Internationally acclaimed and with more than 100 outlets all around the world, Benihana now resides in Grand Indonesia shopping mall. The teppanyaki specialist finally shares the joy of tasty food and their attractive cooking style. You wouldn’t guess from its dark and simple appearance from the outside, but when you come inside you’ll be surprised that Benihana is such a vast establishment with so many teppanyaki tables and even an outdoor lounge with a direct view of Bundaran HI, the heart of Jakarta.
There are many choices on the menu, though it’s best to stick to teppanyaki specialties. Other options such as hot rice dishes, sushi rolls, and robatayaki are also available. For the teppanyaki, choices of beef ranging from Black Angus to Wagyu, seafood including shrimps, scallops, salmon, red snapper, and the rare teppanyaki ingredient of black cod are also available. Without hesitation, we recommend the Hibachi Steak or the Black Angus beef and the Jumbo Shrimps for that fresh seafood flavour. These two teppanyaki dishes come with appetizers such as Japanese onion soup with the fillings of sliced mushrooms and kitsune. Also there is the appetizing Benihana salad that reminds us of Asinan Bogor as the taste was quite familiar.
Among several choices of sushi rolls we picked the Jakarta Rainbow Roll which consists of salmon, snapper, tuna, unagi, and toppings of masago or the capelin roes. The level of freshness was without doubt the highlight of the dish. It was light, tasty, and tender.
The teppanyaki chef comes in with a loud comedian introduction and bartender-like displays with kitchen utensil. Other chefs from neighbouring tables were also even singing! It was entertaining and funny but the good thing was that the food was also great. Starting with sautéed zucchinis, onions, shiitake mushrooms, and amaebi or the sweet shrimps, the chef added butter, pepper, and salt with some soy sauce to make it different than the usual sautéed dishes. We were indulged by all of these appetizers and they encouraged us to move forward and to get ready with the real deal, the Black Angus and the prawns.We asked specifically for the beef to be grilled medium-well. Alongside some sautéed bean sprouts, the chef then diced the beef and prepared the prawns. It didn’t take long and the result was enormously satisfying. The beef was succulent, juicy, and tender. As for the prawns, it was rich and fresh. There’s a sense of chewiness with the prawns but that made it even tastier. Dip it all in some ginger sauce to add more spirit to all of the meat and the vegetables on offer.
All in all, it was a delightful treat though a bit overpriced. Benihana has a swift and attentive service, not forgetting the entertaining chefs. Even so, it’s a must visit for singles, couples or families. Get entertained by the comedy chef and share the laughs with everyone, but most of all, share the hearty and the tasty teppanyaki dishes available here.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall, East Mall, 3rd Floor, Jl. MH Thamrin, Kav. 1
RSVP: 021 – 2358 1065
–Featured in Time Out Jakarta December 2010 edition (pictures modified and added)-