Kabuki has brought its affordable and delicious Japanese and Thai cuisine to Wellington. The third location of the local restaurant chain opened on State Road 7 in April.
Owner Ting Yamsiriwong opened the first Kabuki location in downtown West Palm Beach on Clematis Street in 2011. A Palm Beach Gardens location opened shortly thereafter.
Because many customers who dined in the West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens locations work in those areas but live in Wellington, Yamsiriwong eyed this area for his latest venture.
“I like to spread my business out,” he explained. “Many of my clients in the other locations had asked when we would be opening in Wellington.”
The Wellington location has already proven to be quite different than the other two locations, mainly due to the many families filling the restaurant’s tables every night. “I love it here,” Yamsiriwong said. “It’s a totally different crowd. We serve a lot more families here.”
Aside from the full menu of dishes ranging from hand-crafted sushi rolls to different stir-fry dishes and pad Thai dishes, a key reason why many Wellington families are dining at Kabuki is the several affordable specials offered every day.
Kabuki’s lunch special is particularly enticing. From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., patrons can choose any of the available entrees for a discounted price starting at $8.95, or a you-pick-two special in which customers can choose two different sushi rolls or one entrée and one sushi roll for $12.95. All lunches also include a soup or salad to start.
Some of the available lunch entrees are Kabuki’s variety of curries — red, panang, green, pineapple and massaman — stir-fry, teriyaki chicken and sashimi. The available sushi rolls for the lunch special are Kabuki’s California roll, spicy krab roll and spicy tempura roll.
“We wanted to have a way to draw people in and make sure to do so in a reasonably priced way,” said Ann-Marie Sementelli, the restaurant’s manager. “This is a lunch you can do and not break the bank.”
For those looking for a way to unwind after work or enjoy time off on a weekend, Kabuki offers a long-lasting happy hour every day of the week starting at 3 p.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m. Select cocktails, sakes and well drinks are offered at half price. Beers, such as the Singha, are offered for as low as $2.50. Kabuki’s signature Pom Margarita — made with Jose Cuervo Silver tequila, triple sec, pomegranate liquor and lime — is offered for $6 during happy hour.
“I would say these are all classic drinks that we’ve made into our own. For us, it’s all about the pricing, presentation and quality,” Sementelli said.
Also during happy hour, select small dishes and tapas are all $5 or $6. Signature sushi rolls are available for $5, while unique dishes like Kabuki’s fried empanadas — filled with stuffed minced chicken, sweet potato, curry powder and plum sauce — are available for $6.
“My goal was always to be in the restaurant business,” Yamsiriwong said. “I like having a business [in which] people don’t have to spend a lot of money and they can have a comfortable place.”
On the regular menu, some of Kabuki’s most popular dishes are the Tuna Yukke, the Pineapple Fried Rice and the Kabuki Lobster Roll.
The Tuna Yukke — Kabuki’s most popular appetizer — is best described as a tower of tuna. It is made beautifully with stacked and diced raw ahi tuna, a layer of avocado, a layer of orange, smelt roe and kimchee sauce on top. The simple dish is a restaurant and customer favorite.
The Pineapple Fried Rice is famous for its many appetizing ingredients and beautiful presentation. The mixture of rice, shrimp, chicken, pineapple, onions, tomatoes, cashews and raisins is served ready to eat inside of a half of a pineapple.
Also known for its elaborate presentation, the Kabuki Lobster Roll is as impressive as it is rich in flavor. Served on a small sushi boat, or large plate, the sushi roll is made with lobster tempura, asparagus and avocado with red tobiko, eel sauce and spicy mayo on top. On the side is a portion of kani lobster salad and a martini glass filled with fried lobster.
For Yamsiriwong, owning Kabuki and serving the people of South Florida has been an ongoing dream. But what truly fulfills and rewards him is making customers happy by serving them good quality food.
“I like the concept of what we’re doing here,” he said. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for 30 years, but there’s nothing like South Florida. I want to have the Kabuki name out there, but it’s more than just the profit. I like to see customers smile and be happy about our food.”
Kabuki is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant is located at 2465 S. State Road 7, Suite 100, in Wellington. For more information, visit www.kabukiwpb.com or call (561) 323-4888.