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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sake and Sashimi. Sake comes in a few varieties, but all tend to pair well with different kinds of sashimi.
- Red Wine and Steak. A hearty steak has strong flavor, which calls for a full-bodied wine to accompany it.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.