Magical Dining Month, Venue Eleven (Benihana)

The plan was to have a teppanyaki dinner with my friend and her mother at Benihana. Her mother was not familiar with the type of dining, but we were. Last year, my friend and I went to the same location for Magical Dining and enjoyed it. As my friend saw the menu, she was surprised to see it was not the same as last year, when we had steak and lobster.

If you are not familiar with teppanyaki (or hibachi) in America, they cook on a large grill and make all the meals at once in stages. Usually, there are a few courses beforehand. The cooking is a show performed in front of you, and when the show is over, you should have a plate of food including rice or noodles, vegetables, and a protein. Because we were doing Magical Dining at Benihana, we had the option for hot green tea, sushi or nigiri, a salad, miso soup, a shrimp appetizer, fried rice, choice of one of three options for the protein (chicken, shrimp, or a combination of the two), and then a choice of dessert.

I opted for the green tea and water for my drink and the other two with me had soft drinks. There were supposed to be four of us and because there were only three we had an extra seat where all the additional items could be stored. With the shape of the table and me having two glasses, it was starting to get crowded on the table. Once they started bringing all the other items, it was just chaos.

Magical Dining Month, Venue Eleven (Benihana)
Green tea

I asked for nigiri which consisted of salmon, tuna, and yellowtail. My friend and her mother got the other option of California roll for the appetizer. When the salad came out, (I mentioned my allergy earlier – See FAQs) the chef saw that there was dressing on it. Apparently, their ginger dressing has ketchup in it. They brought a bare one out for me that I could put oil and vinegar on. (The pile of items on the table was building quick.) We were asked if we wanted sauce for the food, and I was not able to have any.

With all the other stuff on the table, the miso soup was added. Once we got the soup, the shrimp appetizer was started on the grill. Everything was cleared off, and the fried rice was prepared. I’m gonna skip most of the details of the rest of the meal except mention that most of the meat was overcooked. My friend asked how the steak was cooked a certain temp if everything else was overcooked. She is a fan of rare beef, and she would not have been happy if it came out medium.

As is usually the case, there was too much food and just enough to take home for a nice lunch.

Once the meal was finished, we were given our desserts. I asked for chocolate ice cream (I had the option of that, vanilla, or green tea). My friend and her mother opted for rainbow sherbet. The ice cream worked for me.

Magical Dining Month, Venue Eleven (Benihana)
Ice cream

Although I suggested we go to another place instead of Benihana this year, I think that might be in the cards for next year.

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