Austin >Food & Dining > Benihana Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
Neighborhoods: North Shoal Creek
Not a good experience – Last night was the first time I'd ever been to Benihana, and it will most likely have been the last time.
The drinks were - okay. The waiter was average at best. Then the "chef" came to the table. The guy was horrible with his utinsels, but that's easily forgiven. Was is not - is fingernails were dirty - like he just got done working on his car dirty. The seafood was also way overcooked. I don't see how someone that filthy and who can't even griddle shrimp could be called a "chef".
The onion soup had good flavor. But it was luke warm at best. The salad was good. The fried rice was also decent, but about on the same level as Chinese takeout. The "shrimp appetizer" that came with our meal was disgusting. WAY too much salt from our "chef" and way overcooked.
We ordered the "Surf Side" and the "Rocky's Choice" to split. Every item on the seafood dish was overcooked. The shrimp, scallops and calamari were like rubber, and again, WAY too much salt. I will say, the steak that came with the meat dish was good, and nicely cooked, as well as the chicken. The vegetables: Burnt onions, and undercooked zuchini.
By the time we got a couple of bites into our entrees, we were full. After sitting unattended by our waiter for 30 minutes after w'd finished, we asked for our check. they then sang Happy Birthday to a couple of other guests, delivered drink orders, and finally after another 20 minutes brought our check.
I had been given $75 in gift certificates from a customer of mine (the only reason I was prompted to go) and that didn't quite over the bill, so I presented my credit card as well. After an additional 20 minutes, my card and receipt was brought back. The entire amount had been charged to my card. So I pointed it out to the waiter who rushed it back to the manager. After ANOTHER 15 minutes or so, the manager came over with the adjusted check, thanked us for our patience, and presented me with the remainder of the bill.
Today, I checked my bank statements and I was charged for BOTH the mistake, and the partial amount. I called the restaurant, and was told that it would take a day or two for the $94.75 to come off of my card, which I undertood, but it still gives a bad aftertaste to an already poor evening out.
I'll be spending my money elsewhere in the future.
Injured by the chef at Benihana and they charged me 380bucks – Let me preface this note to let you know I have been a long-time patron of these restaurants located in Houston and Dallas and my family and I have always enjoyed our experience. My daughter was celebrating her birthday on February 4th and we made reservations for the Research location. We were seated promptly at 5:45 p.m. Our waiter greeted us and took our drink order and returned with our drinks in a timely manner and said he would return for our order. We told him we would like appetizers and he said he would return shortly. After waiting an hour for our waiter to return I went to the hostess stand because there was no one else around. I asked what had happened to our waiter and that we had been waiting for an hour with no service. We were sitting back in a corner where no one came by at all. The hostess apologized and sent our waiter over. At this time we informed him that one of our guests had a seafood allergy, he clearly noted it on the order but we could sense a big attitude change due to my complaint. Our chef came and greeted us and reviewed the order with us and the information concerning the seafood allergy. He made a few comments regarding my displeasure with the service. He started with his show and promptly threw one of the spatulas at the birthday girl. It hit the sauces he had set in front of her and splashed red and yellow sauce all over her white outfit and hit her on her shoulder, had it been a knife we would have had to go to the emergency room. He was very apologetic and gave us 3 paper napkins to help with the spill, 3 and it was a large spill. Our waiter never came by once to clean the mess from the table and the manager did not stop by to apologize or acknowledge what had happened. We waited for assistance that never came. I and three others in my party had to get up from our seats, go to the wait station, get a towel to wipe up and we cleaned the table ourselves. After asking a waitperson passing by, we were brought a glass of club soda to get the stains out of her clothing. A passing waitress asked if we needed more napkins and brought cloth so that helped, again our waiter was no where to be found or the manager for that matter. The dinner from this point went from bad to worse. The chef after that could not concentrate and our food was awful and we had to remind him when he started to cook seafood about the allergy and that our guest needed his food cooked first. My dinner did not even resemble what I have gotten at the Houston or Dallas Benihana. I usually get the same dish and this certainly wasn’t what I ordered. Needless to say one of the worst restaurant experiences I have ever had. I received a bill that was $380 with a big gratuity added. I complained to the manager and he offered to take the gratuity off which wasn’t to my satisfaction. I don’t know your idea of how to run a restaurant, but as far as I’m concerned Benihana is doing a horrific job! Had I gone somewhere else and spent that kind of money I would expect only the best. I could have gone to IHOP and had a better meal. I wanted you to know this is how things are run at the Research location and to let you know that I will be telling everyone I come in contact with not to patronize this restaurant. We were clearly punished by the staff because of complaining about the poor service. I have worked in the service industry for the Four Seasons Hotel and waiting an hour for someone to take your order and then having the staff stain your clothes and throw a cooking utensil at you because of a complaint is simply unimaginable. My daughter could have been seriously hurt and her clothes were damaged and the manager offered to take the gratuity away from the waiter, clearly not the answer. He could have bought our drinks or paid for our inedible food. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter, and you better think twice before you decided to eat at Benihana.
mediocre – not much to say besides wasn't impressed, especially for the price.
