Cooking with fire
Sizzling-hot mobile hibachi company is bringing the heat to Fort Worth parties
A Fort Worth-based mobile hibachi business is the newest flaming-hot trend for backyard parties across town: Hibachi on Fire, launched by financial services advisor Mimi Tatami in 2022, has been trending on Instagram for its flame-throwing, sake-shooting, egg-tossing good time.
The company brings the interactive Japanese hibachi experience to its customers, complete with a professional chef, mobile grill, three-course dinner, and lots of flowing sake.
“I think people need more fun entertainment while eating,” says Tatami, a California native who says the mobile hibachi concept is popular in her home state. “People always say it’s such a great idea that we come to your house and do all the food, so they don’t have to go out.”
Diners get to choose from several protein options in advance, including New York strip steak, chicken, scallops, shrimp, or filet mignon and lobster tail for a small upcharge. Guests start with a spring mix salad with ginger dressing, then move to hot fried rice made to order with some egg-throwing assistance from willing participants.
Other entertaining elements from the chef – who serves as a master of ceremonies – include flaming torch juggling, mesmerizing knife skills, and water gun sake shots, if desired.
The dinners start at $60 per person and there’s a $600 minimum (or 10 adults) per party. Children 13 and under can get a kids portion for $30. Parties are booked online.
Tatami says her inspiration to launch the business came during the start of the pandemic in 2020. She had just moved to Fort Worth and wanted to open a restaurant. The COVID-19 shutdown halted her plans. She eventually became a server at a local hibachi restaurant while working to grow her fledging financial advising career.
“That’s when I got the idea,” she says.
She recruited a chef from the restaurant to join her and Hibachi on Fire officially debuted in January 2022.
“But I didn't get my first customer until April 2022,” says Tatami. “I kept waiting and waiting and wondered, ‘Okay, is this going to happen or not?’”
Word – and videos on Instagram – spread like wildfire, she says. Now Tatami has grown her staff to three hibachi chefs who take on private parties in homes from Mansfield to Aledo and everywhere in between. Tatami says her farthest distance traveled was to Waxahachie.
Table seating and dinnerware are provided by the customer, and the parties are required to take place outside due to the propane-powered grill that’s used. Birthday parties are most popular, although Tatami says this past Christmas season saw bookings almost every night for holiday parties. Many folks also book for dinner party gatherings for which they simply don’t wish to cook.
Tatami still wants to open a hibachi restaurant in Fort Worth, she says, although her mobile business keeps her plenty busy as she nails down plans.
“Social media is helping a lot,” she says. “Business is getting better because more people know.”
Customers currently can take advantage of a special 15 percent discount on Hibachi on Fire menu prices through March 31; check for more details at hibachionfire.com.