Kobe Won The Dining Award for Best Japanese Restaurant by Readers of “Orlando Weekly”

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse is pleased to announce that we’ve won the 2018 “Orlando Weekly” Reader’s Choice Award for Best Japanese Restaurant. This marks the eighth consecutive year our restaurant has won the award. We at Kobe take great pride in our cuisine, so this award is an honor to us all. We thank all the readers of “Orlando Weekly” who selected Kobe as their favorite Japanese restaurant as well as all the folks who’ve visited our establishments this year. Since Kobe Japanese Steakhouse opened its doors in 1984, we’ve worked hard to create the best teppanyaki dining experience in Florida. Our goal is to win the Reader’s Choice Award every year. To achieve that, we’ll continue to refine our craft of serving up delicious wagyu beef straight from the iron griddle.

We believe that what makes Kobe Japanese Steakhouse successful is our tireless pursuit of fun and good food. Visitors to Kobe know great teppanyaki is more than just savory meat, noodles, and vegetables sliced and tossed to the sound of steam; it’s a performance. With their fast knives and bursts of fire, our chefs make the spectacle of cooking as memorable as the food itself. Ask your Kobe chef to prepare some teriyaki chicken, and watch the knives turn raw ingredients into a plate of bronzed, glistening meat and hot noodles in minutes. Our teppanyaki entrees include shrimp, scallops, chicken, sirloin steak, and many other dishes, each served with rice, noodles, vegetables, onion soup, and a salad. If you’ve never been to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, now is your chance to find out why we’ve won the “Orlando Weekly” Reader’s Choice Award every year since 2011.

In addition to great teppanyaki, Kobe serves up a tasty slew of sushi. We have dozens of sushi rolls, including crispy shrimp rolls with cucumber and avocado, rainbow rolls decked in salmon and whitefish, and red dragon rolls featuring spicy mayo and tempura flakes. We also serve succulent nigiri and sashimi with octopus, smoked salmon, and many other types of seafood. For dessert, Kobe has such delectable dishes as fried ice cream and chocolate mousse cake. Wash the meal down with our sake or plum wine, or enjoy a Mai Tai for a fruity finish to your night. We aren’t content until every guest leaves satisfied.

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse has 11 locations throughout Central and West Coast Florida. That includes seven in the Orlando area and four in Tampa. Separated from the main restaurant, our private banquet rooms can seat 20 to 180 guests depending on capacity, and each table has a personal chef who will prepare your meals in front of you. We also have preset banquet menus we can customize with you to fit your budget. With each visit to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, you can receive Kobe Rewards points toward a $10 Kobe Reward Voucher. We even have a Kobe Reward mobile app to simplify the process. If you want a personal chef or server the next time you stop by, just contact a priority seating representative or use our online seating tool.

Readers of “Orlando Weekly” will be pleased to know Kobe is expanding to a new venue in St. Petersburg, Florida. We hope to see you there. Also, visitors to Kobe International Drive in Orlando can try out our newest idea: Maihana Asian Cuisine. More intimate than a typical visit, this two-person style of dining lets you enjoy your spicy pork belly teriyaki, mango sushi rolls, and other unforgettable dishes in an upscale atmosphere. Our goal at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse is to bring you the best teppanyaki and sushi for many years to come. Once more, we thank the readers of “Orlando Weekly” for making our job that much more satisfying.

History of Hibachi

When one envisions the characteristics of Japanese cuisine, common preparation methods such as sushi, tempura battering and frying, and sashimi come to mind. However, the modern day grilling technique of hibachi, popularized by many americanized Japanese restaurants and grills, is actually one of the most famous cooking techniques in Japanese gastronomy. The origins of the hibachi as a heating apparatus can be traced back centuries in Japanesehistory; however, hibachi, as we recognize presently, spent centuries evolving in both form and implementation. Despite hibachi’s seat as one of the most refined and skilled cooking techniques in Japanese fine dining venues and eateries, its origins are actually quite humble and contrary to the way hibachis are used today.

Hibachi in itself can trace its origins from the term “teppanyaki”, which in the Japanese language loosely equates to “grilling over an iron plate”. The first records of hibachi-style heating devices are alluded to during the Heian period of Japanese history, dating from 794 until 1185 AD. Because metal was not resource commonly found in Japan, the earliest hibachis were crafted from an amalgam of the wood from cypress trees, which werethen lined with clay. Primarily these devices functioned for their capacity to emit heat, and were not originally intended for cooking. With the passage of time, these apparatuses became more artisanal in appearance, and they began to feature delicate exterior finishes, including ornate painting and designs in addition to golf leafing techniques.

