Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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88 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2017 broken down, wrapped properly and put in a super freeze state as a precau- tion. We also use this unit for creating specialty cocktails' cylinder ice cubes and storing ice cream." O-Ku will continue its growth tra- jectory in 2017, with a fourth location in the works in Washington, D.C. — its first in that market. Future sites will concentrate on Southeast states, says Brienza. Steeped in Tradition With so many traditional Japanese restaurants in the hibachi space, it can be difficult to set a concept apart. Though Frisco, Texas' Shoji Sushi & Habachi restaurant offers strictly traditional fare, its goal is to be distin- guished by its service. It opened almost exactly a year ago. "We set ourselves apart with our service, which has to be family-friendly and good enough to get peo- ple to become regulars," says Daniel Jung, general manager. "Every Japanese restaurant essentially has the same menu, unless it's trendy or in a downtown area. For us, it's more about meeting people's expectations in being traditional." Shoji's main focus is hibachi cooking, which comprises about 50 to 60 percent of its business, followed by sushi at 15 to 20 percent and alcohol at 10 percent. "We have a small bar, as we mainly attract families, so parents may order one drink with their meal," says Jung. The dining room includes eight grill tables, and there also is a private hibachi room. Like other hibachi concepts, the menu includes meat, seafood, vegetables, fried rice, soup and salad. Shoji recently added Kobe steak to its offerings. The sushi menu contains approximately 70 specialty rolls. Among the most popular are Climax, with spicy tuna, three sauces, green onions and jalapenos; and the Texan Steak Roll, combining jalapeno, asparagus and fresh avocado, topped with spicy crab, seared New York strip steak and the chef's special sauce. "Our restaurant is mainly based around steak and sushi rolls," says Jung. "We're in a tradi- tional Dallas suburb with many families, so we also offer kid portions for the hibachi." The 800-square-foot kitchen includes a cook line with a wok, oven, fryer and broiler. The back of the house also includes a prep refrigerator, walk-in refrigerator, walk-in freezer and prep tables. Staff prepare hibachi items in the back and bring them out in carts. Staff prepare these in- gredients, which includes hand slicing, for lunch and dinner. The sushi bar opens to the dining area and sits adjacent to the kitchen. It contains a display refrigerator and freezer. Fish is delivered three times a week. Well-known by locals for its birthday recognitions, Shoji marks the occasion with a gong, drums and songs sung by the servers. A second location, currently in the works, will be identical to the current concept. "The Dallas area is growing very fast right now," says Jung. "We have started offering an app card that people can upload on their smartphones where, after nine visits, guests get $30 off their meal. We're also stepping up our e-mails and personal notifications, offering discounts and incentives to try and get customers in more than once a week." FE&S Shoji is divided into a hibachi section and a sushi dining room. The dining room at Shoji includes eight grill tables, where chefs prepare and serve meat, seafood, veg- etables and fried rice. Below: Shoji's sushi menu includes 70 specialty rolls, among other traditional offerings. e&s segment spotlight

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