HAD A BLAST – AS SOON AS WE WALK IN THE DOOR THE HOST GREETED US RIGHT AWAY AND GOT US SEATED THE SERVICE WAS GREAT AND THE CHEF WAS A BLAST.
This is not a "Real Benihana" Big Letdown!! – Dined on Fri eve Oct 9th, overall negitive experience, We have dined in Benihanna Locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and London, never have we seen such old, outdated, dilapidated surroundings for a Benihanna, it is disgraceful, and we thought we were in a hybrid "Tex-Mex" place...All and all not worth the time spent, and how about getting some real Japanese "Grill Cooks", if we are going to pay a premium for this kind of service let's at least make it more "original"..If I want Tex-Mex I will eat at "Chuys"!!
Frustrating Ordeal – We are from out of town and wanted to spend a fun night with the kids, so we chose to go here because I had been to one in California. We called ahead and tried to make a reservation, but all we got was a constant ringing, no one ever picked up. After trying that 3 or 4 times we figured we would travel out there and try to get seated.
It took us a while to drive all of the way out there and to find the place, and when we did we liked the free and reserved parking. Going inside was a different story.
The receptionist asked us if we had reservations, to which we replied "no" and she laughed a little and said it would be a while before we could get seated. We told her that we tried calling and making reservations and that the phone just rang and she said that the ringer was turned off, so we would have to wait.
Huh? Serious? Your phone had the ringer off and because of that you aren't even going to try and get us in. We left. And we won't ever go back. With customer service like that I would hate have stayed for dinner, who' s knows what we would have experienced.
Mediocre place, good for kids. – the nicest thing about our experience at Benihanas last night was the worker in the parking lot saving spaces for customers. This parking help was great.
Upon entering, the young inexperienced staff seemed overwhelmed with the weekend crowd.
When shown to our reserved table, we discovered it faced another group of people...these folks were an unhappy, sad extended family bunch who looked downtrodden with life. The y had two kids, one loudly KICKED the table and provided a sonic boom, boom, boom for hours, never growing tired and never being noticed or corrected by his relatives. Because we faced this group the whole meal, it was impossible to totally tune them out.
We noticed large carts of dirty linen and dirty dishes parked along the wall where WE WERE EATING..and stayed there the whole evening.
The chef did a fine job and the food tasted good , and it should have since it was loaded with MSG. The price wasn't too bad. I fed 8 folks for around $200 and the birthday obligation was done.
Fun for kids....? YES...fine dining? ha ha...not quite.
Great Sushi Happy Hour – I fairly agree with the rest of the crowd, this Benihana doesn't run with the best of 'em, BUT, if you're looking for a fairly inexpensive sushi outing...this is the place. They have happy hour everyday except Saturday, and I have to say, you can get about 3 rolls, a couple of pieces of sushi and some drinks for 2, for about $30 bucks! The rolls are good, or should I say good enough. Definitely worth the $30!
The restuarant is no longer Japanense but some sort of hybrid Tex-Mex, marginal service and overpriced – It is with great disappointment that I write this. The restuarant is no longer Japanense but some sort of hybrid Tex-Mex. The resturant management need to refocus on re-creating a good Japense experience not the mess they have. There is not one Japense face in the establishment. All staff are hispanic. There should at least be Japanese cooks???
The HIbachi cookers whack the spatulas and knives and make a lot of noise. The original Japense Cookers were much more skilled and their food throws were much more accurate. The accoustics are awful in the place as it is just banging and laughing. The laughing is great but when everyone in the place laughs at one time it reminds me a of a gaggle of geese. Wait staff do not look neat or clean, their clothing looked unkept and worn out. There just does not seem to be any of the authenticity that was once their. Good eatery atmosphere should come with good food and although the food tastes very good the ambiance is gone, the decor is boring and outdated, overpriced for the experience. A very poor use of space as well as ugly decor and ignorant wait staff.
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.
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