Over time, as trade routes expanded and metals became more widely available in Japan, hibachis themselves began to assume a form more similar to how we know them today. Nonethless, these heating devices were originally limited to use by samurais and wealthy dynasties, and it wasn’t until they became coveted by the lower classes that the general population of Japan began to use them. Once hibachis became more integrated into the homes of a larger stratification of social classes, their functions began to diversify. In addition to heating, hibachis had been used for multiple purposes including cigarette lighters, portable stovetops, and even heating devices in lieu of oil heaters during colder winter weather. As such, hibachis became commonplace objects during traditional Japanese celebrations, including tea ceremonies and during outdoor winter events and festivities.

The transition from hibachis as heating devicesto hibachis as a cooking tool is commonly disputed among culinary enthusiasts and scholars. Some evidence suggests that cooking using a hibachi-style grill could have begun in Japan over 200 years ago. However, counterarguments claim that hibachi cooking did not actually begin until the mid-1900s. Because the original hibachis were small, it is hard to conceive how they eventually developed into the large, sprawling open grills that we see in many modern day high-end Japanese restaurants.

Historically, the first restaurant to implement hibachi cooking on record opened in 1945 in Japan. The intention of these restaurants was not simply to serve food, but instead to entertain their guests with food preparation and impressive diversions. Strategies for entertaining guests included demonstrating knife skills, juggling ingredients and condiments, and even performing tricks with the flames emitted by the hot grill. This methodology of cooking as entertainment eventually became idealized not by native Japanese citizens but instead by tourists and those enamored by the exotic traditions of Japanese culture. Eventually, in the later half of the twentieth century, hibachi style cooking was implemented in the United States with high success rate and accolades. Therefore, it may be true that hibachi cooking was at some point used in Japanese households as a means of meal preparation. However, it was not until Japanese tourism became popular that hibachi cooking became appreciated just as much for its performative valuesas it was for its contributions to Japanese gastronomy.

Presently, hibachi-style Japanese restaurants are popular not only in Japan and the United States, but also worldwide. In this method of food preparation, guests are still entertained by live chefs, circling the perimeter of a large grill as friends and strangers alike come together for a meal. The foods utilized in hibachi cooking can vary, but usually meats, vegetables, and rice are the main stars of the dishes. The heating mechanism itself is utilized for adding grilled flavor to the food, and as such seasonings are limited to a few additional ingredients, including soy sauce for umami flavor, vinegar for acid, and salt, pepper and garlic as spices.


Uramakiうらまき The “inside out” roll

Maki, 寿司 is the Japanese word for “roll.” As such, any Japanese food option found in a menu ending in the word “maki” refers to a typical roll composed of the traditional vinegared sushi rice wrapped in anything, from seaweed to egg omelet. The proper name for sushi roll is actually “makizushi.” However, not all maki is the same.

Uramaki: The “rebel roll”

Uramaki is one of 5 traditional sushi rolls, or makizushi, in traditional Japanese cuisine. The meaning of its name is, literally, “inside out” roll. It could be defined as a “rebel roll” because it goes against the usual norm of wrapping the roll of rice from the outside. Instead, the roll contents are wrapped with nori, and then rice is rolled around it.

Instead of getting your typical roll surrounded by seaweed on the outside, what you will see is the rice on the outside and the nori inside. To make the rice bind, the sushi artist may add sesame seeds, roe (fish eggs) tempura (crispy flakes) and other creative options.

As you may imagine, it takes a lot of precision and care to make a roll of this kind, especially when it is time to cut through it and make it into the delicious pinwheel rounds that people love to dip in soy sauce. For this reason, uramaki is one of the most complex types of maki to make.

However, it is said that uramaki is an American variation made to sushi back in a time when American and Canadian consumers were still not used to the idea of eating seaweed. You can read more about the possible origins of uramaki.

5 types of makizushi

The entire family of makizushi is made as follows

1. hosomaki- a thin roll with the rice on the inside and nori on the outside
2. chumaki- a medium-width roll also with the rice inside and nori on the outside
3. futomaki- a thick roll that also has the rice inside and nori on the outside
4. uramaki- the inside our roll, or the “rebel roll” with the nori in the inside and the rice on the outside.
5. temaki- a cone-shaped “hand roll” that is made to look just like a cone with the contents of the roll coming out of its top.

