I am not surprised that The New York Times food critic wrote a scathing review of Ninja New York. Ninja is a Japanese ninja-themed restaurant in TriBeCa. Unless you have experienced the hell that is a Chuck E. Cheese or similar, you will not appreciate how high up in the children’s theme restaurant scale Ninja New York truly is.
Ninja is a kid-friendly restaurant that isn’t specifically geared for kids. My children loved Ninja! It was not only dinner but also entertainment.
We had a magician come to our table and do tricks. The waiters, dressed as ninjas, would jump out from behind doors and scare us. Their enthusiasm and good attitude was infectious.
The Japanese menu had a small section for the kids. Our children just ordered from the main menu. More importantly, adults are treated to an extensive beer/sake section. Certain dishes came with special effects such as edamame on a bed of dry ice.
The interior of the restaurant is set up as a medieval stone and timber Japanese village. We had our own little Japanese house which was nice for family conversation. You had a fair bit of privacy thanks to each table being an individual house.
Everyone discovered early that my kids don’t scare easily. Much to my children’s delight, I shrieked every time a ninja jumped out from behind a door. What can I say? I am used to whining at dinner time not yelping.
The kids were given assorted little treats and stickers which they liked. Our favourite gift were the fake knives that retract into their handle. We are still trying to figure out how best to use the knives as a Halloween prop.
We thought the food was expensive but fine. Sure you can get better Japanese food elsewhere especially in Manhattan. But you won’t get the theatrics at a ‘real’ Japanese restaurant. Don’t come here expecting fine Japanese dining. Unlike the pizza at a Chuck E. Cheese, the food at Ninja was actually edible.
Like the New York Times reviewer, adults will find the food disappointing and expensive. I would be too without my children in tow. We did see lots of adults only parties at the restaurant. In my opinion, Ninja is a dining experience that you should enjoy with the children.
Much like Disneyland, The Hard Rock Cafe, etc. Ninja New York is overpriced. You are paying for the whole Ninja New York experience. Like many theme restaurants, Ninja is expensive and perfect for a special event. We heard lots of ‘happy birthdays’ being sung. If you go in with an open mind and a big fat wallet, you will enjoy Ninja.
Ninja New York is located at 25 Hudson Street in Manhattan. Reservations are advised.