New offerings and concepts for restaurants in the Gulf are deciding factors for any potential patron.

However, a concept is just one part the rest comes down to an array of different aspects. We speak with Chef Jopher, Executive Chef at Hibachi, to gain some insight into the driving forces behind the food.

Chef Jopher
Authentic Japanese flavors right in Dubai, could you tell us a bit more about how the concept for Hibachi came about?
The concept of Hibachi originates from the term “teppanyaki” which the Japanese language loosely equates to “grilling over an iron plate”. The first record of Hibachi style heating devices are alluded to during the Heian period of Japanese history. Hibachi is seen 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 Hibachi is used today.
Where did your love for food originate from?
My love for food started when I was young, I envisioned the characteristics of Japanese cuisine, common preparation methods such as sushi, tempura battering and frying, and sashimi come to mind.
From a personal perspective, what do you feel are the reasons for success at Hibachi?

From my personal perspective, the reason behind Hibachi’s success is that Hibachi style Japanese restaurants are popular, not only in Japan and the US, but also worldwide and it’s the best method of food preparation and impressive diversion. Guests are happy and entertained by chefs demonstrating knife skills, juggling ingredients and condiments even performing tricks with the flame circling the perimeter of a large grill iron plate.

As friends and strangers alike come together for a meal; this mythology of cooking as entertainment eventually became idealized not by native Japanese Citizens but instead by tourists.

Have you felt improvements at the restaurant post-pandemic?

Due to the pandemic, restaurant industries from around the world are now finding themselves in different stages of the recovery journey.

For me, I felt the biggest improvement of all was that the restaurant reputation is determined by not only the quality of the food or the service but also by other factors that have seen a rise in relevance in the past year; such as cleanliness, brand and so on.

Grilling over an iron plate
What do you believe makes Hibachi a go-to destination for diners?

I believe that Hibachi is a go-to destination for diners purely because of our passion for cooking and our love for food. Our food is awesome, inventive, colorful, inspiring, and so much more.

A mutual love for food can bring different people together and can make the saddest person feel better without even meaning to. That is why I believe Hibachi passion and love will create an unforgettable dining experience.

Personally, who do you look up to in the industry?
Easy, I look up to my mentor, a Japanese chef that has an incredible dedication to his craft. He has taught and is teaching me many things. I love his passion for cooking, love for food and creativity. He molded me into the chef I am today.
What goes into creating a successful menu?
A successful menu should have creativity, passion and ultimately love for each dish. It should reflect the talents of your kitchen, yet also be priced in a way that reflects quality and purchasing cost. It should exhibit style yet simplicity, ultimately telling the story of the restaurant.
What does the future hold for Hibachi?
The future will hold what Hibachi has always stood for. Traditional Japanese style cooking, passion and love for food, to give every moment happiness.

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