We found ourselves in Hunt Valley a few days before Christmas and decided to pop into Sakura for a bit of dinner before heading to a movie. When I was a kid, it was always a big thrill to have dinner at Nichi Bei Kai. Like Sakura, NBK was a teppanyaki joint, where Japanese chefs showed off their shrimp-tossing and knife skills.
While I'm not a kid anymore, I still sorta enjoy the spectacle of the thing. But the food is paramount.
Mr Minx and I both ordered the steak and chicken combination, which came with a choice of appetizer (chicken livers, mushrooms, or shrimp), soup, salad, and beverage for $19.95. The soup came first, a water-clear broth with wafer-thin slices of mushroom. The broth was so watery, I'm surprised it had any flavor at all, but somehow it was vaguely miso-y. The salad was better; although mostly iceberg with a single slice of tomato, it was topped with that typical, sprightly, ginger-packed, Japanese steakhouse dressing that I really enjoy.
My chicken livers were more than a bit overcooked; they sat under a bowl on the teppan while our chef sliced and diced mushrooms and shrimp for the other diners at our table. However, they tasted pretty good when swiped through either the gingery soy or sweet mayonnaise-based dipping sauces provided to each diner.
As the cooking progressed, we received our chicken breast meat and then our steak before a pile of vegetables was tossed on top of everything. Both the proteins were a bit overcooked, but tasted pretty good anyway.
While the magic of flying shrimp and onion volcanoes is lost on me as an adult, we got a decent amount of food for $20, and it was all fresh and tasty. I'd do it again.
118 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.