Saturday, March 3, 2007

Restaurant Review - Kobe Japanese Steakhouse - Willow Knolls Shopping Center, Peoria

Today was a cold, blustery 25 degree day in early March, and we just got a hankering to do something different to try and knock ourselves out of the winter doldrums. So on a whim we decided to check out the new Kobe Japanese Steakhouse in the Willow Knolls Shopping Center right next to Burlington Coat Factory. In the interest of full disclosure, I should state for the record that being from Chicago, I am no stranger to the Japanese steakhouse type of restaurant...most notably, Ron of Japans and Bennihana's. I was pleased by the atmosphere when we first walked in. Very similar to the aforementioned restaurants, but slightly brighter lighting. My 4 year old daughter and 5 year old son loved the large circular fountain in the large waiting area and amused themselves for the few minutes that it took us to be seated. At 5:30pm they had a full house, but it is such a large restaurant that we had no trouble being seated. The evening was destined for failure, however, when they seated us at a large U shaped family style table nearest the door. Everytime someone walked in (which was practically every 30 seconds) we were hit with a rush of the wintery air. Fine for me who suffers from hotflashes but not good for pre-schoolers. We all froze our hiney's off. The service was quick and friendly, the meals affordably priced. I ordered the steak and lobster, John had the scallops and the kids had the childsized meals of chicken and vegetables, and some fries thrown in for good measure. The meals came with shrimp appetizers, a salad and soup. The shrimp was good, the salad was a few pieces of iceberg with some thousand island (not ginger!) dressing, and the soup could have been chicken bullion with a slice of raw mushroom floating on the top. The chef cooked the meals right at the table and was very talented. The food was marginal at best. It was all so infused with salt that had they done a blind taste test I don't think I would have been able to distinguish the steak from the lobster from the shrimp. My lobster serving was more the size of a crawfish and was placed on my plate a good 20 minutes before the rest of the meal was ready. And where the heck was the egg sauce? Man, did I miss that egg sauce. Especially with all the salty food I really needed something to sweeten things up. At the end we were so anxious to leave we sent the kids out to the fountain while John paid the bill. $75. to feed a family of 4, including tip.. not too bad. I would give this place a 3 out of 5 star rating. As a last hurrah, the kids threw their brand new "Webkins" animals in to the fountain to see if they could swim. Needless to say, we left that place in a hurry. I would imagine they wouldn't want us back anyway.


hacker said...

"we decided to check out the new Kobe Japanese Steakhouse...I ordered the steak and lobster, John had the scallops and the kids had the childsized meals of chicken and vegetables, and some fries"

I'm confused. You mean to say that you went to a Japanese restaurant, and you all ordered American meals? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose?

Diane Vespa said...

Steak shrimp and scallops are only found in America?

Diane Vespa said...

I'm feeling better today. Had some leftovers for lunch and would like to revise some comments. The meat actually was tasty... the fried rice is what killed everything with the salt. Its better than I initially thought... but my brain was still frozen after being seated by the door. We might go back... but only if we were able to get a seat in the back room or it was a 60 degree plus day.