COLUMBUS, OHIO – Tomorrow night, Anthony Bourdain’s “Heartland episode” will feature Kihachi Japanese Restaurant in
Columbus, Ohio. Well, we happened to hear Tony speak in C-bus back in the fall, and he divulged that he went to this restaurant while he was in town. So OBVIOUSLY we had to go immediately. And now we are telling you about it! We’re happy to beat Tony to the punch and review Kihachi Japanese Restaurant ONE! DAY! EARLIER! Hooray!
Things to know before stepping into this restaurant:
- You should probably make reservations (it’s very small).
- It’s in an unsuspecting strip mall.
- You should sit at the counter.
- The menu is in Japanese.
- Let me repeat: THE MENU IS IN JAPANESE! But this is a good sign!
Cool, it’s totally authentic, but what’s a non-Japanese-speaking person to do? Well, this is why you are sitting at the counter. It looks directly into the little kitchen. The waitress will translate the entire menu to you in broken English, but unless you order it immediately as she translates, you’ll never remember what everything was.
Order a couple things immediately from the server (ask for a recommendation if you’re flabbergasted). When something is set on the counter and catches your eye, ask “What is that?” If you want it, order it directly from the chef. Ta-da! This is how we got the lotus root dish (above left) and it was light and crispy DELICIOUSNESS.
Other recommendations: baby octopus. Just try it. Totally yummy. And any of the fish dishes. Don’t be scared! The sauces on these dishes are amazing. Wash it all down with a Japanese beer. Finish it off with an order of mochi for dessert.
You have now successfully completed an authentic Japanese dinner. In Ohio. Who knew?