Where Entertainment Meets Fine Dining
Kobe Steakhouse serves up excitement

By Claudia Newcorn

 A splash of this. A dash of that. Toss it high over the chef’s hat, catch on a spatula with easy grace, and return to the grill. Welcome to Kobe Steak House of Japan, a family restaurant where diners come for outstanding food, mesmerizing entertainment, and honest-to-goodness fun.

For three generations, Kobe has been serving Wichita residents their signature Japanese food, prepared by expert chefs with a flare for the dramatic. It’s become a place for memorable get-togethers, according to Vice President Jim West. “We specialize in family celebrations, whether birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations, as well as proms, home comings and business meetings. We like to say that our dining and entertainment packages excite kids from five to 95.”

The magic of Kobe is in the perfect blend of performance and taste, originating in Japan, where food preparation is considered an art form. Skilled chefs artfully prepare a complete meal to guests’ specifications at their Hibachi table as they entertain with their knife skills and humor.

“A big part of the appeal is the excitement of the shows that are put on by our chefs,” explains West. “And it’s not just a performance – there’s a lot of interaction between the staff and guests. The chefs particularly enjoy connecting with children, because it makes the kids feel special. So special that we have many guests who were brought here as children by their parents who are now bringing their own children. We like to say we have entertained three generations of Wichita residents.”

Ken Lerman has been a regular for years, and is a dedicated fan of Kobe. “Our family has greatly enjoyed our visits to the Kobe restaurant in Wichita,” he notes. “The food tastes are unique, and not duplicated elsewhere. Whether it’s a family celebration or a Saturday evening for my wife and I, Kobe has always pleased us and is our favorite restaurant.”

Kobe’s chefs are trained in-house, the process taking from three to six months. West says they look for individuals with outgoing personalities who enjoy speaking with people. “The first step is training them how to properly cook a fine Japanese dish,” he explains. “Our primary product is food, and it is essential that it is well presented and tastes good. After that comes the training in showmanship.”

The varied menu caters to anyone’s appetite – there’s something for every person and every occasion. Entrees feature steak, chicken, and a variety of seafood, and each meal includes soup, salad, shrimp appetizer, steamed rice and grilled vegetables. A full service bar offers specialty drinks, and the comfortable lounge makes a pleasant gathering spot. A children’s menu is also available.

Asked why a Japanese steakhouse in Wichita, West shares a fascinating story. The original owner immigrated from Japan to the U.S. some 30 years ago, and worked at Benihana in New York for several years. He became a successful chef, but realized he wanted to start a business and raise a family in a safer environment than New York City. For several years, he searched through library phone books for metropolitan areas of 250,000 people where there would be no competition for the Japanese steakhouse concept. One day, while at work, a delivery came from Wichita, Kansas. The rest is history.

Today, in addition to Wichita, there are two Kobes in St. Louis and one in Omaha. The restaurants have been so successful that West and his partner made the strategic decision to maintain the consistency and not constantly change the décor and ambiance, a common practice among restaurants today. Instead, most of the changes have been behind the scenes. “We keep things fresh for our customers through additions to the show and entertainment, and food selections,” he says. “But we feel that consistency has been key to our success and are careful not to change what guests really enjoy.”

Quick Facts:
Kobe Steak House of Japan
650 N. Carriage Parkway
Wichita, KS 67208
316-686-5915
www.kobesteakhouse.us

i table side cooking, a reservation is an order of seating guaranteeat an estimated time, based on the restaurant’s normal reservation flow. Your party will have preference over walk-in customers.   The balance of customer promptness, chef availability, and table availability make it difficult to be exact in the reservation times. Kobe’s goal is to meet all reservation times and make your dinner a great experience, but at times, circumstances beyond their control make this difficult. If a wait is anticipated, Kobe will advise you as soon as possible and give you an estimate of the length of the wait. Reservations can be made online (www.kobesteakhouse.us) or by phone (316.686.5915).

 

Quick Stats
Restaurant Name
Kobe Steakhouse

Type of Business
Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant

Years in Business
26

Number of Employees
35

Keys to Success
Consistent product delivered in a friendly and fun atmosphere

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 5:30-9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00-10:00 pm
Saturday: 4:30-10:00 pm
Sunday: 4:30-8:30 pm

Contact Info
2420 N. Woodlawn
Wichita, KS 67220
316-686-5915
www.kobesteakhouse.us

Additional locations in Omaha, NE and St. Louis, MO