136 Dickenson Street • Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
There’s a sure “fire” way to ensure the success of your night out – throw in some knives, flames and sushi at Kobe Japanese Steak House in Lahaina. Whether it’s date night, an intergenerational gathering, or special birthday celebration, Kobe’s has a way of appealing to everyone on your guest list.
If you’ve never experienced the thrill of specially trained knife-wielding chefs cooking at your table with such intensity you could singe your eyelashes, you haven’t lived. Not only are the chefs expert cooks they are great entertainers who will have your group in jolly spirits before the first cocktail is served. After the first cocktail even your cantankerous uncle will be laughing at Manny’s old jokes, or choking on a shrimp tail.
There’s a sense of camaraderie when everyone gathers at communal tables set for eight ‘round the teppanyaki grill. If you don’t have eight in your party you’ll be seated with other guests. The ice is quickly broken when the chef wheels out the cart, heats up the grill and begins to slice and dice while twirling and whirling his knife and spatula. He clangs them together, makes a big ruckus, tells you he hasn’t lost a customer yet, but there’s a filet that’s gone missing. He’ll flip a shrimp tail into his pocket, a piece unto your neighbor’s balding head, perhaps. Anything for a joke and all in good fun!
Then there’s the raw egg toss; the Chef bobbles the egg on the end of his spatula, behind his back, over his shoulder, spins it precariously through the air before he breaks it with precision. The moment everyone waits for is the volcano eruption – created with a tower of sliced onions filled with cooking brandy and set ablaze, and it’s on with the show.
Meanwhile, servers have taken your sushi and drink orders. Try some of the house Japanese and Asian beers or perhaps a traditional sake. Kids will love the virgin tropical drinks and granny may get a kick out of Kobe’s Lava Flow. The sushi here is stellar and shouldn’t be overshadowed by the grilled items – with gorgeously prepared Rainbow, Catepiller and Rock ‘n Rolls.
The Teppanyaki dinner begins with a cup of miso soup, light broth with bits of seaweed and tofu just to whet the appetite, included with all entrees as is rice, stir fried vegetables and a shrimp appetizer. (Fried rice is an extra charge but worth it.) Diners received a pair of dipping sauces, one suited to meat dishes and the other for seafood and vegetables. One is more ginger/garlic and the other has a hint of demi-glace that works to bring out the succulence of the grilled meat. Mix ‘em up – most people do – it all tastes great.
Choices for entrees range from chicken and shrimp, to filet with lobster tail combos. The biggest surprise of my latest visit was the Teriyaki Salmon, deliciously moist with the sweet teriyaki glaze right off the hot griddle. Scallops, opakapaka, amazing Lobster Tail, ribeye steak and yes, Kobe beef are all fantastic choices that can be mixed and matched to your liking. Most entrees are under $20 with the Lobster Tail the most expensive single item on the menu at $41.95 and for really big nights out or whale sized appetites there’s the Steak, Scallops and Lobster Tail extravaganza weighing in at $56.00.
Dinner at Kobe is a multi-course feast that is sure to satisfy all palates with a show that’s worth the price of dinner. Arrive between 5:30-6:30 and enjoy an early bird discount; show your Hawaii I.D. and net a Kama`aina break on your check. Stay late and croon your best pop tunes at the ever-popular Karaoke nights. There’s always fun to be had at Kobe’s.
Dinner served nightly from 5:30 to 10:00 pm.
Oku’s famous sushi will complete your Japanese dining experience. Sushi bar is open from 5:30 to 11:30 pm nightly.