Shogun: Dinner and A Show
Shogun has brought its unique form of dining and entertainment to St. Clair Shores.
One of my favorite things about going out to eat is the prospect of meeting someone new.
Whether it is a waitress, a restaurant owner, or a fellow diner, dining out is a great way to engage with people.
Shogun Japanese Steakhouse makes meeting new people easy because unless you have a party of 10, other diners will be joining you for dinner.
Shogun is comprised of three parts: a teppanyaki style restaurant, meaning your food is cooked in front you on a hot iron griddle; a Chinese section; and a sushi bar. This review will focus on sushi and teppanyaki.
A Japanese steakhouse like Shogun seems out of place off Marter Road in the same strip as Kroger and Rite-Aid. However, upon further thought, there's nothing quite like Shogun in the area, so diners from St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe and other surrounding communities may view Shogun as a destination, a place to go for both food and entertainment.
Eating at Shogun is a dining experience. Teppanyaki chefs are trained not only in cooking, but also showmanship. While slicing, dicing and grilling, they are also engaging with the diners and creating show pieces such as the onion volcano (seen in the photos). All of the bells and whistles in the universe won't mean a thing if the food doesn't taste good.
If sushi is presented well, and is fresh, then eating it will more than likely be enjoyable. Shogun's sushi, while not mind-blowing, is passable. The fish is fresh and the rolls taste good even though they are on the uninspired side. I highly recommend the fatty tuna. Yes, it is $6 apiece, but its sweet lusciousness far outweighs the cost.
When you order teppanayaki, you have a choice of proteins. Shogun offers shrimp, scallops, calamari, lobster, chicken or steak. There is a vegetarian option as well.
I ordered the Sapporo Special ($22.75 for filet mignon and scallops). That price also includes miso soup, house salad with sesame ginger dressing, fried rice, vegetables and shrimp. There's definitely some value to the seemingly steep price. Also, one of the couples who co-dined with me said Shogun always sends coupons to homes in the Shores.
Both the soup and the salad are nothing to write home about. Some people swear by the sesame ginger dressing, but I found it off-putting and odd in its texture. The soup, while not bad, isn't very good either. A savory broth with mushroom and scallions—not going to win any awards, but not the worst way to start a meal.
The shrimp is also considered an appetizer. Each diner gets 2-3 shrimp. Plump, nicely seasoned, and slightly charred, these shrimp are a good way to really whet your appetite for what's to come.
Since the food is being cooked in front of you, it is easy to let your chef know the ideal temperature for your protein. I like both my scallops and steak on the rare side and both were cooked that way. Scallops had a nice sear on them. Steak was charred on the outside with a cool pink center.
Fried rice and vegetables (zucchini and onion) are quite good, too. The chefs are not shy with the butter when making the rice, so the finished product has a fatty sheen when it hits your plate.
When cooked on a flat surface, some of the rice becomes almost burnt and those little crispy bits are a joy to find. The veggies are fine, too, but they lose their fresh crunch under the weight of the sauce the chef applys. I would recommend asking for your veggies cooked lightly.
If you feel adventurous, order a scoop of green tea or red bean ice cream for dessert. Both of these flavors are commonplace in Asian culture, but not so much for Americans. Green tea, the better of the two, has an earthy, bright flavor with an ultra-creamy texture.
If you play your cards right (cut coupons, share a meal), Shogun could be considered a once a week outing. However, given the way dinner is prepared and all of the fanfare surrounding it, Shogun will probably become a special occasion place for most.
Ideal for birthdays (probably not so much for anniversaries), teppanyaki is something you should experience at least once. And if you experience it at Shogun, you'll definitely enjoy yourself.