We recently had the privilege to dine at Kihachi Japanese Restaurant right here in Columbus, Ohio. If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, you may have seen the episode of No Reservations where he enjoyed the omakase dinner (which does require reservations AND at least two days notice!). We did not partake in the omakase on this visit, but plan to go again and give it a try.

I also was so enamored by everything we ordered that I forgot to take pictures of most things and when I did remember, we were already half way through. Oops! There were six of us dining and we ordered about three different items each then shared the majority.

Chef Mike Kimura pays attention to absolutely every detail. As if amazing food wasn’t enough, he is also incredibly friendly and good natured when mingling with his guests. While in the kitchen, which is open by the way so you can see all the action, he is intense and focused.

There is plenty on the menu for even the most cautious eater. From free range grilled or tempura chicken, to assorted tempura veggies and braised duck. You will of course also find the most amazing sashimi I have ever had. I opted for the assorted platter which that evening included melt in your mouth tuna, red snapper, paper thin squid, octopus, and two other fish that I now forget the names of. We also tried matsutake mushrooms under the advice of our friends who are from Japan. They are fragrant and almost woody in flavor, but in the yummy way, not the gnawing on a tree way! We probably all drank our weight in green tea too. 😛

As soon as I saw blowfish on the menu, I knew I had to give it a try. I was nervous given the potential outcome if not prepared correctly, but Chef Kimuras reputation convinced me to feel adventurous. When I have seen it on TV, it has always been prepared in razor thin slices and that is what I was anticipating. I also was told it would only be three pieces. It ended up being more like ten pieces and prepared almost steak-like. The texture reminded me a bit of steak, and I don’t recall that it had much of its own flavor. The ponzu sauce made the dish!

We had an unforgettable experience with wonderful company. Oh and the best green tea ice cream EVER. Sorry, I scarfed that down before thinking to take a picture or offering anyone a bite. 🙁