Genghis Grill 
Richmond has been without the twin sticks of Mongolian barbecue for sometime now. We had both experienced the cuisine before and had mixed results. It was with open minds that we went to Genghis Grill last week though. They opened up in a new strip mall out Short Pump way, only the day before we went.
The wait staff was numerous, almost a 1:1 ratio with customers by my estimation. We were escorted to our table and then handed off to a waiter who walked us through the menu. After being asked if we had been to a Genghis before (we hadn’t), he walked us over to the ingredients buffet and explained the process. Pick your protein, spices, veggies and sauce, all in a metal bowl. Take your bowl to the grill. A circular surface where a chef took our food, asked about food allergies (a plus) and set about cooking our “custom” dishes.
The whole process felt a bit over whelming. The staff was teetering on the edge of over attentive. They were constantly at the table and rolling quickly through well trained verse. The chefs would occasional bang a loud gong and light a thing on fire. We like to chat at lunch (see below) and the staff at Genghis seemed intent on drawing our attention to them instead. Most likely you could chalk it up to grand opening preparedness/jitters. Hopefully in a month or two everything will feel less intrusive.
Even with all of the wait staff attention we got, it was unclear to me (not to Ethan, he is tots smart!) that we had one shot at the bowl. For sub $10 that makes perfect sense, but not knowing that on the first go round I did not pile high the ingredients (see the pic above). I actually did so with the intent to go back and try something else. It was my assumption, based on my previous experience with Mongolian barbecue. So I can’t hold it against them. I would however pay a few bucks more to actually experiment with a dish of my own design.
Having one shot though, it is probably sound advice to build one of their pre-designed bowls. I went with the Citrus Beef with brown rice and Ethan had the Thai Chicken with udon noodles. We were warned by our waiter that the spicy spices were way spicy. So we each took it easy with them. I turned out to not be true, neither of us got the heat we expected/wanted. The taste was a bit tame for our us. Something that could easily be solved with some tweaking on our part.
I don’t know that that is our job though. We followed their design to a T and were underwhelmed. That said it seems like the decent place to go for a work lunch. They are quick, cheap and there are many options for many taste.