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“One of the great”

Kihachi Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #993 of 2,228 Restaurants in Columbus
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Japanese
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Clarksville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“One of the great”
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

First off I have to say I'm slightly embarrassed to say that this was truly some of the best Japanese/sushi I've ever had. Take this as you wish, this is coming from someone who truly enjoys the art and has eaten at some the the best in the world. I am also not fond of giving 5 stars to a Japanese/sushi bar.

AMBIANCE: The restaurant is located in a nondescript strip mall. When one pulls up the first thought that runs through your head is "where the heck am I going to eat raw fish??? The parking lot is dim, there is an Indian restaurant to one side and a smoke shop on the other. When you first walk in you notice that they truly care about the Japanese culture. From tables to traditional Japanese private floor seating to the simple colors and wall coverings it is clear that their main emphasis must be on the food.

SERVICE: As many if not all the reviews on here have described the service as poor at best, I however did not experience this. The restaurant was about half full. The waitress was quiet yet friendly. My sake glass never sat empty more then a few minutes nor did an empty plate sit in front of me for very long. I personally enjoyed the alone time with my food as I had the pleasure of watching the chef cook in front of me.

FOOD: Considering that I knew a bit about this restaurant before I even walked into the doors (and no it wasn't from reviews solely) I knew and hoped that I would experience food magic... Boy-O-Boy was I not disappointed! I left it to the chef to choose my courses, this is a custom I am fond of at specialty restaurants. Most of the items I was told would be coming from the chefs specials and favorites.

1ST COURSE: Ankimo (Monkfish liver) - I have to admit, this is one of my guilty passions. There is something so right about eating the rich taste of monkfish liver, and this dish did not disappoint. The ankimo was plated as two thick slices, topped with ponzu, green onions and a small but satisfying taste of roe.

2ND COURSE: Broiled Sea Whelk (sea snails) - This is the first time I have enjoyed whelk outside of the UK and Europe. The plate came with 4 whelks still in their shells, lightly seasoned then broiled. This was a unique surprise that I was happy to see the chef serve, as it is very unlikely that I would have ordered this on my own.

3RD COURSE: Mixed Sashimi - Extremely well cut and plated... freshness of the fish is always my number one concern when it comes to raw fish, I didn't have a single worry about this here. As I watched the chef meticulously prepare my plate a few feet in front of my, I wouldn't help myself from salivating. I am a huge believer in letting the chef do their art and at no time am I going to mess up some superb fish with added soy sauce. With the last statement being said, I truly enjoyed my fish as it was intended: RAW both in cooking style as well as choosing to not add condiments.

- Yellowtail Toro - Melt in your mouth goodness. Toro is always one of my favorite parts of the fish and for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, most places seem to mess it up, not here. The fish was not freezing nor warm. The color was a perfect medium pink with the usual white marbling wanted in a piece of tuna belly. Did I mention that it melted in my mouth!

- Yellowtail (hamachi) - I was told by the chef that this was flown in from Japan, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. Hamachi was my first love, truly was. I still remember having my first bite and thinking it couldn't get any better. Well... 20 something years later and it has. This was some of, if not the best hamachi I have had to date. A perfect mix of light colors to your typical pink at the top.

- Geoduck - This was unique as my sushi adventures go. By no means is this the first time that I've had geoduck, but by far the first time I've had it at a Japanese restaurant. I was expecting your typical clams when I saw my plate, but was shocked when the chef explained what it was. My shock continued as I ate my first bite. It was a nice change from the typical sea clams that you typically get with sashimi. Much like you would expect, it is a bit tough and slightly chewy. Luckily the chef knows what he is doing with a knife, before it is plated he takes the time to score the clam and ever so slightly flatten it with the side of his knife. This was a needed change from the rich favors of the tuna.

- Uni (Sea Urchin) - Typically outside of coastal areas I try to stay away from eating sea urchin. As I had enjoyed everything thus far and the chef had prepared it for me (would you go to grandmas and not eat the food she has taken time to prepare for you) I scooped up the Uni and ate it. To my surprise it was good. Not as salty (fresh ocean water) taste as I typically like, but none the less a very good specimen.

- Fluke (flounder) - Thinly sliced almost see through. Great, that is really all I can say.

4TH COURSE: Yummy! Don't remember exactly what I was served, but I was not disappointed!

Helpful?
4 Thank stkhersteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Ohio
Level Contributor
68 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Exceptional Food”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

I simply do not understand the negative reviews of this restaurant. Oh, yeah, maybe I do actually. They are written by typical impatient Americans who don't understand cultures beyond their own. I digress. The food is, in a word, exceptional, both in flavor and presentation. Yes, this is the same Kihachi that Anthony Bordain visited in one of his No Reservations episodes. He raved about it, and rightfully so. Yes, the menu is written in Japanese. We don't read Japanese, so we simply asked the waiter to bring us what he and the chef thought we would like. We were served about 8 different small plates....each unique and amazingly good. This place is a treat....a true mini, two-hour vacation in a central Ohio strip mall. And yes, the service can be slow, but why not savor that pace for bit and relax? Pay this place a visit...you will not be disappointed.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank ibetrippin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ohio
Level Contributor
83 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Rude, bland and overpriced”
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Have you ever been to a restaurant and you wondered why they want to be in the business of customer service? At this establishment they barely acknowledge you. We had to ask to place our order, ask what things were on the menu (everything is in Japanese with only a one or two word translation and no description whatsoever), ask for our check. A simple meal of soups and tempura took almost two hours! We were charged $2.50 for a soft drink that was never once refilled. Water was never refilled. The portions were very small for a dinner that was nearly $30 a person - without alcohol or dessert!

Now to the food. "We do not have sushi," the man on the phone said when we made our reservation. Ok, but they do have chirashi (raw fish served without rice). It was very expensive and not very good. There are many other places on Sawmill Road in Dublin that have a much better raw fish plate for less money. The noodle soups and tempura were very bland. I don't think "traditional, authentic Japanese food" means bland and oily. The fried free range chicken smelled like Christmas cookies and the whole place had a very unpleasant odor like cigarette smoke.

Finally to the service, which was indifferent at best and nearly rude at worst. The man behind the counter kept staring at us in an unfriendly way, while the waitresses were very terse and impatient with our questions, offering only a one or two word answer then escaping from our table as quickly as possible. I really wonder what is wrong with the service here, especially since we came on a quiet weeknight and spent over $200 for a rather simple meal. We were not very demanding or loud, but we were treated pretty poorly.

In short, almost any other Japanese restaurant would be better than this place. I can't think of one thing to recommend and we wish we would have eaten just about anywhere else. Although Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations" ate here, don't let that fool you into thinking that this place is worth a visit. It simply isn't.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank dsptravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Okay food, over priced rude service...”
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I've worked for a Japanese company for 5 years and having traveled to Japan dozens of time on business this place is far from authentic. No they arent the typical Japanese restaurant but the food is okay the problem is the service is bad. I was given an attitude many times by the old lady working there and a younger guy finally took over and was very polite. Still this is just an average place with bad service. Not a family restaurant, take the kids to a teppanyaki style place. Yes it was featured on the travel channel but unless Anthony Bourdain is a celebrity and not many of us are so dont expect that treatment.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ohio
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“amazing”
Reviewed August 11, 2011

we went to kihachi with our kids - i was a little nervous but it was wonderfu! This is our new favorite restaurant in Columbus! the food, ambiance, and owner/operators are top notch. Can't wait to go back! Have been dreaming of it ever since....

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank travelmom803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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