We come here for the sushi -- always very fresh -- but also love some of the non-sushi items. One of our favorites is the warm mushroom salad. In terms of the sushi, my daughter's favorite is the eponymous Kakui roll which is rolled in cucumber. I'm a fan of the not-so-traditional Alicia roll which sports a slice of jalapeño on the top covered with a dollop of sauce that is then scorched with a blow-torch. Kakui is not inexpensive, but when it comes to sushi you get what you pay for.
We love Kakui. We go there often, and think it is one of the only decent places to eat in Montclair. When they first opened, the service was spot-on. It has seemed to decline. We went there on Mother's Day, and the service was beyond awful. It took 15 minutes for anyone to even talk to us. We said we would order drinks and food all right then (we were hoping to have a quick dinner).....after 10 minutes, the food started to arrive, but no drinks. I had to ask a different server to check on our drinks, and ask again for waters. We were half way through the food when we finally got waters and my sake - they forgot my husband's beer. They forgot one of the miso soups. We kept having to ask the other server for help, she was picking up the slack. Our server deserved zero tip (we did tip), and my husband has vowed to never go back. I suggest that the restaurant work on their service if they want to stay open. I should add that I saw people come to the door that had reservations, wait, and end up leaving.
Don't miss the seaweed salad, or the special sauce for dipping the gyoza (unlike any I've had elsewhere). My only regret is that they never bring enough wasabi on the first pass.
For 3, we ordered the tuna tower, mixed sashimi, rack of lamb, raider's roll, and kakui roll--a California style "Japanese" meal. All were fresh, flavorful and worth their price. $10 corkage fee is a nice plus--not mentioned on the web site. $120 including tip. Not a bargain, not overpriced.
We had a variety of items - each one delicious and artfully arranged. Make a reservation!
Food is consistently good but service can be an adventure. Strange things always happen. This time the restaurant said they had no record of our reservation even though I showed them the Open Table confirmation on my phone. Our food came out nicely paced which is usually NOT the case.
The atmosphere was above average and stylish, and the servers friendly. Unfortunately, they forgot part of our order, which never came, and the vegetable dishes were over-seasoned and tasted mainly of soy. The menu is creative and more varied than a typical Japanese restaurant, and the sashimi and sushi was fresh. This could be a real go-to place, but they need to improve their performance.
I've been here several times over the last couple of years. The head chef there, In Ju take great pride in his work, and it shows. Ambience is dark and unusual for a Japanese restaurant. The fish is very fresh, the cuts are generous, and they offer a great selection of sake. Service is friendly and attentive.
the food was excellent, the server was attentive and super gracious to our 2 and 6 year old. I would definitely call this an adult restaurant but they were incredibly kid friendly.
Made reservation for dinner for 2 but were given sushi bar seats. they said bar seat count is included in the Open table system but I don't believe it can't imagine them saying this to a party of 3+. Food is fantastic.
Dined with my husband fri, 12Dec. The mixed tempura was light and crispy, roasted cauliflower comforting and the porkbelly layered with daikon super awesome.....service needs a little more smiles and enthusiasm to reflect the wonderful food. Will be back.!
Always the best sushi I've had in years in california , so lucky its in our neighborhood!
Been here for lunch several times, first time for dinner and it was great. Started with tuna tower, mixed tempura, unaugi, pork belly, and black cod. Everything well presented
Great food, whether sushi, sashimi, or a full entree. Knowledgeable waitstaff and a great place to taste sake. No one rushes you, the waitstaff is attentive but not obvious, and you can always expect good food.
Great service, lovely setting and excellent sushi. We left it up to Sushi Chefs to put together a platter for two. All items were fresh and delicious. Especially liked the butterfish. First time visit and I'll be back!
We go to Kakui frequently. The food is delicious, staff are friendly and efficient, the seating is comfortable, and the decor is simple but elegant. Additionally we can sit outside or semi-outside. However, mostly it's the food. It's great and the menu changes occasionally to include new items. Love it.
Servers distracted, sloppy (spills), forgot requests. Ribs and teriyaki overdone, lackluster. Nigiri good.
I had been to Kakui many times in the past year, and this was BY FAR the WORST service EVER. I asked for a fork and ended up having to get it myself after waiting 10 minutes My guest asked for a knife, and again, I had to get it myself after waiting 10 minutes. Our server took forever to take out initial order and was absent most of the service, except when it was time to present us the bill. I'll go back, but if the service is this poor again, I will be done. So sad when an excellent restaurant had bad service.
Fabulous sushi - absolutely fresh and delicious - one of the best anywhere. And the only fabulous restaurant in Montclair Village.
The food has always been excellent, but there are too many problems that stem from poor management of the kitchen. It wasn't that they ran out of food while we were there, it was they didn't have it in the first place and neglected to tell the waitstaff. They didn't have wakame, pork belly or lamb, and who knows what else. Our nigiri and sushi rolls trickled out of the kitchen and took over an hour to eventually get all our dishes - and we had to ask for the last two. We complained to the manager about all the problems with service, who was apologetic, but full of excuses. We did get 20% taken off our bill, which was appreciated. Hopefully communication between the kitchen and waitstaff will improve.
