This was our first time at Hanakawa. We usually make a trip alllll the way to DesPlaines to another hibachi-type restaurant, but decided to give this one a try. At first glance, the parking lot seemed pretty empty for 6:00 on a Saturday night, but we went in anyway. There were maybe 4 other families there, and all were already eating, so we sat at a grill by ourselves (me & my husband). The service could not have been better!! The waitstaff was SO attentive (almost too attentive at times, trying to take away plates before I had even set my chopsticks down), and the chef was great. Not overly entertaining, but there were no kids and just the 2 of us at the table, so that was expected.
The reason this place truly deserves 5 stars is for the food. It is WONDERFUL. My husband had a filet/tuna combo, and I had a strip steak/hibachi shrimp combo. They came with a delicious soup, a salad with a light, citrus-y ginger dressing, and a side order. I chose shrimp tempura, and my husband had california rolls. My tempura were as big as my hand, and the breading was sweet and delicious. His rolls were very well-made and came with 6 of them! The main course was awesome- crisp veggies (not just all onion either- there were broccoli pieces, carrots, zucchini, and the shrimp & tuna came tossed with asparagus!), tender meats, and everything was really well-seasoned.
For dessert, we tried the tempura ice cream. When the waitress brought it out, my husband's eyes grew wide and he whispered to me "I think our dessert is on fire!" It totally was! There were 3 large half-balls of strawberry ice cream wrapped in poundcake that were dipped and fried tempura-style, and in the corner of the plate was a pile of sugar that was on fire!! The sugar caramelized, the fire went out, and we dipped the ice cream/poundcake goodness in the caramelized sugar. Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing.
Definitely take the time to visit this place! You will LOVE it!
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