Dinner and a show

You can’t go wrong when it comes to a hibachi grill in my opinion and this spot in central Madison County makes for a fun atmosphere to accompany the delicious food.

I recently visited with my mom and dad to celebrate dad’s birthday and it didn’t disappoint.

This is a newer restaurant in the community, sitting in a small strip of businesses along a major road through town. It’s a chain restaurant but the only of its kind in Madison County and it is locally owned.

You enter into a small paved parking lot with limited spaces. The name of the establishment is prominently displayed and easy to find. You can see it well from the road.

Walk inside through a large vestibule and huge brown wooden doors open into the large front dining room. There is a large Buddha display near the host/hostess station.

Lots of tables and booths fill the front of the building with a fish tank also on display showcasing large koi fish. A small bar sits to the right of the front dining room, too.

While there is sushi and much more available in the front dining room, we were all about the full experience on our visit. In the middle of that front dining room is a large opening which feeds into the hibachi portion of the building.

There are gray tile floors and paintings of Geisha girls all over the walls. Four large tables with two flat girls at each one fill the room. It’s set up where people share the tables to enjoy the entertainment from the chefs.

That’s the allure, it’s as much about the entertainment as it is the food. It’s a big production built around the cooking of your meal.

Our chef was super friendly and funny. He arrived squeaking a rubber chicken and spraying water out of a bottle featuring a baby on it. The water flowed from a special place on the baby.

Once he found out it was dad’s birthday he broke out some saki in a squeeze bottle and started squirting generous portions into dad’s mouth. On top of that he was flipping eggs into his tall paper hat, flipping his spatula around and using it to toss vegetables into our mouths once he began cooking.

It’s super neat to watch the food prepared directly in front of you. It makes you wish you had one of those large flat cook surfaces in your home the way they make it look so easy.

But as cool as the show is, the food is still the main event and it lives up to its top billing.

I ordered a combination of steak, shrimp and scallops, mom ordered the chicken and the birthday boy got the shrimp.

The hibachi orders are accompanied by onion soup, salad with ginger dressing, grilled veggies and fried rice.

The onion soup is such a great comfort food, featuring clear beef broth full of fried onions, scallions and mushrooms. It’s the perfect starter for a big meal, with a great Earthy and hearty flavor.

Next came the salad, which is practically just lettuce tossed in the ginger dressing. There’s only a hint of ginger flavor, but instead chocked full of sweetness; another great starter.

While you’re devouring all that you get to watch the chef work his magic with the veggies, rice and meat. The veggies included onion, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots, while the fried rice featured a healthy portion of egg with it.

The fried rice came off the grill first with huge chunks of egg popping with flavor in practically every bite. Then when you get to add in the veggies and meat it takes the experience soaring over the top. The char marks on the gargantuan chunks of zucchini were a standout, as was the teriyaki flavor absorbed into my steak. The plump shrimp were the standout of my meat trio though.

Mom and dad raved about their chicken and shrimp respectively, too.

The secret ingredient providing the cherry on top is the yum yum sauce. It is indeed a yummy bonus with its sweet blast of flavor. Make sure to ask for that.

Other hibachi meat options are calamari, salmon, lobster and filet mignon. There are also plenty of sushi options if you want to go that route instead. Another intriguing option is the soft shell crab on the apps menu.

Any idea of the name of this hibachi grill and sushi restaurant in central Madison County.

Overall - four and a half stars

Cleanliness - four stars

Service - five stars

Food - four and a half stars

Price - $$$






ANSWER: Kyoto Sushi Steakhouse, 441 S State Rte 157 Ste 103 in Edwardsville