I honestly thought Benihana was closed. I haven’t heard of it in a while and haven’t heard anyone mention its name in a long time. I happened to be in the area when I spotted it and thought, it’s unacceptable not to have Benihana on the site especially that it is one of the first Japanese restaurants in town and it’s a shame that I have not tried it yet.
In the heart of Hamra you’ll fine The Commodore Hotel and inside it is Benihana - both of which are by Boubess Group.
Enter the hotel lobby and get ready for the strong smell of garlic, fried noodles and eggs and everything in between. It’s intense.
Benihana is this restaurant with three big islands and two grills in each where Teppanyaki is prepared live in front of guests. Sit on high chairs and enjoy the grilling show of your orders on black marble, wooden… Enjoy the wall of stone where you’ll find three aquariums.
Welcomed by Lourdes, we were walked to our table, handed the clear menu with mouthwatering images… Our order of sparkling water followed as we chose what to eat.
The menu shows the countries where 13 Benihana restaurants are open.
The menu includes a selection of sashimi, sushi, makimono, do burn sushi, benihana special rolls, temaki, combinations and the white section, soups, salads, tempura, he sides, rice and more.
While nostalgic music from the eighties plays in the background. I liked the ambiance, the well-lit space and the kind waitresses…
Let's check the taste...
- With the teppanyaki you’ll get soup and a salad. A fresh plate of salad with a leaks and tomato, lettuce and cucumbers with a delicious sweet sauce called the Benihana dressing. Afterwards, the rolls started come one after the other.
- The vegetable tempura is light in color, juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It’s not oily or overcooked.
- Benihana rolls look like tear drops filled with rich ingredients - fresh nori, fresh fish, good salmon. The rice is well cooked and the plate is beautifully decorated. Light in color, crispy crisps and flavorful.
- The salmon skin temaki is exceptional. A crunchy nori leaf filled with cooked salmon skin served next to a bit of rice. I loved it. And all without soy sauce; I enjoy flavors without soy sauce and Benihana passed the test successfully.
- Salmon quality is indeed one of the best in town. I can smell the supplier. Rich salmon with little or no fat, not chewy but slides into your mouth in style.
- The crazy crispy is memorable! A big piece, good rice, crab, a juicy heart, crisps and decoration of crab sticks. This is a yummy order.
- Now was Teppanyaki show time. Daniel took the floor and managed to put a smile on our faces during the entire performance. Screams, acrobatics, fire and positive vibes. I won't miss the show if I were you I won't come here for sushi only but will make sure to order Teppanyaki. Prepare your cameras and start recording.
- Vegetable Teppanyaki with a cocktail of different vegetables followed by the Land and Sea order. Fun continued as he broke the egg, cooked the diced vegetables and mixed everything with rice. What adds flavor to the order of vegetables are the sesame and the different mixes of oil and soy sauce.
- Rice is delicious. A tasty and juicy rice mixed with sesame, bell pepper, fried eggs and carrots with a bit of onions and I surely asked be garlic to be removed. I finished my portions completely. Four prawns, 60 grams of meat, mushrooms, butter and soy sauce. Tender meat, lightly crunchy prawns in their salty soy sauce, a generous portion for two.
- Coming here is fun, an experience more than just having simple food. Ask for Daniel, the master of the Teppanyaki grill.
- Food is tasty.
- Prices are reasonable.
- Service is good.
Surely and definitely the ugly plastic leaves used as separators between rolls. Benihana considered as a high end Japanese should find alternatives to those when almost all others did.
Expect to see Benihana on my next Top 10 List of best sushi places in Lebanon.