Nagoya Japanese Cuisine
Cherry Hill, NJ
Price: $58 (Two – includes tip)
Meal: Dinner / weekday / 5pm
I’ve never been to a hibachi restaurant before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Autumn treated me (because I’m such a wonderful boyfriend) to Nagoya Japanese recently and I’m more than eager to return already. If you’ve also never been, I strongly recommend you check this place out for some good eating.
One of the biggest drawbacks to Nagoya may also be a strength; it’s located in a little strip mall and it might be difficult to actually find. It’s a drawback because it lacks much of romantic atmosphere outside, but keeping off the radar isn’t a bad thing as far as finding a good restaurant. Nobody likes to wait too long! Although it was dark (enough) by the time we got there, the exterior lighting wasn’t lit and we weren’t even certain they were open. After spotting the fluorescent OPEN sign in the window, however, we headed in. There were only a scant few others dining and nobody else in the hibachi section.
The restaurant is split into a sushi bar and hibachi seating, and you’re asked where you’d like to sit. I found the service courteous and pleasant, although for some reason I already expected that from a Japanese restaurant. The interior was clean, but we really couldn’t gauge how roomy it’d be with a full house. If you’re looking for privacy, I’d strongly recommend the sushi section where you’ll have a dedicated booth – otherwise, you may be sitting next to strangers around the hibachi tables. The music and look of the interior felt authentic, and the suspended gong above the cash register was a neat touch.
If you’ve never tried hibachi, it’s a style of cooking where they prepare everything right in front of you. You’re literally seated around a large grill (at capacity maybe 8 per table) and you see everything as it happens. I tried a steak and scallops combination with fried rice, and Autumn picked out chicken with white rice (they do offer brown rice, but it wasn’t quite ready when we were ordering). Each of our items came with a refreshing salad in a mild orange dressing (it tastes a bit like a Wendy’s mandarin orange salad, but without the physical oranges themselves), and a delicious house soup that is one of the best I’ve had (kind of a spicy broth). I remember telling Autumn that based on the appetizers alone I’d give the restaurant a perfect score.
After several minutes the hibachi chef rolled up and brought all the raw items to the table (the grill had been turned on and heating up since we sat down). He was a younger guy, pleasant, and amazed us with his talents. Not to give too much away if you haven’t been to one of these places, but definitely order the fried rice because they can do some pretty acrobatic stuff with a raw egg! The addition of the entertainment to the meal is a real plus and we recommend tipping the chef if you enjoy the performance.
Watching the food getting cooked was fun, but eating it was just as enjoyable. It started with two complimentary shrimp (per person) that were very good, but difficult to gauge beyond that with the limited sampling. I noticed Autumn got a fair amount of chicken in her entree (two medium sized breasts), and she described it as delicious. The steak (looked?) like a 10oz strip and there were two large scallops as part of the combination. At first, I wasn’t sure if there was enough to eat there but after chopping everything up it seemed to be plenty. The steak was cooked to perfection (in this case, medium rare) and almost melted in my mouth. The scallops were tender and were fun to dip into the ginger and mustard sauces that the chef prepares for you prior to the meal. The fried rice was good, and the mixed vegetables that came with both of our entrees were excellent. I ended up ‘borrowing’ a little of Autumn’s chicken and I can vouch for her description.
After eating, we watched a little of the ‘show’ at the other tables which were filling up around us. We wanted to try something for dessert, but didn’t have the stomach space.
– Nice interior atmosphere
– Great food
– Skilled hibachi chefs
– Above average salad and soup appetizer
– May not be easy to find
– Hibachi isn’t cheap =)
Guru’s Score: 4.7
Autumn’s Score: 4.5
Combined Score: 4.6 Chews
Subjective rating: Send us a gift certificate. =)
Have you been to Nagoya Japanese? If so, please add your rating!
(Limited to 1 Vote per IP Address.)
Last 7 posts by Chewru Guru
- King of Steaks - West Deptford, NJ - May 6th, 2012
- Redstone American Grill - Marlton, NJ - May 6th, 2012
- Firehouse Subs - Kansas City, KS - April 22nd, 2012
- Woodbury Station Cafe - Woodbury, NJ - March 10th, 2012
- El Camino Real - Kansas City, KS - February 24th, 2012
- Fred's - Sausalito, CA - December 25th, 2011
- China House - Woodbury, NJ - November 1st, 2011