Benihana is proud to support our neighbors in each of the communities we serve.

One of our Company’s missions is to Engage and Enhance our Community. And these difficult times have certainly provided our valued team members with the rewarding opportunity to provide donations of our delicious food to a variety of our neighboring medical facilities, first responders and other local heroes.

Recently, NYU Langone received a donation from our Edison, NJ restaurant and were kind enough to text us a thank you message. In addition, our four northern California restaurants donated to both Sutter Hospital and Martinez Hospital.  The staff and patients were thrilled to receive our meals and so very appreciative!

We have a number of donations happening in the days ahead and we will continue to post the pictures here for everyone to enjoy.

Arigato!

READ MORE STORIES

Benihana hosts Big Brothers Big Sisters for special lunch

Benihana celebrated the opening of its new restaurant in North Bay Village / Miami Beach by hosting a special lunch for Big Brothers Big Sisters “BBBS” of Miami on January 26, 2020 in honor of  National Mentoring Month. This event was truly significant because members of the BBBS Miami community were the last guests to dine in the 47-year old Benihana restaurant before it was torn down and rebuilt. Benihana is committed to engaging and enhancing the community and has proudly been a destination for families to gather for over 55 years, making the partnership with BBBS a perfect fit.

 

Benihana and BBBS Miami have fostered a meaningful and rewarding relationship and look forward to celebrating many more milestones in the future.

 

Arigato!

Benihana Comes Home To North Bay Village-Miami Beach

BENIHANA® COMES HOME TO NORTH BAY VILLAGE / MIAMI BEACH NEW AND BETTER THAN EVER
Restaurant Opens with Iconic Teppanyaki Dining, Contemporary Sushi Lounge, Open Air Bar, Patio and Beautiful Waterfront Views on Thursday, January 30th

AVENTURA, FL – January 28, 2020 The iconic Benihana® in North Bay Village / Miami Beach is opening a brand new restaurant on the original site. Located on the 79th Street Causeway between Miami Beach and Biscayne Blvd., the restaurant was a long-time favorite for locals and visitors alike who enjoyed Benihana’s signature Japanese Teppanyaki and sushi menu. On Thursday, January 30th, it officially opens at 11:30 a.m. in a brand new building that offers contemporary styling, expanded space indoors and out, and limitless water and skyline views.

To celebrate the grand opening, Benihana hosted a special lunch for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami on January 26 in honor of January’s National Mentoring Month.

“Maximizing the stunning views was one of our goals for our all-new Benihana,” said Benihana Chief Executive Officer and President, Tom Baldwin. “We also wanted to update our design to couple the unique, modern character of Miami and the traditional atmosphere guests have come to know and love from our Benihana brand.”

Our new Benihana opens just in time for Miami to host the upcoming 54th annual “Big Game” weekend, and boasts nearly 10,000 square feet of dining space that includes 20 teppanyaki tables and an inviting sushi lounge. An exciting new addition is an indoor-outdoor cocktail bar and patio that offers breathtaking views of beautiful Biscayne Bay and neighboring skylines. In total, the new Benihana seats 267 guests — each will have amazing waterfront views – a characteristic that is surprisingly rare among Miami-area restaurants.

“Miami waterfront views are one of the most popular requests among diners,” continued Baldwin. “Our North Bay Village / Miami Beach restaurant is a one-of-a-kind location that not only delivers on spectacular scenery, but also delights guests with our iconic, performing chefs and our delicious, high-quality menu items.”

The restaurant will be open Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday until 11 p.m.), Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Happy Hour is Monday Through Thursday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Guests may contact the restaurant directly at 305-866-2768 or may make reservations through www.benihana.com. Guests can also enjoy the delicious Japanese cuisine at home, at work, or on the go with Benihana online ordering through their website or by downloading the Benihana app.

“We proudly served Miami and Miami Beach guests for close to 50 years in this location,” finished Baldwin. “We are now proud to unveil a new Benihana to serve for the next 50 years and beyond!”

