Hibachi grills, delicious sushi and a fun bar light up this new restaurant
Story and photos by Melissa Jacobs
With décor as fresh and vibrant as its cuisine, Taku Japanese Steakhouse is the newest, must-try restaurant in King of Prussia’s ever expanding galaxy of fine dining restaurants. Sushi and sashimi share the spotlight with the delicious meats and vegetables prepared by hibachi chefs on the red-hot grills, all of it housed in a super-modern restaurant funkified with neon lights, brightly colored booths and smooth vibes.
Yes, Taku bills itself as a steakhouse, but the sushi and sashimi are very excellent. The restaurant houses three bars, one of which is a state-of-the-art sushi bar. Sushi offerings vary from classic rolls to more inventive creations like the American dream (rock shrimp tempura topped with spicy lobster salad, spicy crabmeat and spicy cream sauce), fantastic roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, cucumber and Japanese soy aioli with tobiko and scallion) and the chic-looking and delicious fashion roll (shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy tuna and tobiko with spicy mayo and eel sauce).
The seafood is discernably, impeccably fresh. Credit that to the sourcing of excellent ingredients, says co-owner Mandy Zhuo. “Some of the seafood is locally sourced and some is from Washington State and California,” Zhou said. “And some seafood is from Japan itself. We spend a lot of time finding great suppliers because we want to bring a high quality sushi option to King of Prussia.”
Zhou has done the same at her other restaurants. In fact, Taku is part of a family-run mini-empire of Japanese restaurants. Zhou, her husband and her sister own five restaurants, including two in Ohio, one in Indiana and one on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The family took their culinary inspiration from Zhou’s father, who worked as a professional sushi chef for more than 20 years. “Our restaurants honor our father’s love of food and we want to share that with our customers,” Zhou said.
The Zhou family decided on King of Prussia as its fifth location after seeing that the mall attracts huge crowds of upscale shoppers. “We realized that King of Prussia is a dining destination and we think Taku fits very well with the other restaurants here,” Zhou said.
Back to the food: Savory meats and perfectly seasoned vegetables are the stars of the hibachi grills. Prepared by accomplished chefs who perform the requisite ingredient-flipping techniques on grills bursting with flames, the hibachi plates are more tasty at Taku than at similar restaurants. And, Taku has a private dining room where groups of up to 36 people can have a VIP hibachi experience.
Opened in late September, Taku is almost unrecognizable from its former incarnation as Champps. Neon lighting, concept art and brightly upholstered booths make the bar seem ultra-modern, while the dining rooms are sleek but sophisticated. Taku’s outdoor dining patio will open when the weather warms. Zhou says diners are already flocking to Taku. “Our customers tell us that they are enjoying their experiences with us,” she said. “This is a great area, and we are happy to be part of the King of Prussia restaurant community.”
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