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Business Lunch Review: Hibachi Express

Editor’s Note:
Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad and the tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.

Food Quality: 2
Service: 5
Business Meeting: 2
Value: 4

Average Score: 3.25 of 5

I should know better. This week, I found myself in the hospital district of Augusta and relearned a lesson I should already know. I pulled into the first restaurant that looked decent. On Walton Way, tucked between all the chain fast food joints, was a little hibachi restaurant that promised good food fast. I will say they delivered on the fast part, but that’s about it.

It seems like Asian restaurants have a knack for taking over former seafood chains – and this was a classic conversion. No one was eating inside at noon which should have been my first clue, but I chalked it up to the pandemic and the fact that busy medical professionals want a drive through experience.

I was greeted promptly with a smile and liked that the menu had options for a whole plate or a half. So, I got half an order or hibachi steak and sat down. It came out in under 5 minutes and the first thing I noticed was that the Yum Yum sauce (which is one of the best reasons to choose a hibachi lunch) came prepackaged. I don’t know what goes in this heavenly sauce, but I would prefer to at least think they made it in the back and not in a factory somewhere.

Even though it was a half plate, the portion was still enough for two lunches. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy it much the first time, or when trying again with the leftovers. With certain ethnic foods, there’s just a flavor profile that you expect, and something was off with Hibachi Express. The steak was low quality, even for what you’d expect with the establishment type. Also, the veggies were heavy on filler like cabbage. It just wasn’t what I’d hoped for, and my hopes weren’t that high to begin with.

There are more than enough hibachi joints in our fair city, and ones with much better food. So if you want it super-fast, then Hibachi Express may be an option, but otherwise, I’d pull in somewhere different when you find yourself on Walton Way.

(In fact, drop your local eatery recommendations for the medical district or anywhere in the comments.)

Hibachi Express
1815 Walton Way

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