Located on the top of the relatively new and chic Annapolis Towne Center in Annapolis, MD, Ziki Japanese Steakhouse sits in a small corner, easily overlooked by a hurried passerby. The elegant ambiance and decor in the restaurant is befitting of a more upscale hibachi house. Unfortunately, the food did not necessarily blow me away.
I will say this, because my husband and I were out with the kids, we opted for hibachi, always entertaining and relatively quick. The thought ran through my mind, “if you’ve had hibachi once, you’ve had it a million times”. On average, it all tastes the same unless you stumble upon a star. I was hopeful that Ziki would stand out from the crowd.
The prawn roll we ordered was very fresh and arrived quickly. We ordered hibachi for everyone – steak and shrimp for my husband, shrimp for my son, and shrimp and chicken for myself. My chicken was tender but rather flavorless; the shrimp were large but a little overcooked; the rice was moist; and the steak was juicy and to my husband’s liking. Though everything was fresh and fast, there wasn’t anything impressive about my meal that set Ziki aside from any other standard hibachi house.
However, the steakhouse did stand out on its customer service. Unfortunately, it stood out on the wrong side of the equation. After the animated shrimp-slinging, water-squirting chef finished cooking and serving everyone’s meal, my husband realized that the shrimp from his combination dinner was missing. When we brought it to the sushi chef’s attention, all he said was “Sorry. Only steak here.” Wow. Accommodation at its best.
The evening wasn’t as inexpensive as I had expected. Even with using a $25 Restaurant.com gift card, we spent $75 for 2 adult entrees, 1 children’s entree, an Asahi beer, a Japanese soda, and a prawn roll. Surprisingly, they charged $2 extra for fried rice, something that’s usually standard at Hibachi restaurants. Noodles came with the meal.
I’m a believer of second chances. Thus, I will revisit Ziki, sit in the traditional dining room and re-review the restaurant – judging it on its daily special. Overall, Ziki Japanese Steakhouse, though pretty on the surface, is just average underneath. You’ll enjoy the ambiance, the entertainment, and your meal will hit the spot but your taste buds won’t necessarily come to life like the chef’s bad jokes.