Seattle >Food & Dining > Benihana
1200 5th Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810147.608450 -122.333044
Mon-Thu 11:30am-9:30pm ; Fri 11:30am-10:30pm ; Sat 4:30am-10:30pm ; Sun 4:30am-9pm
Neighborhoods: Central Business District, Downtown
Food was good. We split the check with another couple. The waitress first charged me for the entire $196.00 bill, then re-ran my card and charged me for both halves! When the error was called to manager's attention, they made the same error again and I was recharged for both halves. Luckily our dining partners noticed my name on their credit card charge slip. I am now waiting for the bank to remove the three credit card charges made in error by Benihana from my card. Be very careful; there seems to be an problem with the restaurant with this in that it took 4 tries for them to finally get it right. This isn't rocket science and it definitely shouldn't happen even once, but FOUR times?? Unfortunately we probably won't be returning as a result.
Worst hibachi experience ever! – My husband and I love the hibachi grill experience but were VERY disappointed with Benihana in Seattle! The soup was just chicken broth, they charged extra for fried rice, the chicken was chewy, and they didn't even have the traditional orange shrimp sauce!!! There wasn't much of a show and the server wasn't particularly polite either. The only good thing was the sushi and drinks. We are definitely going to try some other places in the area, because this was not worth the $75 for two people!!!
Great food, but terrible service in sushi lounge – I have been to the restaurant two times this month, once for grill and once for sushi. It was great experience to have food enjoying chef's performance for grill. But in the second visit for sushi, I was really annoyed by the terrible service of a waiter. She throwed forks, spoons, and glasses on the table. As my friends and I order more food, the service got better.
If you are to enjoy sushi, it would be much better to be served by chef on the bar.
Knife-wielding chefs put on a show at this communal Japanese grill. – In Short
Benihana started out as a tiny four-table restaurant in New York City's theater district before becoming an international chain. Diners sit around large tables where chefs ostentatiously chop, slice, stir-fry and grill. Entree options are simple--shrimp, chicken, steak and scallops--and preparation is uniform. Every entree comes with a similar stock of sides: rice, onion soup, shrimp appetizer, iceberg lettuce drizzled with dressing, sauteed vegetables and green tea.
Terrible Service – I've been to Benihana many times and the service in the sushi bar is had been pretty good. But lately, it's been pretty bad. A week ago my wife and I had sushi in the lounge and I have to admit the the food was terrific. Unfortunately, the service was terrible. We ordered a bottle of premium sake and not only did the server serve it with unmatching glasses, tacky if you ask me, they were dirty and covered in some kind of film. The server was extremely slow to bring our drinks, apathetic and at times rude. Here's a helpful hint, sit at the sushi bar and get served by the chefs.
Great food & vibe – Although it can be a bit crowded this is one of my favorite restaurants from the chain. Always a great time.
The competition does a better job – About 6 months ago, I had my first experience at a Japanese steakhouse, a Benihana knock-off in a strip mall in Renton. It was an exciting and fun experience, although a bit salty. I assumed that Benihana would be even better, and took my mother there for her birthday last night. Although the food was a bit better, and less salty than the other, the "show" left much to be desired. Our chef seemed very tired and eager to go home, and mumbled his way through cooking our meal with no excitement whatsoever. I expected flames, flying food, jokes, etc. Although I certainly can't complain about how our food turned out, we might as well have sat at a table and had our food brought to us. Don't make the drive to downtown and pay for parking if there is a japanese steakhouse nearby. I'm going to try the Japanese Steakhouse in Woodinville (same distance, free parking) and see if their chef can stay awake while cooking!
great Japanese Sushi place! Be yourself: If you're an expert on burgers, let us know. If this is your first-time massage, say so.
Compare apples to apples: Burger joints shouldn't be held to the same standards as four-star restaurants. Be conversational: Write it as if relaying your experience to a good friend.
Fun experience, tons of food, great selection – We went to Benihana for a birthday celebration and had a great time. It was fun to get to know the people sitting at our table and eat in a social atmosphere. We were sat at a back table and so unfortunately service for drinks was a little slow and unattended to. We also had a later reservation, and the chef was obviously tired of entertaining for the day. Overall the food was delicious and timely compared to everyone else's at the table. We had a fun and entertaining experience and would go there again!
Worst Dining Experience Ever! – I had the worst dining experience ever at Benihana last night. The service was terrible, the food mediocre, and the "show" tired at best. We made reservations for 6:00. We arrived ten minutes early and yet had to wait (standing) for 45 agonizing minutes. With two children and two adults over 90 years, this was not a happy start. The hostess kept telling us "another 5 minutes" - about four times. People, arriving after us were seated before us. If it was just my wife and I, we would have cut out after twenty, but it was a special occasion and we suffered through the wait. The sushi was on par with day-old bento, the chicken had as much taste as old shoe leather, and, instead of Kobe beef, they chop the steak into inch cubes to tenderize the gristle. The soup looked and tasted like dishwater. For $25-39 per person it was not only mediocre, but about as poor a value as I've ever had, anywhere. The show consisted of some tired jokes, and clashing knives and metal spatulas. In response to some questions, our "chef," appeared indifferent and indignant. I think he couldn't wait to get off shift and kick back with a beer and his tv. The next table actually got thrilled by having a raw egg thrown in one of their cocktails and splashing on the poor nattily dressed woman. The noise was about the same as dining under the Alaskan Way viaduct. You could only really converse with the person next to you. If your party is larger than two, be prepared to use a megaphone, and feel free to share your thoughts with the strangers at your table. For this dining experience, at over $30 a head, you get to sit picnic style with whomever the management cares to throw you together with. And yes, we too suffered through the smoke and haze and raced home to throw all our clothes in the wash. My advice: avoid Benihana and spend your hard earned dough somewhere, anywhere, else.
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