This week Eating Michigan takes on Ukai Japanese Steakhouse in Okemos. Ukai is a Bennihana-like steakhouse. It is smaller than most Bennihana with one main dining room and a smaller dining room near the sushi counter. There are six family-style tables with hibachi cooktops around the romantically lit main dining room. The servers are friendly and the chefs are entertaining. This is a great special occasion restaurant.
The prices are significantly less than Bennihana ranging from $11 (hibachi vegetables)-$28 (hibachi lobster). All dinners include miso soup (which is a savory broth with tofu and garnish), a salad with ginger dressing (which I have to say is SO good!), a shrimp appetizer (they just cook extra shrimp and put it on the plate before the entrees are done), oriental vegetables (onions, zucchini, and string beans), white rice, and tea. The special dinners (which are mainly combinations) also come with a shot of plum wine or ice cream. Ukai also has sushi, which I honestly do not know much about.
I had the teriyaki steak with fried rice. The fried rice is PHENOMENAL! It is SO much better than the white rice. If you like fried rice, you will not be disappointed! I got the teriyaki steak because I loved it last time. This time it seemed kind of tough. It was delicious but I wish it was more tender. I came here for my birthday and I have to tell you it was a great experience! They gave me a carved pineapple-boat and oranges for dessert. I love pineapple so obviously it was delicious, but it was also beautiful. If you are looking for some place special for a birthday or other special occasion, I can’t recommend Ukai enough!
You can find Ukai online at iloveukai.com. Ukai is located in Okemos at 2167 W. Grand River near Meijer. There is also a Ukai Steakhouse in West Lansing and Ai Fusion sushi down the road in East Lansing (near Hobby Lobby and IHOP).