Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar- Melbourne- 4 stars (reluctantly).
"Wisdom don't consist in knowing more that is new, but in knowing less that is false." -- Bierce
Tucked behind a Hooter's off of Nasa Blvd. in Melbourne, occupying the same space (the old Food World Grocery Store and Zayre Plaza) for over 30 years, sits a Melbourne icon, Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse (Teppanyaki) and Sushi Bar.
Upon entering, the hostess checked my reservation and lead me to my table. As with all Teppanyaki restaurants, you are seated with other diners around a large cooking surface that also serves as your dining table. My waiter this evening was either Brian or Rex, I misunderstood when he told me, and he was Johnny on the spot all night long. After taking my drink and food order, he was back in a flash with my adult beverage that was mixed generously and crafted wondrously. I told King Brian that I would start with the Onion and Mushroom soup, with a house salad and my go to sushi test roll, a spicy tuna hand roll. I then asked for the Makoto's feast (a combo of shrimp, steak and zucchini) with a side of steamed rice. The Onion and Mushroom soup was a delight served at the perfect temperature. It was very tasty and perfectly seasoned. Their house salad is a icon in and of itself with their house dressing being sold nationally in supermarket chains. It was as to be expected and the dressing was, as usual, delectable. The spicy tuna hand roll was the best I have had in Brevard County. Better than all the local sushi bars, hands down. It just had the perfect mixture of hot spiciness and sesame oil, the real Japanese Gobo (carrot) and fresh daikon (japanese radish) sprouts is a must in this dish and Makoto's didn't disappoint in this regard. After polishing off the hand roll and ordering another beverage, again, generously poured and flavorfully mixed, I awaited the chef to appear. With a flourish the chef arrived with his cart containing all the food for the table along with his many instruments of destruction. This is the real show of Teppanyaki. The chef out did himself, flipping the food here and there, landing in his pocket, some plates, a lamp shade (just kidding). Feel free to applaud when they do something very impressive, it's a good thing. The feast is where the reluctancy began to set in about their 4 star rating. The side of rice was al dente, albeit bland. The zucchini was succulent, fresh and cooked to perfection; however, they lost me at the shrimp. The shrimp was low end. Slightly mushy and contained some culch (not a big deal in seafood, but not good when dining out). Thankfully, the steak saved the shrimp as it was cooked properly and seasoned well, giving the juicy steak a tasty finish as it went down. All in all it was a pleasant dining experience with King Brian really saving any hesitation I may have had in my initial review. Big Boy says, "If you're in Melbourne and looking for the best spicy tuna hand roll or a great steak dinner with a sword show, head over to Makoto's."