The actual name is BenihaNa. Thanks Andrew!
So last night I was in New York with a friend (let’s call her Jane) and we ate at a hibachi restraurant called Benihana. Hibachi is a Japanese cuisine where they cook right in front of you while doing some neat tricks (i.e. flipping shrimp into their hats or people’s mouths). I haven’t been to one in a year, but from my experience last night, nothing has changed.
When we arrived, there was going to be a 30 minute wait which we weren’t happy with. But then the host didn’t want us to leave so he asked if 15 minutes was okay which it was. Overall, we only waited 3 minutes max. Score!
Our waitress was named May and she seemed kind of mean/scary. Good thing she only took our orders and brought us our drinks. Since Jane and I don’t eat much, we shared an appetizer and a meal: Beef Sashimi and Terriyaki Steak. Everyone else we had to share a table with ordered Hibachi Steak, Hibachi Scallops and Shrimp.
While we waited for our main course, a few pre-meal dishes came out. First was a mushroom miso soup that was steaming hot! After burning my tongue, I was actually able to taste the soup which was really good. It’s been so long since I’ve had any miso.
Next was salad with a special Japanese dressing. It’s a typical dressing that I have no idea what it’s made out of but it has a bitter sweet tangy taste to it. By now I was almost full which was bad because our beef sashimi came. Beef Sashimi is basically thin slices of raw meat that you can dip into the sauce they give you. It was also yummy but I was more concerned about getting e coli.
Right after our chef Pedro came (finally). He is Hispanic but for some reason he had a Japanese fob accent. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could speak Japanese, fluently. I was taking photos of the whole experience and Pedro was kind enough to pose a few times throughout the night.
After he gave us our sauces, he started cooking the shrimp, onions and zucchini. I’ve always had vegetables with my hibachi but never shrimp. Not that I’m complaining because I hate seafood. He busted out a few tricks here by making one of the shrimp dance and a volcano out of the onions. When the onion volcano exploded, an aroma filled the air that made me hungry all over again. Also, while he cooked the food he poured soy sauce over it and called it Japanese coca cola. I couldn’t stop laugh at this even though he said it quite a few times throughout the night.
Next he moved on to the main courses chicken fried rice, scallops, shrimp and steak. According to Jane, the scallops were the most beautiful scallops she’s ever seen. He didn’t do any tricks with the food but he did attempt to pour spices all over Jane who was sitting closest to the chef. He also made a heart out of the chicken fried rice. He finally served everyone their food which smelled and tasted excellent.
I was already really full by the time I got my food so I just shoved it all down as fast as I could. Jane and I both finished our food and we’re bloated by the end. I don’t know how we managed to drink the hot green tea at the end. We didn’t order any dessert so we left straight after. Overall the night was really fun but now I know why I only eat hibachi once in a blue moon.