By Daniel Human
Tribune business writer
— The word “Hibachi” in the name implies its Asian influence, but diners who prefer all-American entrees have almost as many options.
Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet opened for business July 30 off U.S. 31 south of Markland Avenue.
With a dozen separate buffet bars set up at the heart of the restaurant, customers can stroll through islands with salads, stir fries, steaks and sushi.
Jack Ouyang, owner of the Kokomo franchise, said last week business had been strong since doors opened despite limited advertising and no formal grand opening.
Being set back from two of the city’s busiest roads has been a major benefit, he said. With the Markland Mall across the street and major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Meijer down the road, there is a lot of passing traffic to notice the restaurant, he said.
The menu, which includes specials throughout the week, covers Chinese and Japanese buffet items commonly found in buffets. A hibachi grill also allows diners to assemble their own dishes and have a cook prepare the food.
And for people who don’t like Chinese or Japanese food, but whose friends or family do, they have options such as steak, ham, turkey and pizza.
Tables sprawl across the former restaurant, previously a Buffalo Wild Wings, where Asian decorations, including a pond at the front, fill the vibrantly yellow walls meshed with dark trim and furniture.
Menus and decor are consistent among the franchise’s other restaurants, which include locations in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.
Ouyang, who began working in the restaurant business as a teenager helping his parents run their buffet in Plymouth, plans to open a Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet in Mishawaka in September and one in Merrillville by Christmas.
• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomo