Hibachi is a style of Japanese cooking where foods are prepared over a hot open grill. Hibachi restaurants use this cooking technique and turn it into an interactive culinary experience for restaurant-goers.
The foods prepared at a hibachi restaurant range from meats, such as poultry, fish, shrimp, beef and pork to vegetables, as well as noodles and rice. The meals are made to order and customized based on what the diner desires. This type of Japanese cuisine has a barbeque taste combined with Japanese spices and dressings.
Diners sit around the large hibachi grill. A hibachi chef is assigned to each table, or station, and has all of the tools and ingredients necessary to prepare the meals. Each guest orders a meal and gets to select their meat, vegetables, rice or noodles. They can tell the hibachi chef how spicy or mild to make their foods. Vegetarian options are available for people with limited diets.
Hibachi chefs stir-fry the meals on the hibachi grill in front of guests. Since guests are watching, hibachi chefs put on entertaining performances, such as throwing the food around, twirling their cooking tools and getting their audiences to participate. The performance ends once everyone at the hibachi table has received their orders.
When dining in a hibachi restaurant, it is good form to tip the hibachi chefs for their talented performances.