Let me start off by saying that I realize Benihana is a chain and some may even argue that it’s not “blog worthy”. However, nothing really beats a good hibachi experience and Benihana delivered.
Upon arrival the place was packed for a late Tuesday night dinner. The hostess informed us that everyone was cashing in on their birthday coupon. At first we didn’t really know what that meant. She handed someone in my party a birthday coupon and I still don’t think we ever figured out how to cash that in. Oddly enough my last memory of going to a Benihana was in California and it was for my BILs birthday. What is with Benihana’s and birthdays? Tonight was definitely birthday night as every table had a birthday song performance at least once and sometimes twice during our dinner service.
Of course no Japanese steakhouse experience, especially one at Benihana, is complete without the chef behind the big grille. I was happy to sit by someplace warm. After all, I was still in Cleveland during the coldest winter ever. I was a little nervous about our chef. He didn’t exactly have all the hand and eye coordination some seasoned chefs have. He made it through cooking our dinner without knocking anyone out, including himself. Needless to say I rested a little easier when he was done cooking.
Overall, it was good. The onion soup tasted more watery that I would have liked. The Japanese steakhouse sauce, which I’ve learned is just different from one place to another, was the best part of the meal. I ordered the hibachi seafood which included scallops, jumbo shrimp and calamari. The fried rice was the only thing I grabbed a photo of. I was very hungry, almost hangry, and basically ate as the food was cooked and placed on plate. I never shy away from a Japanese steakhouse so I’m certain this will not be the last one I go to.