As you’ll recall from Monday’s blog, Hayashi had already struck out well before even the grill station burners were turned on for the main course. To recap, Hayashi:
- Failed to seat our numbers as promised, resulting in two of our group departing the restaurant.
- Took nearly two hours before delivering to our table so much as a nibble of food.
- Despite taking the better part of two hours, still managed to screw up the appetizer order.
So, how many more unpardonable sins can one restaurant make? You’re about to find out.
When our shrimp and vegetable tempura appetizer finally arrived, the vegetable portion of the dish was cold. The shrimp was passable (and at least hot), but the non-traditional panko breading is a poor substitute for true tempura batter. And, let’s face it, tempura batter isn’t that hard to get right . . . at least not hard enough to warrant going the easier-to-make panko route. The sushi was good, but knowing this was a shared dish should have prompted our waiter to bring two dipping bowls for wasabi and soy sauce. After all, not everyone enjoys mixing wasabi in their soy, as is the case with Ursula. So, out of deference to her, I skipped the wasabi altogether.
On to the teppan-style grill. Never before at a Japanese Steakhouse have I been charged an extra two dollars for choosing the fried rice over steamed. After all, a delectable Japanese-style fried rice is part of the dining experience in such establishments. Yet, here I was charged for something that should have been included in the already hefty price. On top of that, the portion I received was far from adequate considering I was charged for the privilege. Ursula’s filet Mignon was passable, even tasty, but the steak portion of my steak and shrimp combination was unforgivably chewy.
Don’t stop here thinking it got any better. As Ron Popeil used to say, “But wait, there’s more!”
So, here we are, well into our third hour at Hayashi, finally getting served our main course, and . . . where the heck are the two de rigueur teppan-style dipping sauces — one of soy and ginger, the other mustard based? And when asked, our waiter had the effrontery to ask, “Which would you like?” No, I’m not kidding.
The answer that night was the mustard. In the future, the answer will be neither. Instead, we’ll be going to the vastly superior West Side restaurant Koze Teppan Grill, which I will review Friday.