Wonderful place for lunch. Sashimi and sushi with the meso (sp?) was delicious and first rate, ....and very reasonable.
The earliest reservation we could get on open table was at 8. We made great time and got there a half hour early. Thought well we will ask. There was a four spot open. The hostess was pretty curt and dismissive in saying "we can't seat you til 8." My teen kids were like "wow she was pretty mean about it." So we left and sat in our car 1/2 hour. When we came back, we were shown to THE EXACT SAME TABLE! My husband said "so you couldn't seat us 1/2 hour early?!" and the waitress (a different person) said "oh no they just left." Yeah right, a party of four arrived, ate and left within 45 minutes....! We are not stupid people. I hate being lied to and this is an establishment we frequent like six times a year so I thought that was kind of lame.
The rolls were creative and fresh. The presentation was exceptional.
We always enjoy our meals at Kakui, friendly knowledgable service, interested cooks, very fresh fish.
Best sushi in town. All the dishes rare served in amazing stye. The plates are beautiful.
Kakui is no just the best Sushi restaurant in Montclair, it is the best restaurant in Montclair! With three Sushi establishments, Kakui has the most innovative and fresh food. I wouldn't consider one of its competitors.
i've been here many times before but this time was the least appealing. the brussels sprouts were oily (with a pool of oil at bottom) and not crispy; the rolls were average (but could also have been because my dining partner was pregnant so we couldn't get anything that wasn't cooked); and the soft-shelled crab in the spider roll, one of my favorites, was so thick and over-fried with batter, it didn't even taste like soft-shelled crab. kakui enjoys being the better of the two sushi restaurants in the village but if they want to keep their clientele, they need to produce consistently good food -- not have such an off-night as this.
As usual, the food at Kakui was really tasty. The server staff seemed off and not able to read the customer(me). I think it is my time in Europe but picking up a plate without asking just seems inappropriate. Amazing sauce on the plate and the server was taking it. WAIT! Then the plates kept coming so fast! When we sat down we told them we're chillin'.. bring us our food slowly.
Even after hinting about the empty water glass the waiter didn't get it until the end. Too late. I hate being rushed to eat so that a table can be turned. I'm more likely to give a bigger tip with good service and if you let me enjoy my food with minimal interaction but don't forget to check the fluids.
As usual sushi was fabulous. The wine is a great price and the Sake flights are really good. We always try to try something new this time it was crispy tofu in dashi broth, excellent.
The food was tasty and beautifully presented. Service was slow and amateurish. We have had better service here in the past, so maybe it was an off night.
It had been a while since I was here, and the food was fabulous. The wine was less than stellar (incl selection) and service was just okay. We waited forever for our nigiri, which came about 30 min after we'd finished everything else. I also would have liked to have known before we sat down at an outside table that the heat lamp was broken, for I was freezing for the last hour of our dinner. But the food is very good.
After a decent dinner at Kakui a while back so decided to try lunch. The kale in miso was very tasty (more like a soup, actually) but that was the highlight. Asked for white rice and it was spoiled; they gave us another bowl and that was also off (we're Asians, so we eat and cook a whole lot of rice every week--this rice was starting to go). That made me dubious about my katsu-donburi which otherwise looked fine--I ate the meat and veggies, but left the rice alone. What bothered us most was that spouse ordered the hamachi platter...and got escolar. We weren't 100% sure until we got home and checked, but nope, what he got was pure white with pink edge--definitely not hamachi, which costs more than escolar. We will not be returning here.
The service has never been great here but when I took my husband there for his birthday dinner on Tuesday it was horrible. First we were ignored at the door for about 10 minutes even though there were empty tables and we had a reservation. Then our waitress didn't seem to know we were there for another 15 minutes. I wanted to walk out but we were hungry and my husband enjoys their food so we stayed. Once we got service it wasn't bad but front of the house service was awful.
Once again the sushi was wonderful. I keep trying new items on the menu and have not had anything that was served beautifully plated but also delicious.
Food is usually quite good although this lunch was an exception. The service is always terrible here.
My family's current favorite sushi bar. The waiters know our orders, before we say them. Very nice waiters, great Sushi. Tempura is light and fresh tasking, chicken karabe and teriyaki are great. Good wine list, plus many varieties of sake. The rolls are big and seem like a bargain, considering the quality. Highly recommended.
Comfortable and very good food. A true local find.
The sushi was fabulous as usual this time the service was excellent.
Great ambiance and great sushi everytime. The owner/sushi chef is always present and ensuring a great meal for his customers. Very friendly and accomadating staff.
We've had mixed experiences here in the past but our last visit was nice. There seems to be a difference in service if you make a reservation versus just dropping in. When we've had reservations, service has been great; no reservations and poor service seems to follow. The meal, however, is always very good.