Yes, you read that right- there’s hibachi in Oswego.
We’ll start with what you’re most interested in:
Food and presentation: I cannot speak for all of the hibachi chefs at Kampai, but the one I had I wouldn’t recommend to a family with younger teens. He says, “Oh yeah, baby,” as if he learned his English by watching Austin Powers over and over. This is while he’s squirting water into your mouth, which on it’s own isn’t a big deal, but he’s doing it with a doll of a small boy who has his pants around his ankles and the water…yeah you get the picture. All together, a little strange. Maybe it’s a culture thing. I have no idea. It was a little funny when he was doing it to the table over from us, but the uncomfortable faces of our neighbors soon became our expression. Luckily it was only for a few minutes.
The presentation of the food was pretty good. He twirled around his utensils, dropping the once or twice, and scaring me half to death.
“This is where I’m going to die- eating Japanese food prepared by a creepy hibachi chef.”
Anyway, he did the onion volcano and had a few big flames from oil poured on to the stove. Nothing amazing. Cool, but not amazing.
The food was good, but not as good as Hanabi, especially not at the price. However, you will be full when you leave, which is the point of going to get food, so there’s that.
Service: This part is interesting, maybe another part of Japanese culture I don’t quite understand. The hostess was a little rude, granted her English wasn’t great, she manged to have a not-so-happy-to-see-you tone in her voice. Our waitress was very nice, formal, but very nice.
Price: $$/$$$ – Pretty expensive, but worth a visit for the experience.
Overall, give this place a shot and see for yourself. I will definitely go back and try out some other dishes to form a better opinion. They say call ahead for hibachi, but we were at one of 5 or 6 hibachi stations and only 3 others were filled at any one time. Probably safe to call, though.
Address and info: 311 W Seneca St (Bridge Street) (315) 343 8889)