Monday, February 14, 2011

My Benihana experience by proxy

A few days back I posted about Benihana opening up at the Avenues and
yesterday night I decided to pass by with Nat and try it out. The
service wasn't too bad for a restaurant that's just been open for a
few days and the staff were really friendly. The restaurant itself is
made up of islands and bars with a grill in the middle of each one.
You sit around the grill and the chef will come to your table and
prepare the food right in front of you which makes things
entertaining. It's actually why I prefer sitting at the bar in
Japanese restaurants in general, since you can talk to the chef and
watch them put your dish together. The problem with my experience last
night though was with the food, it was disappointing to say the least.
We ordered beef negimayaki for starters followed by an Orange Blossom
maki and a Hibachi Chicken. The negimaki arrived looking good and was
probably the best thing we had there even though I prefer Maki's
negimaki which has a richer teriyaki sauce. The Orange Blossom was
very ordinary, wouldn't order it again. Now the Hibachi chicken which
is basically grilled chicken, that was the worst. The chicken was very
chewy (I could swear it was undercooked if not raw) and tasted
terrible. Even after I had the chef add some more teriyaki sauce in
hopes of improving the taste it didn't work. I tried to dip it into
the sauces that came with the chicken but it was hard to figure out if
they were actually making things worse or not. Nat only ate one piece
of chicken and left the rest while I needed my protein since I'm on a
strict diet and forced myself to eat my whole plate (I can do that)
but the after taste was really bad. Even the rice and the veggies that
came with it tasted bad AND were under cooked. Once we left I
considered picking up a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry even though I
hate frozen yogurts but I just needed something to get rid of the
aftertaste. A few moments later we ended up at Chocolate Bar ordering
the gooey chocolate cake (bye bye diet).

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