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“Expensive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Desaki Japanese Restaurant

Desaki Japanese Restaurant
2054 Route 611, Swiftwater, PA 18370
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Ranked #4 of 8 Restaurants in Swiftwater
Cuisines: Japanese, Seafood, Steakhouse, Family Fare
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: desaki Japanese restaurant features the finest Hibachi and Sushi in the Poconos. desaki is located in the Poconos on Route 611 in Swiftwater, PA just minutes from Mount Airy Casino and Resort, Great Wolf Lodge, The Crossings Premium Outlets, Camelback Ski Resort, and Camelbeach Waterpark.desaki's entertaining Hibachi chefs prepare all your favorites right before your eyes to ensure it's just the way you like it. desaki's Sushi menu includes traditional items as well as unique creations. Come see what makes desaki such a deliciously dynamic destination!
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Food was good, not great. Refills of drinks (ice tea and lemonade) are charged....water is only by the bottle with a charge. Showmanship of the chef we had was ok. My daughter and I had a bill of almost $100.00 just for the two of us with no alcoholic drinks.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lehigh Valley, PA
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good but Not So Good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Let's start with the positive. The sushi is excellent. Totally fresh, large portions, and beautifully presented. They have all the basic rolls, plus some fun and exciting combinations. We chose to order only from the sushi side of the menu, so I cannot fairly rate the food or presentation on the hibachi side.

Based only on the food I would have easily given Desaki 5 stars. But there are some problems, most notably a few of their rather baffling and off-putting policies. Of course drink prices in all restaurants are grossly inflated, but seriously, no free refills? And no water? Seriously? And the 18% gratuity added to every check is presumptive and insulting. I, as I'm should most do, prefer to make my own decision when and how much gratuity the serving staff has earned for their efforts. To their credit they do set out these policies right at the front of the menu, but that too is off-putting. The first thing I see when I open a menu at a pricey establishment like this should definitely NOT be a list of do's and don't's.

The service was good. Not spectacular, though everyone does seem very knowledgeable about the items on the menu. Again I cannot rate the hibachi side as we did not eat there.

Normally I would say that great food overcomes all other problems in a restaurant, but in this case I'm really divided. I would love to return for more of their excellent sushi, but their in-house policies seem to be very unwelcoming and not customer-focused.

So, go for great sushi, but be prepared for about half of your total bill to be comprised of your drinks and the preordained gratuity.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great Sushi, but very pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

This was our first visit to Desaki as the other times we've tried to eat there it wasn't yet open for the day. It opens at 4pm Tuesday to Saturday and noon on Sundays. They offer a choice of seating for sushi or hibachi, we chose sushi. With the sushi seating you can get a hot appetizer and of course sushi.

Looking over the menu the prices for hibachi seemed to be set rather high, starting at $25 and going up to near $50. The sushi prices where a little more in line with sushi prices for the area I am familiar with. However drink prices where also set rather higher then normal for the area.
Service was not rushed, might even border on slow, but you have to realize that the sushi was made to order by hand.

And the sushi was very well done and amazing to boot. A+ for sushi- top notch.
One thing was weird though, in the sushi seating area there is a huge flat screen TV and it was cycling through pictures of someone's life for some reason. Not really sure why. That was odd to watch 60 inch pictures of some girl we didn't know.

Two complaints though. They add 18% on to all bills no matter the size of the party. The service was good and we usually end up tipping more then 15-18% when the service is good, however when a place automatically puts the amount on the bill we don't.
I feel that for 2 people to have nearly $8 added to the bill is rude of the owners.

Second complaint, the sodas are not huge and cost $2.38 each, NO FREE REFILLS, says so right in the menu. So nearly $10 for four sodas for 2 people. Really, come on guys, what restaurant doesn't offer free refills on soda? Give me a break! They don't even offer free water, its all bottled and you have to pay for that too.

Can't comment on the hibachi end of their service as we didn't eat that side of it.

While the sushi was great not sure we'll return because of the automatically added gratuity and the soda refill policy. I just don't get why they'd risk upsetting people with two policies like that. Its not in NYC after all...

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Poconos, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“TERRIBLE! Don't waste your time or money!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Amazing?! Awesome?! Great?! Did I eat at the same restaurant as the people who recently reviewed Desaki?!?! I'm guessing the rave reviews are from people who have not had the opportunity to experience what good food, and good service, is. I have been to numerous Japanese Habachi restaurants, and this is by far, the worst. The taste of the food at Desaki is bland, and they should be assamed of the portions they serve, for the prices they charge. The only 'show' was the one provided by the server: gratuity is automatically added to your bill, no matter what size your party is, and the service is lousy! The servers made sure to point out SEVERAL times that the gratuity is shared with the chef, bartender, bus person, etc, and encouraged the table to give additional gratuity on top of what was automatically added. It was oddly uncomfortable, as the table full of strangers looked at each other at the obviously rehearsed schpeal, in disbelief. I guess the servers don't want to work for their tip if they know it is automatically coming their way - why would they care if your drink gets refilled or not?! Feel free to take a look on Yelp.com to confirm I am not the only reviewer with this experience; I wished I had read those reviews before stepping foot through the entrance doors of Desaki. Steer clear of all of the advertisements in the nearby area; it's a tourist trap. Spend the hundreds of dollars on good food and service, elsewhere! From the replies of the assistant manager on the other Yelp.com negative reviews, I'm guessing Lynn G. will want to provide her cell phone number - no thanks!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn G, General Manager at Desaki Japanese Restaurant, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Hello! I would absolutely welcome the opportunity to speak with you. I feel that is important to address our guests concerns by phone or in person as it is more personal.
All Best,
Lynn Gilbride
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Connecticut, United States
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Amazing Hibachi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Maybe one of the best hibachi. Great atmosphere. Super show. Delicious food. Friendly staff. Very family oriented. Great experience for my daughter's birthday.

Visited March 2013
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