Gut Reaction: Samurai Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar a must for low-budget lovers of Japanese cuisine

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Samurai Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar has become a popular destination for Rowan students. The tables are nearly always packed with patrons dressed in brown and gold gear. It’s no surprise that students are drawn to this eatery: sushi rolls are half priced when you dine in, and the prices of other menu items are also reasonable. Plus, the restaurant is less than a mile from the university.

I’ve been a fan of Samurai for some time, and I swear it’s not just the low prices that bring me back. As a loyal customer, I have a usual order. But this time, I tried something new.

Every time I dine at Samurai, I take a step into the soothing world of traditional Japanese culture. The atmosphere shifts from the bland streets of Glassboro to a refreshing splash of Japan upon entering. Through the front door is the foyer, lined with Polaroids of birthday celebrations at the restaurant.

Diners have the option of eating at the hibachi bar or in the dining area; my date and I chose the latter. The table was set with chopsticks atop a rose-printed napkin and a bottle of soy sauce.

The service here is atypical to other restaurants, wherein one waiter/waitress serves you the entire meal. Instead, at Samurai, the servers tend to all the tables together. So, if you need anything at all, don’t be shy to stop the next server to walk by. The staff is incredibly attentive, filling your drinks before you even have to ask and swiftly removing dirty dishes. There are three chefs on hand preparing sushi at a time.

Two orders of gyoza dumplings as an appetizer. - Staff Photo/Morgan Jenkins
Two orders of gyoza dumplings as an appetizer. – Staff Photo/Morgan Jenkins

Usually, I order my all-time favorites: a Shirley Temple garnished with a lemon slice and cherry, both speared by an umbrella; two appetizers of gyoza and garlic broccoli; one shrimp tempura roll with a side of spicy mayo (seriously, try it); and a side of hibachi rice. To be as neutral as possible, I tried something different.

Both the Glassboro roll and the Philadelphia roll piqued my interest, but the former consists of eel and avocado, topped with spicy yellowtail. I just wasn’t feeling the eel, so I went with the Philadelphia roll: smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese. I added an appetizer of edamame beans.

If you’re a fan of cream cheese, I definitely recommend the Philadelphia roll. I personally wasn’t a fan of its prominent taste, but it turned out that my date did, so he took over for me. Well, at least I took a step out of my comfort zone. I had nothing to lose with half-priced sushi.

Even though I was familiar with edamame beans, I hadn’t yet tried the appetizer at Samurai. By the end of the meal, I was adding the legume to my list of frequently ordered items.

With a bill total of $16.55 and bellies full of food, my date and I could not beat the affordability of this sushi joint. Did I mention that it’s B.Y.O.B.? At Samurai, you’re free to bring your favorite brand of wine or six pack of beer to go along with your meal. If you’re a fan of quality sushi and saving money, make it a priority to try Samurai.

Samurai Sushi is located in the same plaza as Sears and Big Lots. - Staff Photo/Morgan Jenkins
Samurai is located in the same plaza as Sears and Big Lots. – Staff Photo/Morgan Jenkins

Samurai Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

646 North Delsea Drive, Glassboro

(856)-881-7788

Style: Japanese

Price Range: Under $25

Accepts: Cash, credit, debit

Parking: Plaza parking lot

Rating: 5 stars

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