Saturday night my family and I went out for Hibachi to celebrate my sis-in-law and niece’s (Sar) birthdays. We went to Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse which has a total of 5 locations in NJ, NY, and PA. It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately my husband and I got there 45 minutes early which meant a whole lot of waiting!
986 Route 9 South
Parlin, NJ 08879
Arirang is a slightly upscale Hibachi Steakhouse.
As you enter through the French doors you are surrounded by votive candles sitting on these rock shaped walls.
All the way down on your right is the Sushi Bar.
The Lounge/Bar area is also towards your right.
Towards the left is the Hibachi area.
Casual Dining, Groups, Kid Friendly, Romantic Dining.
Japanese, Sushi Bar, Bar Scene.
MENU – $$
Arirang Menu. Cocktails here are reasonable starting at about $6.50 to $9. The Hand Rolls range from $4.50 to $7. Sushi pieces comes in at an affordable price of $2 to $4.25 for 2 pieces an order. Sushi Rolls are more expensive at $8 to $14 each. Hibachi ranges from $16 to $39, it depends on what you order and if you opt for a combination Hibachi order. Hibachi dinners offer a lot of food which include… 3 pieces of Shrimp Appetizer, Soup, House Salad with your choice of dressing, Asian Vegetables, White/Fried Rice (at an extra charge), your meal, and Ice Cream.
If dining here for Hibachi, estimate about $25 per person including tax & tip.
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS… choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. If you are looking to eat healthy at a Hibachi/Sushi Bar, in general, avoid fried foods, steak, beef, and pork. Opt for grilled veggies, grilled chicken, or grilled fish. In addition, if you do go for hibachi, do not overeat since they tend to serve you a lot of food. There is no online nutritional information available for Arirang, please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|Sashimi Salad w/dressing on side|
|Chopped Salad w/dressing on side (chicken/shrimp)|
|Sauteed Baby Bok Choy|
|ROLLS & HAND ROLLS|
|Spicy Tuna Roll|
|Salmon Skin Roll|
|Crazy Dragon Roll|
|New York Roll|
|Sapporo Roasted Chicken|
|Pan Seared Scallops|
|Soy Marinated Chilean Sea Bass|
|Pan Roasted Duck Breast|
|HIBACHI (eat in moderation; skip ice cream)|
While my husband and I were waiting for the gang, we hung out at the bar and ordered drinks. I got the Lychee Martini which was made with Lychee Juice, Sake and Vodka. This drink was super strong and honestly, there wasn’t any of that “lychee” flavor I was looking for. Although the bartender was nice enough to throw in 3 lychees, I still wasn’t able to taste any “lychee” flavor, perhaps the lychees were old. Who knows? This drink was not good and flavorless. Most martinis here run about $8 each.
My husband ordered a Margherita which was pretty good and came at a bargain price of $6.50. It was a nice change to pay less than $11 bucks for a drink.
Once my family arrived at 8 PM, we had to wait an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes for our table despite having reservations for 8 PM. We were all STARVING! My nieces were begging me to take them to the Taco Bell across the street; I have to admit that I was tempted since I do love Mexican food. 🙂
Here is another shot of the Hibachi room.
We all started off with a Traditional Soup. The soup was really good made with mushrooms, scallions, and hints of fried onion in a light chicken broth. The soup tasted slightly buttery to me which I loved. I ate half my soup.
We were then served a House Salad and I opted for the Creamy Ginger Dressing. The salad was good, but wasn’t extraordinary. Again, I ate half my salad and saved room for the real deal.
While eating our salads, our chef put on a show for us and made us some Grilled Asian Vegetables with some butter and garlic.
The veggies were good, but I’m not a huge fan of zucchini.
I love it when they do that with rings of onion slices.
The entertainment at Arirang was fun and our chef made funny jokes. He referred to each one of us as, “baby,” which I thought was really cute. Here our chef was playing around and making a snowman that he later mentioned looked like Lady Gaga – HAHA.
What he was really making was Chicken Fried Rice – YUM! Now the BIGGEST surprise was the fried rice & noodles were not included as part of the Hibachi meal. This was the FIRST time I have been to a Hibachi restaurant where we were charged extra for Hibachi Fried Rice at $3 per person – TOTAL RIPOFF!
Although we paid extra, the fried rice was delicious and the best thing I ate the entire evening. There was a strong taste of butter and garlic.
DELISH! I couldn’t get enough of it!
Next up were the Shrimp Appetizers. These were good, but I felt they lacked butter and garlic and tasted a bit fishy to me.
I ordered the Salmon Hibachi, while my husband ordered the Chicken Hibachi. Most members of my family ordered Chicken and the remaining ordered Vegetarian. I did feel bad for my parents who were watching the chef cook raw meat in front of them – they are STRICT vegetarians and let it be known by having the chef cook their vegetarian portion first before any meat was put on the grill. When I was younger it was embarrassing, but now it’s quite amusing, actually!
Here is my meal, Salmon with some butter and LOTS & LOTS of garlic as per my request with sauteed mushrooms on the side. My salmon was tender and moist, however it too tasted fishy to me. Yes, I know salmon is a fish, 🙂 but I have eaten salmon where it hasn’t tasted as fishy. He probably could have grilled my fish a little more and slapped on more garlic.
I forgot to take a picture of the Chicken Hibachi. The chicken was good, but not amazing.
We ended our meals with Ice Cream. There were lots of flavors to choose from and I had Green Tea. This was good, but subtle in taste. The other 2 flavors are vanilla and chocolate, obviously.
VERDICT – 3 / 5
Arirang Hibachi‘s food was certainly good, but I didn’t think it was anything special. Besides the Chicken Fried Rice, I didn’t think anything else was amazing. The long wait really made us all impatient and extremely hungry. The wait was despite us having 8 PM reservations which was a HUGE negative. I’ve eaten at better Hibachi restaurants where there wasn’t a charge for the Hibachi Fried Rice, like Teppan in Jersey City, NJ which has better food and better ambiance at a LOWER cost.
Having said that, I do believe the chefs here were entertaining with their jokes and getting the crowd involved. Initially, the chef tossed a zucchini in every single person’s mouth; most of us failed at catching the zucchini. Although the food was good and satisfying, it really was the entertainment which made the evening a fun experience for all of us.
TELL ME: What’s your favorite Hibachi Steakhouse?