Dinner and a show, anyone?
Mizu Japanese Steakhouse, Sushi Bar & Bar offers both, including magnificent food cooked right before your eyes, providing one of the most entertaining evenings we can remember.
The Warwick restaurant celebrated its grand opening last week at 2276 Warwick Ave., across the street from Dockside Market, in a large space that has accommodated a variety of dining establishments over the years. Hopefully, Mizu will be around for a long time.
As you enter the tastefully decorated space, you are looking at a large sushi bar with two sushi chefs preparing sushi and sashimi ranging from albacore tuna to sea urchin. Prices range from $3.75 to $6.50 for two.
To the right is a fully stocked bar and a large dining area. To the left is an even larger hibachi dining area, where head chef and owner Ou Jiecong (call him “Jay”) puts on quite a show.
We enjoyed the Lover Dinner for two ($47.95), which included soup, salad, shrimp sampler, vegetables, rice, ice cream, plus generous portions of steak, chicken and shrimp, all prepared with great showmanship on the grill in front of you.
There are dozens of hibachi choices on the menu, ranging from chicken and scallop ($21.95) to Sea and Land (filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, and chicken) with all the accompaniments for $25.95. All of the meals can be prepared in the kitchen if you just want to eat and run, but if you do you’ll miss the show.
We started with a Sashimi Sampler, made fresh and accompanied by wasabi and special sauces, following with an assortment of tempura, spring rolls and other Japanese specialties.
Then it was time for the chef to make his entrance with a cart filled with the proper tools, food and a plethora of spices. He turns on the overhead fan, lights up the grill and starts with the rice, to which he adds herbs, spices, veggies and an egg. Before he cooks the egg, he spins it around and flips it in his hat.
While the rice and veggies are cooking, he puts some shrimp on the grill, trimming it with rapid movements of his sharp knife and flipping the tails into his hat, with the final one landing in his shirt pocket. Open your mouth and he’ll flip a piece of broccoli into it.
Then come the steak, chicken and shrimp, all cut to bite size pieces and seasoned with an array of special spices. It is quite a show, but the best part is the aroma and the taste.
After the waitress boxed enough food for the following day, we just had to have dessert. Joyce had the ginger ice cream ($4) and I had my favorite: fried ice cream ($6).
Joyce even learned a tidbit on how to clean the grill, which was spotless when he finished.
We watched as chef ”Jay” moved to a table of seven, warning them to lean back as he lights the stove with a flair, and then putting on another show, complete with stacking a sliced onion and turning it into a volcano.
There are tables of 8, 10 and 16. If you are a party of two or four and wish to watch your food being cooked, you may be seated with other parties if they arrive within a short time frame. We had that experience on another occasion, and it is part of the fun sharing the experience with others.
Jiecong was trained in Japan and some of the leading Japanese restaurants in New York City. His manager, Kevin Feng, has 14 years of experience in the business. Kevin says that it takes at least a year to properly train a hibachi chef, with even more time spent on job training.
Mizu is open for lunch and dinner, with the traditional Bento Box availale (temura, teriyaki, etc. served with miso soup, salad and California roll ($8.50-$10.50). The menu is so extensive that it would take you a year to try everything. (Not a bad idea!).
Mizu is open Monday through Thursday, with lunch served 11-2:30 and dinner 4:30-10. They are open until 11 on Friday; 1-11 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9:30 Sunday. Check them out at www.mizudinner.com. Call for reservations at 681-4805.