Who eats uramaki?

Uramaki is made mainly for a developing sushi lover that is still not quite used to the texture or taste of seaweed, or the exotic option of a sliver of raw fish. There will be seaweed inside the roll, but this can be substituted by other options, upon request.

Is it messy?

The sushi artists at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse are trained with the highest quality standards, in order to ensure that your eating experience is delightful, from start to end. This includes the taste and quality of the food, the service, and the actual experience of eating sushi.

This said, a typical uramaki roll will hold its shape the same way any other sushi roll would. The secret to binding the sushi rice is the amount of ingredients used to put the roll together. Our experienced sushi artists are excellently equipped to put together a makizushi masterpiece that you, your friends, and your family will love.

What goes inside the roll?

As with all maki, the sky is the limit as to what goes inside. However, it is interesting to see that some of the most popular roll options are actually uramaki in nature.

Popular uramaki rolls

• California roll: avocado, nori, cucumber, sesame seeds, crab
• Spicy tuna roll: tuna, chili sauce, nori, spicy mayo

You may be a uramaki fan already, without even knowing it. Try a roll and experience the difference between the different types of maki today.


Maki – The first name of sushi

When people think of “sushi,” chances are that the image that flashes in their minds is that of the pinwheel-shaped slice of rice wrapped in seaweed, with the meaty, juicy center.

Interestingly, there is much more to this universal icon of Japanese cuisine. Unbeknownst to many, this sliced roll of goodness has its very own name: Maki.

Another, lesser-known fact is that there is no rule as to what goes inside the roll. Most people assume that it has to be raw fish, or some form of seafood. In reality, maki sushi can be filled with a variety of choices, including plain vegetables.

Finally, modern cuisine has made it possible to fit maki to the needs of all customers who, like our own loyal followers at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, have unique dietary needs.

Read on so you, too, can learn more about this delicious menu option. Learn about the 5 types of maki, and how it compares to other popular choices from the sushi and sashimi menu.

Its real name is Makizushi

“Sushi” 寿司 as it is commonly known, refers strictly to a form of sour rice that is mixed with vinegar. However, “sushi’s” real name is Makizushi, or “Maki.” Maki refers to “rolled” sushi rice. The rice is rolled in a sheet of dry seaweed, called “nori.” It could occasionally be wrapped using other media, such as omelet, thin cucumber, and even soy paper. Therefore, the so-called “sushi roll” in English has a proper, Japanese name.

There are 5 types of maki

Maki refers to rolled, vinegared, sour rice. Since this rice is used to be paired with other ingredients, there is a world of possibilities when pairing these rolls with other delicious options.

There are 5 different types of maki, and each maki changes its name depending on what ingredients are combined.

Keep in mind: it is still maki. It is no different than cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, and tofu burgers also being “burgers.” The variance in the name doesn’t alter what it is supposed to be.

Types of maki:

I. The “inside” roll

Inside rolls refer to the maki that rolls the rice inside the seaweed, or whatever medium you use to roll. There are 3 kinds: hosomaki, chumaki, and futomaki.

• hosomaki: thin roll

• chumaki: medium width roll

• futomaki: thick roll

II. The “inside out” roll

The inside out maki is rolled the opposite way: the nori wraps the center of the roll, and then the rice is what wraps the nori in the outside. Sometimes artisans add roe, or salmon eggs to the rice in order to bind it better together. This roll is called the “uramaki”

>> Related Content: Uramaki Sushi

III. The “handroll”

This maki is cone-shaped, with all its ingredients rolled inside in a way that sticks out of the top of the cone. This roll is called the “temaki.”

What goes with maki?

The secret to good sushi is the consistency, freshness and flavor of the rice. Once that part of the dish is perfected, the rest comes easily with equally fresh and flavorful toppings.

Some of our customers’ favorite choices for maki are:

1. California Roll

Inside-out roll, or uramaki, typically filled with crab (or imitation crab, also known as icrab), nori, cucumber, and sesame seeds. Variations also include masago (fish eggs), sesame seeds and mayo used to roll the rice.

2. Spicy Tuna Roll

Our spicy tuna roll features chopped spicy tuna, tempura (crisp) flakes, and scallions topped with sesame seeds.

3. Signature and special rolls

Kobe’s keeps a steady menu of rolls that our loyal customers love. Our sushi artists also come up with signature creations that are as delectable as the traditional choices.

Whether rolled inside, by hand, or inside out, there will always be enough choices of maki to please anyone who really loves sushi.

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