Samurai Japanese Steak & Seafood combines food and entertainment in an attempt to elevate their customers’ experience to something they won’t forget. This restaurant’s main draw is teppanyaki cooking, a Japanese form of food preparation where chefs prepare food in front of you with flair and panache. The table literally surrounds a scalding hot top, and the chef prepares everything in front of you from scratch, transforming the process into a show-like affair. Depending on your chef, he/she may make shapes with the fried rice, make volcanoes out of onions, or even toss shrimp into your mouth. Regardless of what the cook does, it is a fun experience that most people go through during special occasions. It is not uncommon to hear a Japanese version of “Happy Birthday” or to see young men and women walking around in their graduation cap and gowns, making for a lively atmosphere and a festive mood.
No matter which Hibachi meal you get, it comes with onion soup, salad with ginger dressing, shrimp and vegetable appetizer, and your side of rice. The cook will prepare these step by step, turning your dining experience into an extended ordeal. Although everything is tasty, I would recommend the scallops or steak dinner, as the scallops are fresh, buttery, and a perfect vehicle in which to use the burning hot top, and the steak is left with a crusty sear and succulent exterior. Everything else is your standard stir-fried food, except that the chefs at Samurai are trained to finish everything with a pat of garlic butter. No one said this was healthy food, but it helps nonetheless. You can accompany your food with a pink sauce they like to call “shrimp sauce.” No one outside the kitchen truly knows what goes into it, but one thing is for certain: they should bottle this stuff and sell it. It tastes like a combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, salt, sugar, and wine vinegar, making it a perfect accompaniment to anything and everything.
There is also a sushi section to the menu that is executed surprisingly well. It may not be as extensive as other sushi restaurants, but the fact that you have the option of choosing this over teppanyaki is greatly appreciated.
Coming here is more about the experience than about exemplary dining. The food is decent enough, but watching the chefs cook for you and make a spectacle out of the whole thing is truly what you are paying for. If you were paying the same prices just based on the food, I would consider it to be overpriced, but when you take everything else into consideration, it is not a bad deal whatsoever.
Samurai Japanese Steak & Seafood
8717 SW 136th Street
Miami, FL 33176
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona