I love Teppan-yaki and all things Japanese, and recently had the pleasure of dining at Benihana in Chelsea, in celebration of the restaurant’s 30th anniversary in London, hosted by Benihana CEO Keiko Ono Aoki.
The first Benihana restaurant was opened in 1964 in New York City, by Hiroaki “Rocky“ Aoki, the pioneer of “Teppan-yaki” dining, who was the first to commercialise the homestyle Japanese method of cooking on a hot plate. In each restaurant, a private chef is provided to every table, where the meals are served in several courses.
Since opening in Swiss Cottage 30 years ago in 1986 (closed in 2011), Benihana has firmly established their retro appeal, unchanged menus and flamboyant performances for diners in Piccadilly and Chelsea. Both prime locations locations are known to frequently host royalty and celebrities; Princess Diana was known to make regular visits for supper with the young princes to the original Swiss Cottage branch, and Michael Jackson and his entourage once took over the entire King’s Road restaurant on a visit to the Capital (!)
After being given a brief history of the restaurant, followed by the Kagami-wari sake barrel-breaking ceremony, we were seated for dinner in Rocky’s Room.
There were some pretty impressive performances from the World Teppan Champions, and I made sure that I kept my hair a safe distance away from the fire …
That evening, we were treated to Rocky’s Choice which is taken from the “Speciality Dinners” section of the menu:
Benihana Onion Soup, Salad with Ginger Dressing, Hibachi Vegetables, Prawn Appetiser & Steamed Rice, Hibachi Steak and Hibachi Chicken.
Plenty of theatrics were thrown in in between to keep us entertained, such as the ‘Onion Volcano’, ‘Dancing Shrimp’ and ‘I Love You Rice’.
We finished off with an indulgent chocolate cake – because what’s a birthday celebration without cake?
Rocky’s Choice £30 offer is available for 30 days from September 1st until 30th – just remember to mention “Benihana 30” to claim this offer.
And if you have kids under 10 who love a bit of art and creativity, why not let them have a go at the Kids Colouring Competition which is running throughout the month of September – the winner can invite up to 20 kids to have a party at Benihana (!)
Now only if I was _ _ years younger …
Check out their website for more information.
The Cheekster, signing out x