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Jun 2, 2010 01:23 PM

Really Fun Hibachi

Hello - can anyone recommend a really fun hibachi place in Manhattan or the downtown brooklyn area? When I went to Benihana I discovered that the bibatchi chef's were of non-authentic origin and did not put on much of a show. In other words, I'm hoping to get a little drunk and be dazzled by the performance in front of me. Maybe some banter with the chef, maybe catch some shrimp in my mouth, or maybe a trick I've never even seen before. Any suggestions? Korean bbq will not do.

47 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

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  1. I think your post belongs on Yelp instead. You might also want to try the Outer-Borough boards. Benihana is a joke unless you're a) a child, b) a tourist, c) really into dinner theatrics, or d) likes your food tossed into the air while it's being cooked for no apparent reason. I have a place in mind that I would highly recommend in terms of amazing food. It's not hibachi per se, but close enough (robatayaki) - check out Robataya NY. The chefs and owners are authentically Japanese. However, they're not going to put on a performance for you. They're serious chefs who take pride in grilling fresh meats, fish, and veggies for customers who appreciate authentic Japanese food. Sit at the bar so the chefs can serve you with a long paddle.

    Here's a review I copied and pasted from
    "Serving “robatayaki” in an uplifting atmosphere, newly opened Robataya NY is a hot spot among NY foodies. Robatayaki is based on styles and foods that have been originally enjoyed in rustic settings where people cook and eat freshly harvested ingredients around open hearthes in farmhouses. The restaurant reproduces this atomosphere and shares this fun experience with New Yorkers. At the counter customers can choose their favorite ingredients from the fish, meat, and vegetables on display, and the chefs cook them on the hearth right in front of the customers. Once the food is done, it’s brought to the table on a long paddle by the chef himself. This dynamic interaction between chef and customer is part of what the restaurant offers, but what cannot be missed there is the amazing food itself. They serve carefully selected, fresh ingredients with minimum seasoning, which maximizes the ingredients’ features. “There’s no faster way to serve freshly cooked dishes than robatayaki, and this is the best way to enjoy sizzling meat or steaming-hot vegetables,” says manager Hisaya Kadoi. They also have a variety of kitchen dishes and desserts that are compatible with robatayaki."

    Check out some photos here:

    Now promise to behave yourself when you go there.

    If you want more theatrics, try Ninja. I haven't been there personally, but I have a friend who worked there and said they're not bad. I think Ninja might just be exactly what you're looking for.

    Robataya NY
    231 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

    1. unfortunately, i think the benihana is the only hibachin in the city that puts on a "show". and as you said, it's pretty lackluster. i thought it'd be fun to go with my kid, inspite of the blah food, but not only was the food c--p, the show was terrible also. none of the usual fun tricks you'd expect.

      1. You gotta head out to Long Island for hibachi-table-style restaurants. We have a few up here in CT but they're dying.

        We were dragged to Benihana by the hysterical sister of a close friend. Suffice it to say the evening was a nightmare. I walked away feeling kinda greasy.