Eating at a hibachi restaurant is quite different from dining at a standard American restaurant or even at the average sushi bar. The first time you go, you might feel a little apprehensive and unsure of yourself. However, if you have a better idea of what to expect, you will be able to relax, enjoy the fun, and fully experience the food and cooking show.
Expect to sit with other guests.
When you go out for hibachi, you do not get your own table unless you happen to show up with a large group of diners that takes up an entire table. Rather, you will be seated at a large, 3-sided table with a grill in the middle. The restaurant will continue seating people around that table until it is full, or close to it. When the table is full, then the server will come take your orders, and soon after that, the chef will begin cooking. Because of the way this is done, you might have to wait a little longer between being seated and your order being taken, but that's just part of the hibachi experience. Use that time to watch some of the chefs preparing food at other tables.
Expect to be included in the fun.
Most hibachi chefs make an effort to include their audience in the fun, so don't be surprised by this. The chef might toss some broccoli into your mouth, shoot sake into your mouth, or even poke a little fun at you with silly jokes. If you do not want broccoli or sake in your mouth, just put up your hand; they'll move on to the next person.
Expect to eat while the meal is being cooked.
Often, the chef will prepare the rice or noodles, put them on your plate, prepare the veggies and plate them, and then move onto the meats. You do not need to sit there with the food on your plate until everything is cooked. Eat a little as the food is added to your plate. It's considered polite to enjoy it while it's still hot!
Expect to leave a tip for the server and chef to split.
People often wonder if they should tip the hibachi chef or not. You should — but you do not have to do so separately. Leave one tip; the restaurant will divide it between the server and the chef.
Going out for hibachi can be an excellent experience, especially if you have some idea of what to expect.Share
3 November 2020
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