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  • Kanpai

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Kanpai Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://kanpai7777.wix.com/kanpairestaurant
  • Phone: (843) 901-7777
  • Hours of Operation:


    Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm

    Closed Sundays
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Executive Chef: Chef Sean Park
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Anna knapp
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Kanpai
"Korean-born executive chef Sean Park turns out beautiful, fanciful sushi that includes a ceviche martini of whitefish and scallops with mango, pear, and mint yuzu vinaigrette, along with lobster green-tea soba-noodle tempura, a donburi rice bowl with Kobe beef or eel, and a white dragon roll of seafood spiked with aioli and wasabi."
by John Mariani - Esquire
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "When you combine a renowned chef and a strip mall scene, only good things can come out of that. You get a 'where is this place' vibe when trying to find the restaurant, but the food is amazing! We had the duck yeast buns and sushi with kimchi. Delicious! Can't wait to go back. Oh, and make a reservation!"
    Dined on 8/16/2013
  • "Great sushi and make sure you try the popcorn shrimp. Will definitely go back."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We really enjoy this restaurant for the food. The sushi is top notch and you don't have to go downtown for it. Service is always a little slow but VERY friendly. Highly advise making a reservation as this place is small and we saw lots of people turned away. We have been here many times before and will continue to visit!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "A must for foodies who love Korean food & sushi. Best there is in town. Don't miss this dining experience"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My husband and I were looking for a good sushi restaurant, and I'm so glad we took our friends' recommendation to try Kanpai! The service and food were both fantastic, as was the atmosphere. We chose to do the omakase, and we're treated to six delicious courses of the chef's choosing. We could not have been happier with our choice - the fish was melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and our favorite part of the meal was the steak tartare. Everything was beautifully presented and tasted wonderful. We can't wait to go back, and have been recommending Kanpai to friends and family, too."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Kanpai had recently been featured in an issue of Charleston magazine. As a result, the restaurant was packed. Unfortunately, the kitchen was not ready for the rush of customers. We had to order our apps first and then wait 30 mins before we could order entrees. All in all it took us 2 hours to eat dinner. That said, DOESN'T MATTER! The food is amazing. I'll definitely go back again and hopefully the hype will die off a bit. You just can't find authentic japanese food in Charleston and this place has it in spades. I've finally found a restaurant that serves a decent bowl of ramen. Pork buns = I've gone to heaven and back. I seriously could eat nothing but pork buns all night long and be very very happy. Please open for lunch!!!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Spicy truffle edemame is awesome!! Sushi was awesome too!!"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "My second time at Kanpai. The meal was fantastic. My first time there, I shared a 7-course chef's tasting. This time we asked Chef Sean to make us three rolls of his choice and shared a Korean scallion pancake. Every item was very fresh, beautifully prepared and an interesting mix of tastes and textures. Music from the club next door is quite loud and interferes with the ambience. Service was friendly but slow.. The quality of the food will keep me coming back for more."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Superior sushi provided by engaging and very skilled chef at reasonable prices."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Best sushi in Charleston with lots of unique options. Staff was friendly, including getting a free dessert on our very first visit. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The atmosphere is very basic, your traditional strip mall deal. But the chef really cares about excellent sushi. Don't be a downtown snob. If you love great sushi, this place is great."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "It took them an hour and a half for my one sushi roll to come out, while the other 5 people in my group all got at least their first batch of sushi rolls way before me. Water was never refilled. And the restaurant wasn't even that busy. They need to double their wait staff or something because the wait was just ridiculous, especially for a Tuesday. The Kanpai buns that I ordered was the first and only good experience I had. Everything just went downhill from there."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "The wait staff is undertrained and overwhelmed. We could hear the music from the bar next door, until there band came on and it didn't feel like there was even a wall between the two places. 15 minutes just to get water to us, 30 min before we were able to place an order. We were sitting next to the server station where we overheard the waitresses at one point talking about a lost credit card! If someone walks in in the middle of you placing your order they stop and shout "welcome to kanpei" food was overlooked greasy and lacked flavor. We would have left before ordering if it wasn't valentines day and too late to find anything else."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Our reservation was for 5:00 pm. the place was empty so we asked to be seated at the sushi bar. The hostess said that it was reserved. Our waitress said that reservation was for later and seated us at the bar. We were expecting an amazing experience of interaction with the chef. the chef barely acknowledged our presence and ignored us while focusing solely on the couple seated to our right. Our expectation was for the chef to prepare items at his discretion, instead we ending up ordering sushi and shashmi for two. We waited more than an hour for our food. it arrived on an unadorned boat. the fish was fresh and that's the best thing I can say about our dining experience. Kanpai has great sushi, slow service and lacks ambience."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The sushi at Kanpai was amazing! It was really loud because the bar next door had live music. It's a fantastic little hole in the wall sushi restaurant. We definitely will try Kanpai again on a less busy night because the sushi and service were so fantastic."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Originally from San Francisco, still in search of an authentic Japanese restaurant with oshibori towels and seating where you take your shoes off and sit on a bench with cushions (normally private rooms or sectioned off with screens) Does it exist here ? Food was very good, presentation nice but not the best, I have seen better in other Japanese restaurants. Gave it a try since the write up in the paper, again very good but would not go out of my way to dine here again. Many Japanese restaurants closer to where I live. Service was great."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "So great! So happy to find a place that reminds me of LA sushi!