Yamato Steakhouse of Japan
Yamato has two locations, one that opened in Columbia, SC in 1975 and one in Myrtle Beach, which has been open since 1996. We love a good show with dinner, and since Yamato bills itself as the "best tasting show" in Myrtle Beach, we had to check it out!
We love teppanyaki style cooking, which is where the chef prepares the meal on a hibachi grill in front of diners. Sometimes this is called hibachi, but that is actually the appliance that the food is cooked on.
Located at Broadway at the Beach, Yamato offers a front row view of a professional hibachi chef cooking your meal. There is also a full bar and sushi bar on-site, separate from the main teppanyaki dining room, however you can still order sushi with your dinner.
Yamato has a many options, which is great when you come in a group, everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. We usually start off with appetizers, and the steamed shumai (dumplings stuffed with pork, shrimp, and vegetables), gyoza (beef-filled dumplings) and edamame (steamed soybeans) are favorites.
From the sushi bar, they have your more straightforward offerings of salmon rolls, rainbow rolls, and spicy tuna rolls. But they also have some interesting twists, like their Buffalo Shrimp roll and their Japanese Bagel. Yamato also offers nigiri (with rice) and sashimi (without rice) dinners.
But of course the big draw for us are the teppanyaki dinners, which also come with a clear broth soup and a house salad with your choice of ginger dressing (our favorite), a creamy mayonnaise based dressing, or a spicy soy vinaigrette dressing.
Everyone also gets a small grilled shrimp appetizer... your chef may challenge someone in your party to catch one in their mouths, which is always fun to watch those attempts!
You have your choice of proteins for your entrée, which are then cooked in front of you and served with mixed vegetables and fried rice - that rice is soooo yummy, I could probably eat a vat of just that rice and be happy! You can choose from beef like NY strip or filet mignon, chicken, or a variety of seafoods such as shrimp, scallops, salmon or mahi mahi.
Or if you can't choose just one protein, you can order a combination of up to three of them! The chef will prepare the beef to your desired doneness, and serve up your meal when it is cooked, so some folks who order quicker-cooking proteins like shrimp may get their food a little sooner.
For the littler ones in your party, they do offer a kids dinner, with the protein choices being chicken, shrimp, NY strip or filet mignon. The smaller price means slightly smaller portions, which are still generous by most standards. We nearly always have doggie bags to take home with us - perfect for making steak and eggs for breakfast the next morning, as one of our favorite dishes is the hibachi dinner with filet mignon and scallops (we usually finish the scallops during dinner, though!)
As if that wasn't enough food for one sitting, our meal is capped off with some sherbet to cleanse the palate. Good thing Yamato is at Broadway at the Beach, since we usually go for a long stroll around the shops to walk off some of that dinner!
Yamato is great for two people to enjoy a nice dinner, and smaller parties will be grouped together to be seated generally in groups no larger than 10 to a hibachi. The nice thing about their set up with back-to-back hibachi tables is that if you have a really large party, a set of tables can seat 20 people together.
When we've dined here, we've seen a couple of large groups celebrating a bachelorette party, a sorority/fraternity mixer, and plenty of birthdays for kids of all ages... and we even joined in singing 'Happy Birthday' to a couple of neighboring tables the last time we were there! The table we had was also right by the windows and the kids could watch the speedboats going by as we waited for our food. Plus there's so much action going on throughout the dining room that our kids were too busy watching the chefs at the next hibachi to get bored.
We have definitely enjoyed our meals here, but it's popular and busy during peak season so be sure to call ahead for reservations, particularly if you have a large party.