Writer / Angie Trusty
From the same owners as the popular Sushi Bar, Hibachi Bar is a new, authentic Japanese restaurant located right in the heart of Broad Ripple. Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by the charming manager, Samantha. She seated our party at the Hibachi table (also known as teppanyaki). Plenty of light floods through the windows overlooking the open deck along Broad Ripple Avenue, a fresh change from the dark, windowless Hibachi joints I’ve previously visited.
Hibachi Bar offers a full bar with several specialty cocktails. Samantha suggested I try the Red Lotus Cocktail. The Red Lotus is a combination of vodka, lychee juice and a splash of cranberry juice shaken and garnished with a lychee berry. The sweet lychee fruit provides an exotic twist to the traditional vodka martini, making it a truly refreshing drink.
Sushi chef and co-owner, Bruce, prepared one of his favorite sushi rolls, the Spider Wig, a uramaki style sushi roll with rice on the outside of a thin sheet of nori, surrounding soft-shell crab, avocado, spicy tuna, a thin slice of pineapple, a dollop of spicy green jalapeno and aioli drizzled on top. The Spider Wig roll packed a punch. The thinly sliced pineapple was a sweet complement to the heat of the spicy tuna and jalapeno aioli. The Spider Wig roll is a visual artistic creation with bright contrasts of colors as well as a fantastic combination of vivid flavors and textures. This roll really showcases the culinary talents of Chef Bruce.
Another equally stunning appetizer is the shiso tempura. I wasn’t previously familiar with shiso, but I learned it is a mild Asian herb in the mint family about the size of a large basil leaf. The light, crisp, golden, lacy tempura-coated shiso leaf is topped with a charred tomato slice, a chunk of succulent lobster meat and a generous drizzle of ponzu aioli.
Of course, the best part of dining at a Hibachi restaurant is the entertaining experience of watching the chef prepare the food right in front of me. Chef Tim did not disappoint. He flamboyantly turned onions into volcanos and skillfully flipped his knife and spatula around to chop and turn the food. The Hibachi dinners are served with a clear soup with sliced mushrooms, ginger salad, fried rice, grilled vegetables and grilled shrimp. I ordered the filet and lobster Hibachi meal. It was perfectly-seasoned with salt, garlic and sesame seeds. The generous-sized portions left me with enough food to have steak, lobster, vegetables and rice for lunch the next day.
The creative cocktails, decadent appetizers and elaborate sushi rolls at Hibachi Bar bring much more to the table than other Hibachi restaurants in Indy. Great food partnered with top-notch service and the fun of a traditional Hibachi meal makes Hibachi Bar a great place to take a group who want dinner to be the show.