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We went to try Chef Park's sushi---it certainly was wonderful. We were amazed, however, at how many different Asian fusion menu items there were to choose from in addition. We have found an excellent restaurant for us to go to for our "sashimi fix", but one that will also please our friends who do not eat fish at all. We will go often! We would have given a higher mark for service but we tried this restaurant the night after an excellent review in the newspaper. As you would expect, the place was packed. We had made a reservation and were seated promptly. All of the servers were courteous and working very hard. They just had too many people---most nights they would have been able to have paced themselves better."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Tried this Japanese restaurant after reading a positive review in the local newspaper. While the food was good, the experience was only average since the staff was inadequate in number and in training. All very pleasant, greeted every new customer at the door, but seemed limited in their knowledge of and ability to make recommendations regarding the available dishes. Most all of the preparation seems to fall to the single chef which would be fine if this was only a sushi bar or had only few tables but this restaurant had too many tables to be served by the current chef and wait staff in a timely and orderly fashion. Also the traditional green tea arrived as one tea bag with a pot of water for two guests."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "This place had amazing sushi and associated dishes however it took entirely too long to get our food and nothing came out together. We got pieces of our meal at the time and no two people were eating at the same time. I took my family of four and none of us ate together. It took 3 hours from sit down to paying for the check and that was with no alcohol. They need more servers and more chefs. But again food and sushi were top notch if you are willing to wait and be patient."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "First time visiting Kanpai and I was glad to see some Korean dishes on the menu. It is a nice mix of Japanese and Korean. I had an appetizer of Gozya which was delicious, brought me back to being out in the Honch in Yokosuka Japan. For my main course I had Kimche Udon which was a splendid blend of seafood to include mussels, full shrimp, scallops and squid ( or maybe baby octopus). Overall the experience was great but the servers were two very young girls that seemed to not have much experience. They handed you straws that were already out of the packaging which I thought was a little on the non hygienic side the one also handed me a fork with her hand on the part where I would eat from. Made me think twice about how clean everything was."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "It was a first date with a Really awesome girl. I suggested sushi, and she loved it. I had never been to Kanpai, but Chef Park is a legend in this town. The food takes the place to incredible levels. Service could have been a little more knowledgeable, but seemed very genuine. Lighting could be a little dimmed in the evening hours, but overall a major success. Thanks, Chef and staff!"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "We've visited Kanpai many times and have yet to be disappointed. Chef Sean Park is always friendly and has created an incredible menu. Try not to order the same thing twice!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Food was really good, we thoroughly enjoyed it! The only downside is the decor and atmosphere of the restaurant leave a lot to be desired. But Chef Sean makes up for it with his fabulous food!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Pan Asian ...amazing sushi, gyoza, tempura made in heaven. This is not your average take on Japanese food. Chef was a warm and friendly presence. Decor- hardly any , but it is spotless. Service- friendly and competent. It is the food that takes Kanpai to the five star level."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "This was great food , fabulous service, nice caring people and fun clientele. The chef came out and spoke with us and we felt very appreciated and welcomed. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday. The sushi /sashimi boat was so good! The seafood bowl with big noodles had a flavor not to miss! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐➕➕➕➕➕"
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Chef Sean Park did a fantastic job on our sushi dinner! We started out the meal with the truffle edamame and it was definitely the BEST edamame I've ever had. I licked every single edamame pod after I ate out the beans from the middle. So tasty! We then enjoyed some of the Kanpai buns which were fantastic - meat and kimchee wrapped in a puffy pita shaped shell. Finally the sushi - it was really good quality fish, and the combinations were really creative. We enjoyed a mix of tempura and raw sushi and it was all delightful. I cannot highly enough recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "I first discovered Kanpai this summer. I just knew there had to be great sushi in Mt Pleasant without heading into Charleston. WOW. Luckily after some research I came across Kanpai. So happy I did. This trip I took my husband. Spicy tuna with no mayo, hibiscus scallops, and it goes on and on.... and did I mention his wife makes incredible desserts??? Go and get the pumpkin spring rolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still dreaming of them."
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "Don't miss Kanpai! It's tucked away in a little shopping center in Mount Pleasant and well worth finding. Chef Sean Park is an amazingly talented chef (you may remember him from O-Ku) - his food is outstanding. We tried a little bit of everything - my husband had the miso soup and I had a Japanese squash soup that was out of this world. We also sampled the pork bun, a few sushi rolls, and a shrimp and apple salad. Everything was fabulous!! Chef's family all pitches in at the restaurant making for a charming family atmosphere."
    Dined on 10/8/2013
  • "Visit Kanpai for wonderful sushi and great Korean food. The chef/owner, most recently led the kitchen and designed the menu at the award winning O-ku. His sushi is perfection. The many Korean dishes are excellent, very fresh and light. The only challenge was the service. It was very slow. That said, we can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "I hope that customers in Mt Pleasant/Charleston will discover Chef Sean Park. Wonderful person, wonderful chef. The sushi was super fresh and each piece was served with pride. Very innovative pairings and priced nicely."
    Dined on 7/24/2013
  • "I took a quick trip to Mt Pleasant last week with my daughter. When we get the chance to go out to dinner just the two of us we search for great sushi. Persistence paid off! We found Kanpai...the chef took over this restaurant (however keeping the previous owners restaurant name) about 4 months ago. The little plaza was a bit dodgy looking but we went inside. Immediately welcomed by Chef Sean Park and his family. Only few tables occupied. We asked about some items and he suggesting doing a tasting menu. Everything was AMAZING. He takes so much time and pride to his work. The 8 different pieces of sushi each came with a little topping made to go specifically with that fish. WOW WOW WOW. A MUST try."
    Dined on 7/25/2013