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“Great Japanese but inconsistent hibachi chef performances”

Plum Garden Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #743 of 1,288 Restaurants in Rochester
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
1,398 reviews
652 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 457 helpful votes
“Great Japanese but inconsistent hibachi chef performances”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Plum Garden is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Rochester, probably the best. It is always packed to make sure to call for reservations ahead of time unless you want to wait a while or be crammed at a table. It is great for families and special occasions because you get a lot of food, a fun performance and dinner is usually longer than most other restaurants. The food is amazing and if you get one of the older/more seasoned chef's, it will be 5 stars but lately they have so many younger guys starting out that the hibachi shows aren't as good which is tough because I understand they need to teach them but on a Friday or Saturday night, they really should have their best! it is still worth it and when you make a reservation, ask for an older chef, even if you have to wait longer for a table (you will not regret it)!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Shelliu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Very disappointing food quality”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We went with friends and our families on New Year's Eve. As expected, the place was super busy even though it was only 5 pm. We sat right down as we has reservations and our orders were placed. Our Hibachi chef came out before too long and started our dinners. Our friends who are very seasoned diners at this particular restaurant noticed right away our chef wasn't well experienced. He forgot the sauces and we didn't get these till after we had our food. The steak quality was very poor. It was chewy, tasteless, tough. The rice wasn't much better. It was undercooked, on the cold side and not seasoned enough for me. But what sent me over the edge was the quality of the salad served with the dinner. It was the usual iceberg salad with the house dressing. Normally I do not eat iceberg but that is all they serve so I eat it when we order Hibachi. My first bite should have been enough for me to stop. It was a large, very wilted and brownish leaf covered in dressing. After that were chunks of smaller pieces but they salad itself was sitting in an inch of cold water. Apparently, the place makes up their salads far ahead of time and freezes them. It was disgusting. Who wants to eat cold, wilted iceberg lettuce sitting in an inch of water? Blah! So, while we did have a good time seeing friends and having dinner with them, the dinner itself was very disappointing and way overpriced. Hibachi isn't as expensive in other places. Is was by far the worst and the most overpriced at the Plum Garden and I will not be back.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kensma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penfield, New York
Level 6 Contributor
351 reviews
219 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Nice for a special occasion”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

My family and I visited Plum Garden recently and had a lovely evening. The restaurant has two dining areas, the habachi area and the standard table area. We wanted habachi where a chef prepares the food at a table side grill. Meals from the habachi are pretty basic - all prepared and seasoned the same. The only difference is the meat you choose (chicken, shrimp, steaks, etc.). Meals come with a simple broth soup, a simple salad (mostly iceberg) with some kind of unknown dressing, maybe shrimp based. It was not very good and most of us at our table did not eat it.

At this point, the chef arrives at the table and begins entertaining the guests by flipping the cooking utensils around and making the rice. I noticed that some of the chefs are more outgoing then others. Ours was enjoyable. As the rice is finished the chef will create small balls of rice and flip them into the open mouths of each guest. Amazingly, we each caught It. His aim is very good. Next the meats and vegatables are prepared, all with flare, all prepared and seasoned the same way. We were delighted by an onion "volcano" that erupted with a big flame and even flowed with soy sauce lava. We were served our meals as they were finished cooking - so not everyone got their food at the same time. Two dipping sauces are offered to personalize the flavors of the meals a bit. The main meal was tasty.

Prices for the hibachi range from about $15 - $30 with meat combos offered as well.

The atmosphere is very nice, the place is warm (temperature-wise), which I appreciated, the food was good, but not special. The one flavor fits all worked for our family. Overall, I would recommend Plum Garden for a special occasion or if everyone in your group feels like that particular meal.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank B_in_Penfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malta, New York
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Looks good at first, but lacks in a few ways!”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

My husband and I visited my son who is a student at RIT. It was his birthday and he wanted to have a Hibachi-style dinner, so we made reservations at Plum Garden. When we arrived a few minutes before our 7 pm reservation, we saw that the place was jam-packed with people waiting to be seated. We saw about 20 people get seated and we stood there waiting for a while. We decided to sit at the bar while we wait. The bar was being manned by 2 bartenders who saw the 4 of us sit down, but did not ask us if we wanted anything to drink. The bartenders washed glasses, chatted with waitresses, etc. Finally, I asked if I could be permitted to put in a drink order. The bartender was nice and agreed to serve us. Thirty minutes after our reservation (7:30), we were seated at a Hibachi table.

The Hibachi chef was very nice and engaging. We laughed and applauded his antics. The food was pretty good, too. Overall, aside from the Hibachi chef, I would say that the staff was not personable, unfriendly and not engaging at all.

The decor of the restaurant itself is nice. I saw a beautiful water feature in the center of the restaurant and felt that the restaurant had a lot of potential to be top-notch, but it fell short. The floor was pretty dirty and not well-maintained. Worst yet, was the ladies bathroom. The sinks are absolutely beautiful - red basin (artwork) tubs and an interesting faucet. However, that is all over-shadowed by the filthy floor and bathroom stalls. It was bizarre to see the beautiful sinks in such deplorable conditions. It made me wonder if the kitchen itself was clean.

I don't think that we will be going back to this restaurant unless the owners do some serious cleaning and changing of their employee's attitude.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Saratoga_Pixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Greece, New York
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good once again!”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Our family loves Hibachi and Plum Garden never fails to deliver! We are happy to see they are redoing the décor as it was needed!
Food is always done to your specifications and they always deliver a great “show”!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Heather0313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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