Alpharetta, GA

Uncomplicated, Healthy Japanese Teriyaki Food Comes to Alpharetta, Georgia

DarrylBrooks

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When we moved to south Forsyth County, near Alpharetta, Georgia, there weren't many good, healthy dining choices nearby. And certainly, there were few in the fast-food category. But then, the unlikely combination of a Korean couple and Japanese cuisine came together. The result - Teppan Hibachi Man in Midway Shopping Center.

On our first visit to Hibachi Man in Alpharetta, I was a little confused. It wasn't because of the name. I knew that Hibachi was a traditional Japanese heating device, a flat griddle in western speak. I also knew that Teppan, or Teppanyaki, is a Japanese cuisine style that uses a Hibachi to cook food. Having eaten teriyaki-style cooking before, I knew what I was in for.

And it wasn't because of the food. The menu at Hibachi Man is quite simple. It consists of five basic dishes with a few sides. The only variation is the protein, if any, you want on your fried rice and the fresh vegetable(s) cooked with it.

No, my confusion was due to the language barrier. Not that the folks at Hibachi Man don't speak English. They do, and probably better than I do. But being that I was in a Japanese restaurant, I was expecting Japanese. And as soon as I heard them speak to each other, I recognized Korean. It wasn't until a few visits later that I met the Korean couple that owns the franchise.

And once met, you are friends for life. One or both owners are always on-site, either working the Hibachi or prepping the fried rice or always fresh vegetables. And we are always greeted with a welcome smile and an inquiry as to our health, especially in the last year. Since the start of the pandemic, they have only been open for takeout. But that hasn't put a damper on their friendliness or enthusiasm. And from what I have seen, it hasn't slowed their business down.

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As I said, the menu is very simple. You have a choice of chicken, steak, shrimp, or scallops in your dish, or any combination. You can also opt for a vegetarian dish, although it would be pretty bland. I have tried every dish in the place. My favorite is the Hibachi Shrimp - sizzling medium shrimp cooked with teriyaki sauce over fried rice. I prefer the zucchini and onions, although you can also get sweet carrots. And I do mean, sweet.

All of the dishes are served with a side of Yum Yum, the Japanese version of special sauce. It is a simple mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and paprika. It isn't very spicy and is a perfect dipping sauce for the shrimp, although the food is tasty enough to stand on its own.

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If you are starving, get the chicken. While the other dishes contain plenty of food - I usually make two meals from mine, the chicken is mounded to overflowing. Or if you are super hungry, get the large dinner, which just means double the protein. I can't imagine a large portion of the chicken.

I've only had the beef a few times, but it was always tender and flavorful. Scallops aren't my favorite, but I have tried it a couple of times, and, as usual, it is delicious.

The only other thing on the menu besides extra sauce and vegetables are the fried dumplings. These traditional Asian potstickers are deep-fried until golden brown to the perfect combination of crunchy and soft. You get an order of eight, so they can be a meal to themselves or an appetizer if you want to share an entree.

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The interior is sparse, even when they had tables. Typical strip-center fast-food decor with a handful of tables and chairs. It would always fill to capacity during the lunch rush. And even while they are only serving takeout, you can expect a wait of a few minutes as every dish is cooked and served fresh. The place has always been spotlessly clean, and I have never seen a health department score of less than 100.

If you are in the Alpharetta, Georgia area, especially the northside in Forsyth County, give Teppan Hibachi Man a try. You won't be disappointed.

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I am a writer with over 16 years of experience and hundreds of articles. I write about photography, productivity, life skills, money management and much more.

Alpharetta, GA
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