Cooking is a family affair at the newly opened Sun Teriyaki and Hibachi Restaurant in Livingston.
The Japanese restaurant specializes in serving meats and seafood cooked on a hibachi -a flat grill - and teriyaki - foods broiling and grilling in soy sauce, said Jade Tan, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Ronald Zhuang, his brother, Rong Gan Zhuang, and wife, Angelina Chen.
But what makes the food really special is everything is homemade, and the restaurant was specifically designed to be a take-out venue, Tan and Chen said in a recent interview conducted in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
"Everything is fresh, nothing is frozen," Chen said. All of the soups and sauces are made from scratch, Tan and Chen said.
Furthermore, the seafood dishes they serve - which include salmon and flounder - are made from fresh produce as well.
Chen said her husband, Ron Gan Zhuang, spent three years as a chef at the Kanamizu Japanese Restaurant in Medford and he brings his expertise to the Sun kitchen.
The Zhuang family, who live in Livingston, also has 12 years of experience running another restaurant; they have owned and operated the Lotus Oriental Cuisine, 444 Main St. in West Orange, which serves Chinese take-out food.
When the family decided to open a second restaurant, Tan said they decided to try Japanese food to provide a healthy alternative. She noted their cuisine is mostly grilled, they use very little oil and nothing contains MSG.
One specialty the restaurant offers is an earthy brown rice, which is also mixed with red rice and a little seaweed, Tan said. Other dishes served at the restaurant include tempura, which is lightly battered and fried, and yaki-udon, stir-fried noodles.
The family also purposefully designed their restaurant to be a take-out business when they renovated the former catering site, although customers can eat inside at several tables.
"Other places are just sit down (dining)," Tan said. "We want to feature fast food - it's easier, and the prices aren't as expensive."
The restaurant also provides delivery service and catering.
Sun Teriyaki and Hibachi Restaurant, located at 14 E. Mount Pleasant Ave., is open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (973) 992-7777.