Kabuto Japanese Steakhouse

9455 Colerain Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45251
websiteKabuto (Cincinnati, OH)4 stars

Along Cincinnati’s northern suburbs, you can find just about any kind of cuisine you wish around the Northgate Mall. It’s the kind of destination that brings a lot of appetites, but a great many of the places you can try there, it turns out, are pretty vanilla. Not so for Kabuto Japanese Steakhouse, a Cincinnati hibachi destination and sushi house. It’s a masterfully done cuisine, and actually, the spot has a lot of charm in that it does not break the bank.

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The hibachi grills here are a group experience, and the teppenyaki cooking is going to bring a crowd for a show. The sushi here, though, is where the restaurant shines the most distinctly, with some fantastic rolls to try. My favorites:

  • Dynamite roll: This is one of of those deep fried rolls that you might not find in Japan. Still, it’s worth a try. It’s filled with a medley of different fish as well as asparagus and some crab meat, then doused in a spicy sauce. Heavy to be sure, but try at least one.
  • Spicy crunch roll: This is a pretty simple recipe, a typical California roll upgraded with some tempura flakes and crab meat. Another one with a very slight heat.
  • Eel cucumber roll: Eel meat has a tendency to taste a bit fishier, so this one is topped with a dark hoisin sauce. Good, though if you have a special taste for the meat it can be a bit lost.
  • Spicy tuna roll: This one is made with a dense tuna Unlike many others, it foregoes sauce and stands with the tuna a very prominent flavor.
  • Sunomono: Not sushi per se, but instead this is a salad with a vinegar-based dressing and a nice mixture of salmon, raw tuna and crab stick. It’s a nice light app, and importantly, whets your appetite for fish.

The restaurant has a nice, romantic interior feel, though it can be a bit noisier especially when there are a lot of hibachi grills running and people are being wowed. There was also a tendency for live instruments, which is fun, but might make it better as a place to bring a friend, as opposed to a first date.

That said, the service is impeccable, and the people here are on a level of friendless and welcome that really deserves to be recognized. That goes a long way toward making the place welcoming, and it’s also suitable for the more particular diner. I would highly recommend the spot whether as a sushi lover of someone who just wants to try something new with friends. Those prices are hard to bear.


  • The appeal of the sushi here is that it is pretty affordable but still lets you try a lot of very skilled rolls.
  • Hibachi is best for groups less than 10.
  • The feel here is more energetic, so a quiet dinner might be difficult.

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