Friday, May 6, 2016

Arigato Japanese Steak & Seafood House Review - Winston Salem, NC

2995 Bethesda Place
Winston Salem, NC  27103
(336) 765-7798

Main Dining Room

View of 2nd Dining Room (click on photos to enlarge)

Chicken Broth Soup

Salad with Ginger Dressing

Appetizer Shrimp

Hibachi Vegetables & Fried Rice

Chef Cooking Chicken & Vegetables, Red Snapper, Crab Cakes & Scallops

Scallops with Green Beans

Red Snapper

View of Next Table, Chef Cooking with Fire

Ribeye Steak

Chef's Fire Display


This is a review of a Japanese steak & seafood house restaurant called Arigato located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. We visited for the 1st time on a Thursday night fifteen minutes prior to their opening at 5 pm. The doors were unlocked so we went in. There were already some customers seated at a table. The receptionist was unfriendly and made for a bad first impression. We had to wait nine minutes to be seated, but she didn't even bother to tell us how long we would be waiting nor where we should wait. We noticed other customers were waiting in the bar area, so we joined them. We felt like we had stepped back in time to the 70's. I'm guessing this restaurant was built back then due to the wallpaper, decor and furniture. The carpet is in desperate need of replacement. The ceilings need cleaning and painting. Due to the extreme dim light it not really noticeable, but the photos when brightened show the dirt. Note the second photo above which shows that dirt. They do have a sanitation rating of 96%, so that is good. The staff waited until they had enough people for one table to seat us. I highly recommend you make reservations since the tables fill up very quickly. They are not open for lunch, so it's really busy at dinnertime. They open at 5 pm weekdays and 4 pm on weekends. Occasionally, they are open earlier such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, so check their Facebook page for updates. 

The friendly waitress took our orders after about five minutes. I ordered one of the May Specials, Ribeye Steak & Red Snapper for $17.98 and Hubby ordered the Hibachi Steak & Scallops for $18.80. Our Diet Cokes cost $2.20 each. The waitress returned about five minutes later with our soup and then she brought out our drink orders. The soup was served hot and it was tasty. The waitress even brought three ice cubes for the little boy sitting at our table to cool his soup. That was so kind of her. Six minutes later our salads arrived. The salad was ok, it was nothing special. I'm not fond of iceberg lettuce, I prefer romaine or some other healthier lettuce. The ginger dressing didn't taste authentic. Then our chef arrived to start cooking after he confirmed our orders. Eleven minutes after our salads, we were served our shrimp appetizer. It was very tasty! Two minutes later, we were served the vegetables which were onion and zucchini and they were delicious. Since a couple of the people at our table didn't want any vegetables, Hubby and I were served the extra. We were both happy to accept more. Three minutes later, we were served the fried rice which was tasty though other restaurants mix in an egg and he didn't. Nine minutes later, we were served scallops and red snapper. While it looked like he may have been overcooking them, they were perfectly cooked and scrumptious. They were the best part of the meal. Six minutes later, our ribeye steak was served. It was cooked well and it was delicious. I saved most of my steak for lunch the next day. Out of the eight people at our table only one person at our table ate all of their food, so it's a very generous portion of food. The waitress constantly refilled our Diet Coke, though it would have been less frequent, if they didn't use so much ice. Fourteen minutes after we were served our steak, the waitress brought out the dessert. I didn't care for it, but Hubby liked it. The waitress was one of the best I've had in a long time, but I did just notice looking at my recipe that she charged us $1.80 extra for steamed rice. I wish she had told us that it would cost extra because I wouldn't have asked for it if I had known I was going to pay more. The food & service were excellent and they charge a fair price for the quality & quantity of the food served. 

On the other hand, the hibachi show was the worst I have seen compared to other restaurants of this type. Being that this was our first visit to this restaurant, this was extremely disappointing! While the food was excellent, the main reason we go to this type of restaurant is for the exciting, fun show which was missing. We will be in search of a better show at a different restaurant. I watched the other chefs and while some of them did a bit more, there were so many tricks that were missing. Just to name a few that were missing: shaping the rice into a Mickey Mouse face shape, drawing a smiley face with the oil or the rice, magic trick using the fake ketchup squirt bottle & pretend squirting it at a customer, twirling of salt and pepper shakers, making noise with the spatula & knives, breaking the egg with a knife or similar action, the fire onion volcano and the train. He did flip the shrimp tails into his hat and at the end he lit the grill on fire. It was not an entertaining show and highly disappointing. In addition, he didn't engage the people at his table. Instead he was looking behind at the other tables of people which I found annoying. I felt bad for the little boy, since it's usually most exciting for the children and it's fun to watch their expressions and reactions. I also noticed that his apron was dirty and he had just started his shift. If you know of any restaurants in the Triad that have a better show, please comment below! I give the food four out of five stars and the show two out of five stars. If you are only going for really good food, then go for it, otherwise look elsewhere for entertainment.

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