With practiced flips and slices, a Yume hibachi chef sears scallops and filet mignon on sizzling Hibachi grill with equal parts showmanship and culinary prowess. A billow of flames funnels steam into an overhead ventilation chamber whose polished metal reflects carved wooden ceiling borders, a labyrinth of glowing lights, and hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the windows. When the kitchen doors fly open, a friendly server erupts into the dining room, his arms lined with made-to-order udon noodles, tender teriyaki chicken, and shrimp and veggies in light tempura breading. These entrees join artfully wrapped sushi and sashimi on tables, the grain of whose wood is so prominent it could be carved from tiger's eye stone.
Toshi provides a chic stage for innovative maki makers to exhibit their roll-terrorizing reflexes. An extensive menu boasts both raw and expertly cooked options, such as noodles, surf and turf, and combination dinners. Beef tataki introduces the best of both worlds with seared slices served cold with a special sauce ($7.75). Sip on sake ($4–$13 by the glass) while supping on the Volcano roll: a mountain filled with tempura-flaked spicy tuna, salmon, and yellowtail and erupting with hot sauce ($12). One of Toshi's most frequently requested entrees is the lobster tempura, a debonair crustacean that abandons its bourgeois shell for a refined tempura crust ($19). Desserters can leave with a tummy full of ginger ice cream ($2.75), while those who prefer a night in with off-duty sushi chefs can opt for delivery (good for orders over $25).
Within Hana Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar, groups can watch hibachi chefs add dollops of teriyaki sauce to chicken and veggies on the grill in front of them. As flames rise over the tableside grill, the air fills with meaty aromas and applause from diners watching chefs’ virtuoso performances. Dishes include crispy duck with chili sauce, traditional udon noodles, and 11 house-specialty rolls filled with eel, lobster, and other ingredients sourced from the ocean's teriyaki-filled depths.
The menus at Sakimura's two locations change regularly in order to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ newest culinary muses. The Simsbury location is known to intermingle traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary flourishes, with specials taking forms such as foie gras with sweet miso sauce. Both locales’ sushi chefs also invent their own creative rolls, such as a deep-fried Godzilla roll and an Out of Control roll filled with shrimp tempura and topped with seared pepper tuna.
Diners seeking a hot dinner can gather around hibachi grills and watch as chefs sear their choice of shrimp, chicken, scallops, filet mignon, or any number of other gourmet ingredients. The hibachi rooms' smokeless grills and modern yet warm decor combine to create a pleasant dining experience.
At Ichiro Hibachi & Sushi Bar, presentation is nearly as important as flavor. Sushi rolls leave the sushi bar tightly wrapped and garnished with colorful sauces, fresh flowers, and crunchy masago. Chefs manning the hibachi grill sear and flip meats, seafood, and veggies in an almost choreographed style, all amid a pyrotechnics display of bright orange flames.