One of the nice things about Teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurants is that they allow diners to watch their food being cooked together as a group, whether it’s with friends or family.

Partyaki is a patent-pending, teppanyaki-style grill that allows consumers to duplicate the experience of a hibachi grill in their own homes. It’s modeled after the same professional grills typically seen in Japanese steakhouses, and is designed to help the user prepare the same kind of meals associated with such restaurants.

Its controls allow precise cooking temperatures, and it comes with a spatula, salt and pepper shakers, sauce squeeze bottles, chef hats, chopstick holders and two built-in hot pots that add a nabemono-style, communal dining experience to the mix, enabling guests to cook their own ingredients by dipping them into flavored broth. Partyaki ships in January at future pricing of about $499. But early bird Kickstarter backers can get one for a pledge starting at $249. Its maker hopes to raise $50,000 by March 28th.

A potential future infomercial star, Partyaki may appeal to many fans of hibachi restaurants. But there is no guarantee that it can provide the best part of the Teppanyaki dining experience—a skilled performance by the chef in which knives, shrimp tails and other items are routinely tossed in the air. Family members, friends and pets are advised to be cautious –- and maybe shield themselves — until the home chef masters that art or throws in the towel altogether.

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