Phoenix Suns and Benihana Ra Sushi Unveil New Concession in Talking Stick Resort Arena

New Concession in Talking Stick Resort Arena

The All-New Offering Is the First Teppanyaki Concession in Arizona and Features a Broad Menu of Unique Japanese Cuisine and Sake

 

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns have teamed up with Benihana, the nation’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired teppanyaki and sushi restaurants to bring an all-new dining experience to fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Opening last night and located on the main concourse near Section 121, the new Benihana in the arena is the first teppanyaki concession in Arizona, joining an exclusive group of locations at select sporting and concert venues across the country.

 

“We are proud to join our Benihana and RA Sushi brands with the Phoenix Suns, Talking Stick Resort Arena and Levy Premium Food Service. Because we all share a strong commitment to fine quality food and entertainment, Talking Stick Resort Arena provides the perfect partnership and environment,” said Benihana Chief Executive Officer and President, Tom Baldwin.

 

Visitors to Talking Stick Resort Arena can enjoy a menu of fresh and made-to-order Benihana favorites of hibachi, yakisoba, poke bowls, sushi rolls, Kirin Ichiban beer and exclusive TYKU Benihana Sake, a special edition Japanese spirit only available at Benihana restaurants.

 

Much like a classic Benihana restaurant, the Talking Stick Resort Arena concession will feature traditional teppanyaki with signature performing chefs for visitors to enjoy. Additionally, the menu will showcase Benihana’s most popular dishes, including signature Hibachi steak, chicken and shrimp, and Japanese Yakisoba and sushi–providing fans with elevated culinary options and a unique opportunity to experience the Benihana and RA Sushi brands up close and personal on game day. A full list of available menu items is below.

 

  • Edamame: Steamed soybeans sprinkled with sea salt.
  • Hibachi Bowls: Served on a bed of Hibachi Chicken Rice with choice of homemade ginger or mustard sauce.
    • Hibachi Steak: Grilled New York Strip steak and mushrooms
    • Hibachi Shrimp: Hibachi shrimp grilled to perfection.
    • Hibachi Chicken: Chicken breast and mushrooms grilled with butter and sesame seeds.
  • Yakisoba Bowls: Japanese sautéed noodles and mixed vegetables in special Benihana sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Available with steak, shrimp or chicken.
  • Ra’ckin Fried Rice: A Benihana classic. Grilled chicken, rice, egg and chopped vegetables with garlic flavored butter.
  • Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl: Ahi tuna, cucumber and avocado in poke sauce on a bed of rice and topped with sesame seeds.
  • Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl: Salmon, cucumber and avocado in poke sauce on a bed of rice and topped with sesame seeds.
  • Sushi Rolls: California Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll, Avocado Roll, Salmon Avocado Roll, Vegetable Roll.
    • Sakura Sushi Entrée: Three tuna rolls, two salmon rolls, two yellowtail rolls and one California roll. Served with fresh ginger and wasabi.
    • Harumi Sushi Entrée: Three tuna rolls, two salmon rolls, two yellowtail rolls and one spicy tuna roll. Served with fresh ginger and wasabi.

 

Images of the new location and menu items can be downloaded HERE

Indulge Your Crave at Benihana with the Perfect Pairings

At Benihana, we’ve always believed that good meals become great when paired with the perfect complement. When food is paired with the right drink, it can truly elevate the dining experience by complementing or contrasting just enough to bring out the highest flavor potential of a dish.

benitini

For the past 55 years, we have worked very hard to ensure we always offer our guests a full-sensory dining experience from start to finish. This includes having the right collection of premium spirits, custom cocktails, wine, sake and beer available to accompany each entrée and provide the most balanced and flavorful meal possible.

Sake-Flight

We recently shared the top 55 reasons we’re able to ignite the Benihana crave within our guests and among those reasons is our collection of pairings. Follow these pairings as a guide next time you visit Benihana and we assure you, you’ll unleash the Benihana crave and will be coming back for more.

fried rice+beer

  1. White Wine and Seafood. Seafood has very light, delicate flavors, which means it needs a light drink pairing. White wines are an ideal match, as they mirror the light flavors of seafood and provide a refreshing palate cleanser between bites.
  2. Beer and Sushi. Japanese lagers tend to pair very well with sushi. These light-bodied beers are crisp and clean, which make them ideal for complementing multiple types of specialty sushi rolls.
  3. Sake and Sashimi. Sake comes in a few varieties, but all tend to pair well with different kinds of sashimi.
  4. Red Wine and Steak. A hearty steak has strong flavor, which calls for a full-bodied wine to accompany it.
  5. Tuna and Cold Sake. Tuna’s mild refreshing tones pair well with a refined, mellow cold sake like the Dassai 50 (Junmai Dai Ginjo from Yamaguchi).
  6. Yellowtail and Crisp Sake. Yellowtail, with its creamy, fatty texture and more assertive flavor profile, pairs well with a dry, crisp sake, like the Suigei (Tokubetsu Junmai from Kochi).
  7. Salmon and Mild Sake. Salmon has a smooth, fatty texture that pairs well with a milder Junmai, like the crisp, elegant Kikusui (Junmai Ginjo from Niigata).
  8. Shrimp and Balanced Sake. Shrimp isn’t particularly fatty, so it pairs well with a balanced and elegant sake, like the Shizumu-No-Mai (Junmai Gingo from Akita).
  9. Eel and Umami-Rich Sake. Eel pairs well with an umami-rich sake with a higher acidic level and slight sweetness, like our Benihana Hot Sake (Junmai).
  10. Japanese Infusion. We separate ourselves from average cocktail offerings by incorporating traditional Japanese ingredients like yuzu, plum liqueurs and sake, all of which help to create new flavor dimensions for those looking to explore innovative drink options and provide the perfect complement to Japanese flavors in our cuisine.

 

 

Sharable and Pairable: Limited Time Menu Options at Benihana

Hear that? Love is in the air. So is the sizzle of the teppanyaki grill at Benihana.

For 55 years, Benihana has served as host to life’s most significant celebrations. From first dates to engagements and anniversaries, we’ve seen our loyal customers’ beating hearts grow right in front of our eyes.

To show our appreciation to our favorite loved-ones, we’ve introduced sharable and pairable limited-time menu options, available now through May 13, perfect for date-night.

Flowers They Actually Want: One Cocktail, Two Straws

Special occasions call for special hydration. Benihana translates to “Red Flower” in Japanese, and while you may be tempted to give your date roses, give them a Red Flower you can both enjoy. The ‘Red Flower’ punch bowl is made for sharing. Handcrafted and blended with fresh ingredients, this cocktail was created to be enjoyed without overpowering. Its lightness compliments most all of our dishes, making it pairable no matter what you and your date order. Make it a true celebration by adding a bottle of La Marca Prosecco!

 

The Perfect Pair: Compliment your Complements

Now, you don’t have to choose between surf and turf. Customize your special night with Entrée Complements including fresh, high-quality lobster tail, scallops and shrimp. It doesn’t stop at hibachi; if you’re on a roll, these options complement our fresh sushi selection as well. The best part? Our dishes are prepared directly in front of you, so you can see (and adjust) the flavors and ingredients as it’s made. Just ask your chef. If you’re looking to wine and dine, pair your glass of vino with these complements:

 

Red: H3 Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep berry flavors lead to a soft tannin cocoa finish. Try it with our USDA hibachi steak options.

White: Sauvignon Blanc – Fruit and a crisp acidity make it ideal for sushi. Try it with our Shrimp Lover’s Roll.

Rose All Day: Rose is the most versatile, opening up the senses. Try it with salmon or hibachi, it’s the ultimate compliment.

 

Happy Hour: It’s Heating up

Cozy up to your date with Benihana’s award-winning signature sake. Our #1-selling item for your #1. Served hot in Japanese ceramic and brewed specially in Berkley, CA, our signature sake will open your senses and warm your heart. Make the evening even sweeter with flavor infusion shots of black raspberry, apple, banana or ginger.

 

Sense a crave? To make a reservation, visit https://www.benihana.com/reservations/

 

55 Reasons to Indulge Your Benihana Crave

For the past 55 years, our guests have come to Benihana for some of their most special and significant moments. From birthdays to graduations to engagements and anniversaries, we’ve been at the center of it all. And while our guests may have started coming to our restaurant as a destination to celebrate these monumental moments, a crave was born from that first visit that keeps our guests coming back for more.

chef-teppan

At Benihana, we pride ourselves on our use of hand-selected, high-quality ingredients. From our fresh vegetables, to our sauces made from scratch, to the USDA Choice cuts of beef we hand-cut on premise, our chefs spend hours preparing and ensuring every ingredient meets our high standards.

It’s our dedication to these high standards and the expert craftsmanship of our talented Teppanyaki chefs that make the Benihana experience unlike any other. We provide a high-energy, entertaining dining event that excites the senses and gives our guests reasons to celebrate, every day of the year.

filet mignon+chopsticks

As we celebrate our own very special occasion this year, our 55th Anniversary, we curated the top 55 reasons we have been able to ignite the Benihana crave within our guests, time after time after time. While there are endless reasons to indulge your Benihana crave, here is our collection of favorites that sets our restaurant experience apart from any other.

What’s the reason you indulge your Benihana crave?

  1. USDA Choice is our Choice. We serve USDA Choice to make sure your steak is tender, juicy and flavorful.
  2. Let it Rest. After grilling our meats, we always let them rest before slicing to ensure the meat is at its juiciest and most flavorful.
  3. Fresh Flavors Every Day. We create our sauces daily from scratch.
  4. Ginger Addiction. For our ginger sauces, we bring in fresh ginger each morning, then peel, grate and mash it ourselves to achieve the highest flavor potential.
  5. Perfect Conditions. Our teppanyaki chefs present our guests with the meat before it hits the grill so they can see the condition.
  6. Full of Flavor. Every cut of meat we use is lean, tender and full of flavor, making it ideal for grilling.
  7. Hand-Cut on Premises. We hand-cut each piece of chicken and steak so we can inspect each cut prior to serving our guests and ensure we are providing the best piece possible.
  8. 28-Day Aging Process. The aging process helps to preserve the flavor and juiciness without adding preservatives.
  9. Simple Preparation. Because our steaks are high quality, we prepare them very simply, in order to allow the natural flavors to shine.
  10. Homemade Staples. Our onion soup has been a homemade specialty since the restaurant first opened in 1964.
  11. Fresh from the Start. We prepare our salad with fresh vegetables, including crisp greens, red cabbage, carrots and grape tomatoes, all tossed in our homemade ginger dressing.
  12. A Traditional Ending. In keeping with Japanese tradition, we serve hot green tea at the end of each meal.
  13. Sweet Treats. Our six-course meals include ice cream or sherbet for dessert.
  14. California-Grown Rice. Our rice is grown in California. Once the rice is mature, each grain is carefully harvested to ensure it is perfect, tender and fluffy when it’s cooked by our chefs.
  15. Japanese-inspired cream sauce. Our Yum Yum sauce is prepared daily from scratch. The result is a fresh sauce with just the right balance of garlic and smoky spice notes.
  16. Spicy Customization. Our dishes are prepared directly in front of you so you can see (and adjust) the level of spice as it’s made.
  17. Fresh New Flavors. We’re always innovating and adding new cocktails to our menu. Try any of our limited-time offerings to explore fresh new flavors.
  18. Full Range of Flavors. Each entrée is served as a 5-course meal giving guests a full range of flavor profiles to satisfy every crave.
  19. The experience at Benihana is unlike any other. A high-energy, entertaining dining event excites the senses and culminates into a delicious meal.
  20. Dinners Worth Celebrating. We’re there to celebrate every occasion with you and will even send you a treat for your birthday when you sign up for our Chef’s Table program.
  21. Sweet, Delicate Flavor. We remove the lobster from its shell at the grill and prepare with melted butter and a hint of lemon juice for a naturally sweet, delicate flavor.
  22. Locked-In Freshness. Our sea scallops come from Canada’s George’s bank, just off the coast of Nova Scotia. Once caught, they are immediately shucked and frozen within 45 minutes, guaranteeing their freshness is locked-in when they arrive at our restaurants.
  23. Golden Perfection. Our scallops sear to a perfect golden color because they have a lower moisture content than most other scallops. We cook them by giving them a quick sear to ensure they won’t dry out. The result is a mouthwatering natural, sweet and briny flavor.
  24. Fresh Taste of the Sea. Our lobsters are sourced from the cold waters of the northern Atlantic, along the shores of Maine, known for producing the best-tasting lobsters in the world.
  25. Tender and Flavorful. After lobsters arrive in our kitchen, we prepare them by steaming to ensure the meat is tender, flavorful and cooked evenly.
  26. It Starts at the Source. We use only saku, AAA cut blocks of tuna, meaning the meat is fresh, moist and the highest-quality steak available on the market.
  27. Delicate Texture. We serve our tuna medium rare to bring out the bright red color of the fish and ensure tenderness. We then add a sesame seed crust to protect the tuna from overheating and give it a crunch to complement the tuna’s delicate texture.
  28. The Ocean’s Greatest Treasures. Our Ocean Treasure entrée gets its name because we believe it is just that – the greatest treasures from the ocean in the form of some of the best seafood: lobster, shrimp and scallops.
  29. Sushi for Everyone. Not all sushi is raw, either. We offer an extensive selection of cooked rolls to enjoy.
  30. Healthy Options. Our fresh nigiri provides a healthy meal of fish and steamed rice at only 40 to 160 calories per piece while sashimi is just about 25 calories per piece.
  31. Let us be your Guide. Sushi is the opening act to the full Benihana experience and our experts are on hand (and right in front of you) to guide you through every step of the way.
  32. Popular Rolls. Our most popular sushi options include the Spider Roll featuring soft shell crab and the Shrimp Crunchy Roll featuring tempura shrimp.
  33. Palate Cleanser. Ginger plays a very important role in the sushi experience. Not only does it provide some serious health benefits, but it cleanses your palate between different kinds of sushi.
  34. Sushi isn’t just a dish; it’s an art form. Our sushi classes allow guests to dive into how sushi is made, the interplay of ingredients and the artistic presentation.
  35. Open up Your Senses. Served hot, miso soup opens up the senses and enables your palette to fully take in the flavors of the upcoming sashimi and sushi courses.
  36. Customize your flavors. Mix and match the different sauces and spice levels to fit your tastes.
  37. White Wine and Seafood. Seafood has very light, delicate flavors, which means it needs a light drink pairing. White wines are an ideal match, as they mirror the light flavors of seafood and provide a refreshing palate cleanser between bites.
  38. Beer and Sushi. Japanese lagers tend to pair very well with sushi. These light-bodied beers are crisp and clean, which make them ideal for complementing multiple types of specialty sushi rolls.
  39. Sake and Sashimi. Sake comes in a few varieties, but all tend to pair well with different kinds of sashimi.
  40. Red Wine and Steak. A hearty steak has strong flavor, which calls for a full-bodied wine to accompany it.
  41. Tuna and Cold Sake. Tuna’s mild refreshing tones pair well with a refined, mellow cold sake like the Dassai 50 (Junmai Dai Ginjo from Yamaguchi).
  42. Yellowtail and Crisp Sake. Yellowtail, with its creamy, fatty texture and more assertive flavor profile, pairs well with a dry, crisp sake, like the Suigei (Tokubetsu Junmai from Kochi).
  43. Salmon and Mild Sake. Salmon has a smooth, fattytexture that pairs well with a milder Junmai, like the crisp, elegant Kikusui (Junmai Ginjo from Niigata).
  44. Shrimp and Balanced Sake. Shrimp isn’t particularly fatty, so it pairs well with a balanced and elegant sake, like the Shizumu-No-Mai (Junmai Gingo from Akita).
  45. Eel and Umami-Rich Sake. Eelpairs well with an umami-rich sake with a higher acidic level and slight sweetness, like our Benihana Hot Sake (Junmai).
  46. Japanese Infusion. We separate ourselves from those average cocktail offerings by incorporating traditional Japanese ingredients like yuzu, plum liqueurs and sake, all of which help to create new flavor dimensions for those looking to explore innovative drink options.
  47. Master Mixologists. Our mixology team always ensures the new drinks are balanced—too sweet and your palate gets tired, too strong and many find the drink unpleasant and, therefore, undrinkable.
  48. Rigorous Training. Our teppanyaki chefs must go through weeks of rigorous training in order to perform the delicate balancing act that is the Benihana experience.
  49. Mouth-Watering Hibachi. We sear our mouth-watering hibachi shrimp appetizer and flip the tails right into our chef hats, a classic trick that never disappoints.
  50. Onion Volcano. Some chefs turn the volcano into the “engine” of a veggie train they delicately push across the grill, choo-chooing along with our younger diners.
  51. Performing Magic. A few of our chefs even perform “magic” by making eggs or lemons multiply or disappear right before guests’ eyes.
  52. Full Sensory Experience. The experience at Benihana is unlike any other because guests get to enjoy seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting the food prepared in front of them.
  53. Bring the Kids! We’re all about creating great memories for our guests, and that includes the kids! That’s why we developed our Kabuki Kids program, designed to celebrate our younger guests and encourage their love of high-quality food.
  54. Perfect Rhythm. It takes months of constant training and testing in order to gain the skills and technique to stand behind the 500-degree grill and effortlessly flip a fork and spatula into the air in perfect rhythm.
  55. Master Showmanship. Our chefs aren’t in the back of the kitchen, they are the stars of the show.

Sense a crave? Learn more or make a reservation today. http://benihana.com/reservations/

We’re Kicking up the Spice at Benihana

For over 50 years, Benihana has been creating the irresistible flavor of our famous fried rice to food-lovers from all over the country. This year, we decided to give our more adventurous foodies a bolder twist on our most iconic dish. Benihana’s Spicy Chicken Rice is back by popular demand. And it’s here to stay.

Starting out Strong:

Much like our signature fried rice, our master chefs begin by placing chicken breast and our California-grown rice on the grill. Once they start to sear, it’s time to pile on the egg and freshly chopped vegetables and mix with our decadent garlic-flavored butter.

Turning up (or turning down) the Heat:

After the fresh ingredients are combined, it’s time to bring the heat. Our master chef will drizzle Benihana’s concoction of siracha, sambal sauce, chili peppers and a hint of ginger to add a spicy-sweet flavor infusion. The best part? This dish is prepared directly in front of you. So you can see (and adjust) the level of spice it has as it’s made. Just ask your chef.

For the Ultimate Foodie Experience:

If you’re looking for a real adventure, try pairing this dish with our signature-entrees. Benihana’s  Spicy Chicken Rice is so versatile that it pairs well with every meal on our menu. Meat lovers can indulge their wild side while enjoying our Filet Mignon, while our seafood-fairing friends partake in our Ocean Treasure. Let us know your favorite combinations!

 

Sense a crave? To make a reservation, visit https://www.benihana.com/reservations/

SUSHI ROLLING & SASHIMI VS. NIGIRI AT BENIHANA

This post is sponsored by Benihana. All opinions are my own.

When I got invited back into my local Benihana in Santa Anita to learn about making sushi rolls and the difference between sashimi and nigiri from one of their seasoned professional sushi chefs (Andy), I was obviously beyond excited! I also felt honored, as I know that chefs in training have to put in numerous hours before being able to even attempt to cut a beautiful piece of fish into sashimi or nigiri, and I was going to get to after less than an hour of getting acquainted with the sushi bar.

 

First up – seaweed paper, sushi rice, sesame seeds, krab, avocado, and cucumber – the California Roll.

Fun fact: the California Roll was first served in the 1960s at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

  1. Grab a handful of rice, about the size of a medium avocado, place on the left side of the seaweed paper. Use fingertips to spread the rice out evenly on the paper, as gently as possible.
  2. Shake sesame seeds onto rice.
  3. Carefully flip the rice-covered seaweed over so the rice is down on the surface.
  4. Grab about an ounce of krab and distribute in the middle of the seaweed paper (from left to right).

Pro Tip: all of these steps should be done from left to right

  1. Use a dull knife to cut pieces from an avocado half and place next to the krab.
  2. Place 2 slivers of cucumber next to the avocado.
  3. From the long side closest to you, very meticulously and quickly roll up the California roll, tucking one end into itself. This was one of the hardest parts of the day for me! Thankfully you can clean it up visually in the next step!
  4. Use sushi-rolling mat (makisu) to shape the roll more evenly. Also fix each end, while still using the mat, by exposing each end, then tapping with your fingers.
  5. Remove mat. Grab a knife and dip the tip in water, then point the tip up so the water runs down the knife. (This helps the knife not stick to the roll as much in the next step.)
  6. Cut roll in half with a sawing motion. Flip one half to line up with the other half then cut in half again.
  7. Plate beautifully!

