By Danny & the Foodies
What started as a realization that Huntington Station and Melville lacked a true Japanese-hibachi restaurant set the gears in motion to create 110 Japan, which marries both in a sprawling property along Walt Whitman Road.
After a year and a half of work, the restaurant opened on Sept. 25; one side is fine dining, the other is more festive, family-oriented hibachi. They employ three music zones and sound-dampening construction to ensure one does not disrupt the other, general manager Sonny Lin explained. And they’ve done a yeoman’s job transforming the former nosh-til-you-drop Best Buffet into a cool, comfortable big room dining experience that is hip and chic, yet homey.
While the sign says sushi and hibachi – and 110 Japan excels at both – there is plenty more to dazzle diners.
Take the 110 Japan Homemade Bisque, for instance. In seafood guise ($7) it’s a peppery medley of shrimp scallops and a hint of chili in an orange-hued broth, juxtaposed playfully with an unexpected dollop of sweet, light whipped cream.
The familiar aroma of soy wafts upward from a gorgeous plate of fall-off-the-bone Miyazaki Short Ribs ($13), available on the Fusion Hot Tastings section. But there’s another great surprise to be had there, too, when it hits your taste buds thanks to a 24-hour braised miyazaki beef in Korean galbi sauce with a lot of pop and tongue-tingling spice.
More conventional, yet undeniably delicious, are the Rock Shrimp Tempura plate ($9) off the appetizers menu – baby rock shrimp morsels, lightly breaded and fried, are tossed in a spicy, creamy sauce that will have you licking your fingers.
Amidst the muted surroundings, the sushi bar shines like a beacon, and sushi chefs there are hard at work spinning traditional favorites and modern classics.
A traditional sushi and sashimi platter ($25) is anchored with a dozen slices of fresh, raw fish displayed with flair atop shaved ice illuminated from below and buttressed by a half-dozen equally delicious sushi and a spicy tuna crunch roll. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but the classics bode well for the rest.
You won’t go wrong with dessert, either – New York Style Cheesecake ($7) is rich and creamy, topped with a drizzle of warm caramel. There’s also a deep bar menu to dip into, including about a dozen sake selections; we enjoyed the Kurosawa Jun-Mai Kimoto ($18, 300 mL), a dry, earthy sake that is sweeter when sipped cold; creamier when warm. It’s served in a champagne glass.
With the three-month anniversary arriving today, Christmas Day, Sonny and the 110 Japan team have big plans. They’re hoping to build a nighttime clientele who will stay and dance the night away after dinner; keep an eye on Facebook for developments on that front. Outdoor dining on a large patio is also envisioned. Already, it’s a great spot for a working lunch – follow 110 Japan on social media, and you’ll get free WiFi access during your visit.
They also hope this will be the first of seven restaurants, each bearing a different Japanese fortune god in each logo. With their debut effort in Huntington, they’re off to a great start in achieving those lofty goals.
179 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
Atmosphere: Modern and inviting
Cuisine: Asian fusion, sushi and hibachi
Hours: Monday-Thursday: lunch 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., dinner 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday/Saturday: lunch 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., dinner 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.