So I will assume that you know Benihana...the Japanese restaurant that claims "It is more than just a meal, it is an experience.".....well it is true, as cheesy as it might sound. In Abu Dhabi there is no such thing as "dinner and a show", unless you count Vox Gold (the movie theater experience where you sit in plush seats and order lots of decadent appetizers). But Benihana at The Beach Rotana, is probably as close as you are going to get to real life entertainment with your meal. And if you are ready to enjoy yourself, you will enjoy every minute.
The only Benihana in Abu Dhabi is tucked inside the Beach Rotana Hotel, just next to Abu Dhabi Mall. The restaurant is quaint, which makes it feel authentically Japanese. And while not all of the chefs may be able to claim the same authenticity, they cook as if they are...and all the while making you laugh as they go. The menu is famous for theTeppanyaki (Japanese cooking on an iron griddle), but if you are looking for something different, they also do very good sushi, sashimi, Japanese noodles and salads. And yes, you can also eat in peace at a table by yourself if you prefer not to be disturbed with any flying prawns or fried rice hearts.
We ordered the Salmon Teppanyaki and the Surf and Turf Teppanyaki. Each meal comes with a bowl of creamy miso soup, a small crispy salad with ginger dressing, a grilled prawn appetizer, and a dessert of ice cream or fresh fruit (um...ice cream please). I was impressed with the perfect sear on the salmon, and very happy to hear that it was freshly delivered from Norway. The Surf and Turf includes an entire lobster tail and filet mignon. Both were melt in you mouth tender. And not to forget...if you order a glass of wine, they give a wonderfully healthy pour. I am so tired of those places that pour you four sips.
On the non-Teppanyaki side, the Tempura was perfectly battered. Light and crispy. The Tempura prawns were so tender that my one-year old child with minimal teeth ate two of them. I had to stop her from shoving the tail in her mouth too. The sushi is also very good. Just as good as any competition in the city. While Benihana may not be the latest chic and trendy place to join Abu Dhabi's dining scene, it is traditional, inviting and you will always get a good meal with friendly service.
When you go, do make a reservation. They currently have lots of demand and limited chefs, so they need to know when you are coming to have a chef ready for the Teppanyaki experience. In fact, I recommend going for a special occasion, and make sure to tell them about it when you make your reservation. At Benihana, they love to celebrate so they just might do a little something extra.
Beach Rotana Hotel
02 697 9000
Open Everyday from 6pm