Last Saturday night we went out to dinner with some friends. It was a farewell dinner for our friends, Kelly and Andy. It was a great time, but bittersweet also since it was going to be their last Saturday night here in Iwakuni.
We went to Kikutei for dinner and the food was good as always. I have to say I do have mixed feelings about Kikutei. Everyone usually gets the all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner when they go. There are usually coupons in the Preview for 300yen off. That's what we did last night. For me and Jason, it was 6900yen with the coupons. The spread is pretty amazing. I did take pictures (of course!).
It is a yakiniku (fried meat) restaurant so you will be cooking your own food on a little grill in the middle of your table. For those of you who feel that when you go out to eat it's so you DON'T have to cook, this restaurant is not for you. Some of you may think that is funny, but years ago I made reservations for a bunch of people at a yakiniku restaurant and one of the guys actually complained about having to cook his own food. I thought everyone would like it and think it was a neat experience. He was really upset. I never thought of it that way before because I've always enjoyed it, but I guess he kind of had a point. So, I cooked for him.
The drink menu is pretty decent. They have a good selection of alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. I don't think it's on the menu, but I always get the ume (plum) sour. You should try a few of the sours to see which one you like the best. In the winter time I like getting umeshu no oyu wari. It's plum sake mixed with hot water. Mmmm. Perfect when it's cold outside.
There are some individual tables downstairs, but if you have a group of people you can reserve the rooms upstairs. As you can see, everything is on the table and ready for you when you arrive. We were upstairs since there were eleven of us.
They won't bring the little grills or take drink orders until everyone in your party has arrived. There is a 2 hour limit for the all-you-can-eat-and-drink, and the time starts as soon as the first drink order is placed.
Once they bring the little grill to your table, you are ready to get started.
There are two sauces on the table for you to dip your food into once it's cooked. One sauce is a little spicy (not really) and the other one is supposed to be a little sweeter. I usually mix the two.
This is where my mixed feelings come into play. If you don't want to do the all-you-can-eat-and-drink plan, they do offer a family platter (3500yen). You can also order other items individually. I've been here a few times and I have done both. When there are children in the group, or if I know we are not going to be drinking I prefer to order the family platter. I feel like we waste food when we get the all you can eat because we always have food left over. We don't have that problem when we order the family platter, and it's less expensive.
To get to Kikutei, head out the main gate. At four corners (intersection after the railroad tracks), make a right. Go straight until you pass Fuji Grand (it will be on your right). At the second light after you pass Fuji Grand, turn left. Go straight through a mini intersection and then at the next little intersection, you should see this building on the left corner -
The owner speaks English and they have English menus. The service is good and the staff is friendly. Whether you're looking for a place to have a large gathering, or you just want to have a nice family dinner, Kikutei is a definite must try. Reservations are recommended. The number is 0827-30-1234.