New Tastes!



The Ultimate Dining Experience
(321) 724-8751

The last week of October, was my sister in law's birthday, so she wanted to have a family get together at Makoto's of Melbourne. Since it has been quite some time since my last blog post, I thought I would go ahead and do a revue to share with everyone who may not be familiar with Makoto's or with Teppanyaki style dining.

Located in the heart of Melbourne, Florida ....Makoto's ideally situated in the Nasa Plaza which is on the corner of Babcock and Nasa Blvd. From Orlando its probably a 45 minute drive. Although you can purchase Makoto products anywhere in Florida (more on that later)..This is one of only 2 locations in the U.S. The second one being in Boone, NC.

Lets get started with Teppanyaki style cooking...What is it you ask?

 Teppanyaki (teppan-yaki) is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan-- which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled, broiled or pan-fried.

In Japan teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using an iron plate, including steak, shrimp, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and monjayaki. Typical ingredients used for Western-style teppanyaki are beef, shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken and assorted vegetables. Soybean oil is typically used to cook the ingredients.  

Japanese-style teppanyaki may also use noodles (yakisoba), cabbage with sliced meat or seafood (okonomiyaki), which are cooked using regular vegetable oil, animal fat, or a mixture.

Side dishes of mung bean sprouts, zucchini (even though zucchini is not a popular vegetable in Japan and rarely found in the market), garlic chips, or fried rice usually accompany the meal. Some restaurants provide sauces in which to dip the food. In Japan, only soy sauce is typically offered.

In the United States, teppanyaki was made famous by the Benihana restaurant chain, which opened its first restaurant in New York in 1964. Benihana and other chains of teppanyaki steakhouses like KOBE, continue to place an emphasis on the chef performing a show for the diners, continuing to introduce new variations and tricks.

The chef might juggle utensils, flip a shrimp tail into his/her shirt pocket, catch an egg in his/her hat, toss an egg up in the air and split it with a spatula, flip flattened shrimp pieces into the diners' mouths, or arrange onion rings into fire-shooting volcanoes.

Now with that out of the way....Welcome to Makoto's.

Although you may purchase individual side dishes and a few starters like teriyaki chicken wings and spring rolls seperately,  Makotos is all about the western version of teppanyaki. Which is to say that most meals are selected from the menu and then cooked to order while putting on a show right in front of you and the group of people you are sitting with.

The menu is not too big, nor is it to small...It covers all the bases from seafood, steak, chicken to even vegetarian. You have the option to purchase Lobster Tails, Scallops, Mahi-Mahi, Ahi Tuna, Shrimp, NY. Strip Steak, Filegt Mignon and the ever popular Sesame Chicken.

You can make individual selections or you can opt to get the Shrimp and NY Strip Steak or Chicken and the NY. Strip Steak.

Everyone in our party got combos, so we all got a chance to taste all the offerings.

All meals come with the following:

Teriyaki - Vegetable Sauce - Ginger Dressing.
All of the sauces are very good and the vegetable sauce is quite unique and complements the Yasi very well.

Chiken Liver Pate
They call this a.."Japanese Hamburger"---Its not for everyone, and I especially do not like liver, but this was not that bad. Its essentially a small puck made out of a paste of seasoned and buttered chicken livers then sauteed on the grill.

Makoto's House Salad served with their very own Ginger Dressing.

The salad is pretty basic and simple, but what makes it a treat is Makoto's home made Ginger dressing. Makotos' really specializes in this as they have their own manufacturing facility that makes all of their dressings and sauces that are available to purchase not just at Makoto's but at your local super market or specialty food store.

Aromatic Soup  Clear Broth with fresh green onions and mushroom

Again, nothing too spectacular, but it was good nonetheless---Just a small hand held cup of a chicken broth like soup with fresh sliced mushrooms and green onions.

In season fresh vegetables (onions, zucchini, squash, carrots, etc.) that are fried up on the teppan grill seasoned with salt and pepper, soy sauce, and a dash of teriyaki sauce.

The Yasi is very good to eat by itself, but the trick is to save some of it and mix it with your fried rice and meats that you get.

Fried Rice
Cooked rice, traditionally fried along with special seasonings. The rice is always pretty good, and usually you get a pretty good serving of it.

Once all of that is out of the way the chef will start cooking the meats. I ordered the NY.Strip Steak with Chicken combo. My steak was cooked medium well to perfection, and the chicken was also cooked and seasoned  perfectly. I still had a mountain of rice and a decent portion of vegetables to mix it all together on my plate and have somewhat of a stir fry platter. I was very impressed with the flavor and tenderness of the meats.

My wife had the Shrimp with NY. Strip Steak combo. Once again, the steak was done perfectly. The white shrimp were also very delicious and tasty.

My brother in law had the Sesame Chicken  that consists of moist and tender breast of chicken with toasted sesame seeds and Makoto’s very own teriyaki sauce. The chicken was cooked very well and the splash of teriyaki set it off quite nicely!

After we got all of the food on our plates, we could not fit it all and almost all of us had to take some home with us.

All in all you can not go wrong with any of your selections at Makoto's. They also have a newly added sushi bar that we did not get to try. Since it was my sister and law's birthday they did the traditional happy birthday song in Japanese and served up a Hawaiian pineapple boat.

The pineapple was delicious too. Makoto's does not have much in desert offerings other than pineapple  boats and vanilla ice cream or sherbet. It would be a nice addition to add something like fried ice cream or something else to the menu.

Overall we had a good time out with the family, and that is what Makoto's strives for.

I would definitely recommend having reservations, especially if you want to go on a Friday or Saturday night as they can get quite busy. Without a reservation, expect to wait 30-50 minutes before being seated. At peak times service does tend to be a little slow, but not so bad that you are left starving between servings.

In closing, I will say this...I have read some complaints that while the restaurant itself is in nice shape, it is showing signs of wear. We noticed this especially on the carpets and table edges.

Maybe its time for Makoto's to do a makeover of sorts, but don't let that deter you from going to Makoto's and having a fun entertaining dining experience that the the whole family can enjoy!!

And as a side note ---- all of Makoto's great dressings, dips and sauces that they make in house, you can find them at Publix or other specialty food stores or right here online

Makotos Seafood & Steakhouse of Japan on Urbanspoon
Read more ...