Next up! Ever looked at the menu at the sushi restaurant and wondered what the difference between sashimi and nigiri is, even after you know you’ve asked and / or looked it up half a dozen times? I learned the difference and how to cut and assemble both.

I honestly can’t easily put into words the beautifully precise way Andy taught me how to slice the fish. But I can tell you the difference between sashimi and nigiri and the simple assembly steps for both. Sashimi is a fresh slice of raw fish, and nigiri is a fresh slice of raw fish, atop a ball of sushi rice. I decided that the best way to remember is to think about Sashimi being solo (sans rice).

Firstly, start off by slicing the fish meticulously (the video shows a bit of technique). Then swipe a tiny bit of wasabi on the back of it, where the ball of sushi rice will be placed. Form a small ball of sushi rice where the fish slice will be placed. I definitely did not master Andy’s technique of placing the fish onto the ball of rice. It sounds simple enough, huh? It sure is not; he wraps the fish so perfectly around the rice in a way that was difficult to master in just a few tries! I am going to have to practice this one at home! I sliced salmon, yellowtail and tuna which all were prepared as I explained above. The eel is the only one that doesn’t get wasabi and received a little band of seaweed (nori) around it and the rice, topped off with eel sauce. My favorite! Both the sashimi and nigiri plates are finished off with a mountain of ginger and wasabi. Andy told me that the art of making sushi is based on creating rivers and mountains, so that you will notice these shapes. You create the mountains with the ginger and wasabi alongside the beautiful cuts of fish.

I ended up asking Andy about his background. He moved here from Japan and has been practicing sushi for about 19 years. He shared with me that he had suffered a stroke a few years back that changed his life for the better, as he begun to care more about his health and lifestyle. I honestly would never have known. It was beautiful how passionate he is about his creations and how he was able to get through a roadblock and improve his life after a difficult event.

At the end of Andy’s lessons, I asked him what his tips are for people just getting into making sushi!

He said, “Watching, asking, doing.” And to be gentle and take your time. I think a lot of us could use that advice in our everyday life while learning new skills and approaching tasks. Hey, I think it could even be applied to our personal lives and relationships. Who knew that I would go to Benihana to learn about sushi and come out with a life lesson!

Waves of Flavor: Complementary Flavors in Your Favorite Cocktails

Good meals become great when paired with a perfect complementary cocktail. Just like every item on our menu, we strive to deliver excellence with rich textures and bold flavors on our signature drink list. At Benihana, we’re proud to offer a variety of distinct cocktails, all boasting one-of-a-kind flavor profiles and tasting notes.

Rest assured, Benihana’s signature drinks aren’t your normal, everyday concoctions. We separate ourselves from those average cocktail offerings by incorporating traditional Japanese ingredients like yuzu, plum liqueurs and sake, all of which help to create new flavor dimensions for those looking to explore innovative drink options.

When researching potential new cocktails to add to our Benihana menu, our experts pull ideas from current drink trends while stirring in notes of Japanese flair that complement the cocktail’s traditional style. Drinks like our popular Benihana Mojito or Tokyo Mule incorporate customary chilled sake and other Asian-inspired add-ins to bring the flavors to an unexplored level for most of our customers.

Additionally, our mixology team always ensures the new drinks are balanced—too sweet and your palate gets tired, too strong and many find the drink unpleasant and, therefore, undrinkable. Benihana strives to continue adding fresher and overall better ingredients to our program, guaranteeing that our customers will actually want to order a second cocktail instead of giving up halfway through the first.

If you’d like to experiment with mixology at home but don’t know where to start, here’s my main piece of advice: start simple! Take your classic cocktail and modify one ingredient at a time. Go-tos like margaritas and mojitos are easy to personalize by stirring in fun alterations. Add fresh ginger to pull in Asian flavor undertones or mash in passion fruit for a more tropical flair. Whiskey drinks can be more difficult to balance due to their spice characteristics, so playing around with bitters instead of fresh fruits or syrups is better for your taste buds.