By Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17 and Maria Otto ‘17 | Collaborative Writers
Photographs by Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17 and Maria Otto ‘17
It is uncommon to leave a restaurant feeling as though you had an engaged and interactive dining experience. Komé a Japanese and Hibachi restaurant inside the Promenade Shop at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, provides just that.
Komé is no Benihana. Although there are similarities in the techniques of the Hibachi chefs, the hibachi show at Komé is more intimate providing more personal and attentive dining.
Mari: Enchanting as its shopping mall location, the dining at Komé is even better. Having attended high school in the area, it was not at all my first time at Komé, yet the experience is nevertheless always a pleasant one.
Starting with classic appetizers, edamame and fried calamari, both were served in a matter of minutes, fashionably set and extremely appetizing.
Just as we finished our appetizers the chef arrived and the spectacle portion of our hibachi dinners began. As with all good hibachi displays, they tend to follow the similar pattern of impressive tricks, an onion volcano, and the feeding of cucumber while each guest anticipates their meal, munching on either a side of salad or a small miso soup. Komé’s hibachi is not exceptionally distinct in that regard, aside for the perhaps the very fun, friendly atmosphere created by each chef as well as the great service.
Dinner was soon served, first the fried rice – a particular favorite of mine – then the noodles, vegetables, and lastly the entrée we each ordered from an assortment of options ranging from scallops to filet mignon.
Anastasia: Although it was my first time at Komé it was not my first experience with hibachi restaurants. Shrimp shells being bounced into a chef’s hat, hearts and chickens being illustrated with eggbeaters. The show of it all makes for the prototypical high school graduation or ninth birthday party.
Komé felt far from elementary. In fact, it felt more like the 18+ version of Benihana. With working professionals sipping cocktails at the bar and without the distracting sounds of “oo’s” and “ahh’s” and clapping, Komé has a cool and even collegiate atmosphere.
As far the highlights of our meal, I would put the Shrimp Berry Roll as the front-runner. I was surprised by the freshness of the fish and the overall quality of the roll. The sweetness of the jam and savory shrimp created a symphony of flavor.
Everything off the dining menu was well executed. The edamame were lightly salted and served hot, while the fried calamari were tempura battered crisps.
As far as the quality of the food during the hibachi portion of the evening, it was decent. The fried rice was delicious and great comfort food, while the stir-fried noodles seemed bland to me.
I ordered a surf and turf entrée, hibachi cooked lobster tail and filet mignon. The lobster tail was a bit chewy and it became almost inedible over time as the meat became tougher and tougher. I believe this reaction had more to do with the actual act of grilling the lobster tail and not a flaw in the technique of the chef.
Although I would probably go back mostly for the dining menu, Komé provided a fun and engaging experience. I look forward to going back with a large group for the hibachi show.