Benihana belongs to the Japanese chain of restaurants started by Rocky Aoki in 1964 in New York with more than 80 outlets throughout the world. Benihana refers to the red safflower, one of the ingredients in Japanese cuisine.
Its latest outlet in India is located in New Delhi's Epicuria Mall at Nehru Place. Parking is convenient since there is a dedicated space.
This concept restaurant exudes a global feel with its red and black interiors and low lighting in the lounge area. The open kitchen area is well-lit.
Since I opted for the hibachi-style menu, I had a 'handsome' chef at my disposal. He was pleasant, well-informed, and impeccably attired. His assistant server was also courteous and prompt.
Though the lounge menu has a great variety, from okonomiyaki to dimsums and tofu steaks, I had opted for the hibachi-style menu where I had to decide the main course only.
The USP of the place is that the meal is prepared in front of you by a knife-wielding chef at a teppanyaki table surrounded by a wooden eating surface in front of the guests (Teppan: steel grill, yaki: grilled or broiled).
The meal started with a Japanese Miso Onion Soup. This was a clear soup with layers of subtle but unmissable flavor of spring onions, chives, and browned onions. Following in quick progression was the crispy fresh lettuce salad with homemade fresh ginger dressing. From here, the chef took over the grill and he dramatically sliced onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and prawns, grilled them in soy oil and served them with flavorsome sauces.
For the mains, we tried the Teriyaki Chicken, the in-house special prawns in lemon butter dressing with a hint of garlic, and basa fish. Although every dish was delicious and perfectly cooked with just the right flavors, I'll give full marks (and more, if possible) to Chicken Teriyaki, which is probably one of the best I've ever had. The sweet and salty flavors of mirin, sake, and soy complemented the meat perfectly without overpowering it. The main course was served with a bowl of steamed rice and the chef cajoled me to try pouring little soy on the rice. It augmented the taste by several notches. The meal ended with the customary green tea. I did not order any dessert (not included in the hibachi meal).
Always on the lookout for a place that serves delicious yet healthy meal in a comfortable setting, Benihana did not disappoint. It was an awesome experience from the word go. Despite being an overcritical Virgo, I could not find any flaw in the interiors, food, service, and experience.Published On: Monday, July 20th, 2015