Whether it’s a family celebration or just dinner out with your friends, in Hauppauge is a place that people literally flock to.
That being said, there is always a wait, so be prepared to stand around for a while – especially since they have a serious lack of chairs and tables available for the hoards of patrons waiting for a table. And yes, even if you have a reservation, you will still most definitely have to wait at the very least ten agonizing minutes where you can smell but not eat the sumptuous foods sizzling a mere feet away.
The only good part of this wait is that you have the opportunity to sample some of their exotic drinks and beers at the large bar in the waiting area. I personally am a fan of the Tsunami myself (which is a delicious blend of coconut rum, blue curacao, coconut cream, pineapple juice) –but some may find this tropical drink a little too sweet for their liking. If you’re too timid or lacking a sweet tooth, you can always just order an ice-cold Sapporo beer and call it a day.
When you finally get seated and are nice and hungry, if you’re like me you’ll be virtually drooling once the salad and soup arrive. Their salad is fresh and crisp and with the best ginger dressing I’ve ever had in my life. I literally have to restrain myself from licking the inside of the bowl – it’s that yummy. Best part is that you can actually purchase a bottle of their fabulous ginger dressing to enjoy its pleasures at home for weeks to come.
And then comes the performance. The chef comes out and besides just cooking the food off a scorching hot grill surface right before your very eyes, he puts on a real show. Flipping shrimp into his hat, flipping peas at the patrons sitting right beside you, making volcanoes out of a stack of sliced onions and some oil, juggling knives and other assorted cooking utensils - these are a few of my favorite things at Gasho of Japan. And if you’re really lucky and get an experienced chef, he will even sing his own rendition of “Who Let the Dogs Out” complete with imitation barking sounds.
Let’s not forget about their to-die-for, fresh-made fried rice. Dip a little in one of their side sauces and bam - you have a flavor explosion in your mouth like no other.
All in all, Gasho of Japan is like nowhere else around. Even with it’s long wait and reservation issues, I’ll certainly be back for more the next time I’m craving some scrumptious hibachi and fresh ginger dressing.