NJ Dining: Kiku

Kiku Restaurant
365 N State Rt 17, Paramus, NJ
(201) 265-7200

Certainly I’ve had my share of legitimately Japanese and Korean-style hibachi dishes (1) (2) (3) (4) but sometimes you want to go for the full blown, ersatz Japanese Rocky Aoki Benihana-style experience with all the schtick associated with it (click for Google Video).

One such Teppanyaki/Hibachi chain that I particularly like in the local area is Kiku. Kiku is a Korean-owned, small chain (they own about four restaurants in the NY/NJ metro area) and they have no pretense about being authentic — they proudly display Korean ceramics and artwork all over the restaurant (and even have a room showcasing them where they can be purchased) and have some Korean items on the menu as well. I also find that the quality of the steak and seafood is quite good considering it’s a chain, and the Teppanyaki jockeys are first rate, if not a bit too over the top schticky. But if you’re coming into one of these places in the first place (and you’re paying good money to) by all means, bring on the schtick.

Kiku storefront off Route 17 in Paramus. This is the most recently constructed location, which opened in 2005.

These ceramic vases are all made in Korea.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to see food photos and commentary.

The restaurant includes a full service sushi bar, which I admit I haven’t tried.

Kiku is a cavernous restaurant — I’d have to say the place can seat 250 if not more.

The dining room has a huge window which faces a Japanese garden outside.

Traditional Korean vases adorn the restaurant.

I started off with an Orion beer, which is imported from Okinawa. As far as I know Kiku is the only restaurant in the area that serves it. It’s a great beer.

The traditional green salad with ginger dressing.

Onion soup broth, which while somewhat on the salty side, I enjoyed.

Makin’ fried rice.

Hibachi fried rice

Grill closeup

We shared a double order of filet mignon and a order of hibachi seafood.

9 Responses to NJ Dining: Kiku

  1. Steve says:

    I started eating at Kiku when I was about 11 years old… at that time Kiku was this tiny storefront in Fort Lee. Over the years, they have worked hard to try to stay true to their roots… I always thought that their original intent WAS NOT to be like Benihana, which is a good thing but unfortunately – to stay competitive, they have become more schlocky. I remember sitting next to Jimmy Dean, of Jimmy Dean sausage fame, sharing a meal of filet mignon back at the Fort Lee location. The food, as you point out is always good but now when I go there I know that I’m going to have to strip my smoke and grease stained clothes off and dump them right in the wash… What a shame. Thanx for sharing though.

  2. Katie says:

    I have to say, I actually just came from dining at Kiku tonight and am online to try to find a place to COMPLAIN about the place. From the start, my party of 8, felt completely unwelcome. They wanted us to eat and get out, which was pretty obvious. Our waiter was absolutely terrible. I actually can’t recall if he said even two words to us, he just rollled his eyes. The only thing that was enjoyable was our chef, Mario. But besides that, it was terrible!…I will definetely NOT be going back.

  3. Gowhar Jan says:

    I went to Kiku with my colleagues for a business lunch and really enjoyed the experience. My colleagues agree with me as well:)

  4. Neil Donovan says:

    The best shrimp and vegetable tempura in the area. The wait staff have always been curteous and attentive.

  5. Art Gillan says:

    We found the staff to be very arrogant and incompetent. They lied to us, ignored us and it was a terrible experience. NEVER AGAIN!

  6. laela says:

    the staff is not so friendly except for the hostess, i believe she is new, i dont remember seeing her face before, the food is good, the hibachi chefs are not as entertaining as they used to be.

  7. Gus says:

    We just got back from Kiku’s . We brought some friends visiting from
    Europe and they along with us found the evening very enjoyable. I was worried about going there reading the above complaints , but I have to say the food was great, the service very quick and friendly. They even kept coming back to ask if we where happy. I will visit again.

  8. Rachel says:

    This Kiku place was absolutely not what I expected. Everyone I knew told me that I would have the greatest time there – but in reality, I DIDN’T. I went there with a couple of friends (a party of 7). We were seated at the hibachi area. Our waiter was absolutely horrible. The chef was hurrying, so the food wasn’t all that great.

    There’s another Kiku in Bedminster, NJ. I went there for a friend’s dinner party, and I must say that the Kiku in Bedminster is better. Far better. I asked a friend if it was part of a chain and it wasn’t – thank GOD. Kiku Hibachi in bedminster should keep doing what it’s doing – and everyone should check it out. so much better!

  9. Jose says:

    I must say I was discouraged after the last couple of reviews, but I went anyway to see for myself. They were right. All I have to say is that the cook asked me four times for his own tip. His name was Benny. sick!!!! You can keep it. I will never be back!!

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