Ayame Hibachi Grill – 526 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey
Last week I trekked out to Hoboken, New Jersey to check out Hoboken’s latest hibachi restaurant, Ayame.
We arrived around 7 p.m. on a Friday night and the place was busy. There were some open spaces at the sushi bar and hibachi tables but aside from that, there was a wait to sit down. I recommend making a reservation.
The inside of Ayame is equipped with a few hibachi tables in back – enough to comfortably fit our party of 14 – along with a sushi bar and some outdoor seating up front. There are no frills here and the inside mimics your typical Japanese or Chinese restaurant. The smell is a different story. The smell from the food cooking on the hibachi tables radiates throughout the restaurant and it sticks to you. Forewarning, be prepared to smell like Ayame for the rest of the night.
Our hibachi chef for the night was Alan. He definitely doesn’t look like an Alan (for obvious reasons in the picture), but who am I to argue. Alan was perfect for our large group. He was energetic, funny, interactive and had fun with us – exactly what I want in a hibachi chef and it helped make our night.
There are a bunch of different options on the hibachi menu but all of them revolve around some sort of meat, chicken, seafood or combination.
- Combination of steak and scallops with fried rice
All hibachi meals come with two pieces of shrimp, soup or salad, and vegetables, all of which were delicious. As for the steak and scallops, they were tasty, but heavily doused in sauce which most likely disguised some of the natural flavor. The food was neither mind blowing or sub-par, but that’s OK since I was there for the entertainment. Our hibachi chef, Alan, put on a show for us – flipping pieces of fried eggs into our mouths, squirting sake from a spray bottle into our mouths but instead dousing us in it (his aim wasn’t that good), and flipping lots of food up into his awaiting hat.
Word to the wise, Ayame is BYOB so make sure you stock up on wine, beer, sake or whatever you plan on drinking with your meal.
I hadn’t been to a hibachi place in quite some time but its everything I remember it being and more. (Apparently when you add alcohol to the mix things get infinitely better.) Ayame is a solid choice for hibachi in Hoboken and a great destination to bring a large group. Since it’s BYOB you save on the cost of alcohol, which makes the pricing extremely reasonable. If I’m in Hoboken again to grab dinner with a large group (let’s be honest, this is unlikely), I’ll be recommending Ayame Hibachi Grill.