate. The soup was hot but not scalding with a delicate, savory flavor and the salad offered the standard blend of iceberg lettuce with a fresh and flavorful ginger dressing.
Mesmerizing show, mouth watering food
A few minutes later, a tall, thin chef came out wheeling a cart full of utensils, condiment squeeze bottles and containers. As he welcomed us with a rhythmic show tossing and tapping his knives, the kids were mesmerized. He squeezed a happy face of oil on the grill and lit it on fire sending flames several feet into the air. Mae yelled, “AWESOME!” as the other two “oooohed” and “ahhhhed” and giggled appreciatively. The chef added huge portions of rice, noodles, and mixed, chopped vegetables on different sections of the grill, added oil and soy sauce and continued to cook. As he moved the veggies to the heated section of the grill, the chef pointed to Jeremy and then to a single chunk of zucchini on his spatula. Jeremy opened his mouth and the chef tapped the spatula to send zucchini flying through the air.
The kids were, of course, delighted by flying food and everyone got a chance to catch a piece (alas, only Leland succeeded). Then, the chef stacked uncooked rings of onion into a cone, doused them in oil and set them aflame. As I looked at the kids’ faces aglow, they suddenly burst into hysterics and I turned to see the chef holding a small plastic figure of a boy. When he pulled the boy’s shorts down…you can figure out the rest. The kids nearly fell out of their chairs laughing at “Mr. Pee Pants” as they later dubbed him.
When the food was prepared, the chef heaped enormous helpings of fried rice, noodles, vegetables and meat and/or seafood on everyone’s plate. He gave each person a small dish of “yum yum sauce” – a light-flavored, sweet dipping sauce. As we dove into the food, the chef carefully cleaned the grill which continued to entertain and delight the kids as liquids spat, bubbled, steamed and danced across the hot surface. We shared bites around the table and the food was bursting with flavor without being oily or heavy. Jeremy and Leland devoured their meals and raved about how well the meat was cooked.
Jeremy pointed out that the chef timed everything perfectly to give the meat time to rest and ensure maximum flavor and juiciness. Another example of the chef’s attention to detail: Mae’s chicken was diced into small bites that were perfect for a four-year-old’s tiny mouth. Joey courageously tried the shrimp hibachi meal though she ultimately stuck to the noodles, rice and pieces of my sushi rolls. My sushi – three avocado and cream cheese rolls plus another fried vegetarian roll – were fresh, beautiful and delicious. And while many won’t consider my rolls “real sushi” (I didn’t do fish), it should be noted that Jeremy has often enjoyed “real sushi” from Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse!
As we neared the end of our meal, another family settled at a nearby hibachi table. The kids started bouncing and turning in their seats to watch another hibachi show. Still delighted, they begged to stay longer. Jeremy and I slowly filled three large containers with leftovers, pried the kids from their chairs and started herding them toward the door. Then, Joey saw the chef pick up the little plastic boy… We stayed for that last bit of hilarity before leaving filled with good food and laughter. And isn’t that the best way to leave any restaurant?