Flame throwing, knife juggling… it’s all the fun of the circus at Benihana, a uniquely family friendly Japanese restaurant experience that puts a fun spin on the term ‘dinner theatre’.
I had taken the boys along to Benihana Chelsea last week for the #BeniGirlsBash, an early evening affair with some other bloggers organised by Tanya of Mummy Barrow. The event was held to celebrate the anniversary of the Japanese steakhouse that has been thrilling customers from Bangkok to Bucharest for 50 years.
We arrived late after the school run and sadly missed hip hop duo the Beni Girls (flown in from Japan for the celebrations) performing and leading a dance workshop.
But the babes made it to their seats in time for the Teppanyaki chef’s show: they were amazed to see the short guy in the tall hat throwing cutlery and setting food on fire (don’t try this at home, kids).
In fact I was just as entertained by the chef’s skills and jokes as by the sight of Jed’s worried little expression — he kept shielding his face as if he might catch fire along with the onions!
The boys couldn’t wait to tuck into delicious shrimp, teriyaki chicken and vegetables (well, I nicked most of their veg) hot off the hibachi grill. What’s great about Benihana is that it’s a healthy, balanced meal with fresh ingredients cooked right in front of you — and everything tastes just oooh!
I’m a big fan of Benihana fried rice although the boys were happy to eat theirs plain in a side bowl. For afters, they were served ice creams and I didn’t get so much as a spoonful. Although I did have a couple of yummy mango cocktails to keep me company.
I’d been meaning to bring the kids along to Benihana ever since our last Benihana bloggers outing back in September 2013, so I’m glad they’ve had a taste of this colourful and classy spot. The Benihana Chelsea venue has loads of space to push your buggy or for little ones to run around (the boys enjoyed playing hide and seek with Luschka’s gorgeous girls) and a very relaxed, friendly attitude from the staff.
This is not your typical chain restaurant and the prices reflect that, but you get plenty of spark for your spend and it’s a great place to book for a birthday or special treat. My Beni-boys loved it.
Benihana Chelsea is at 77 King’s Rd, SW3 7NX. Find details of other Benihana branches at www.benihanaworld.com