If you follow me in any shape or form on social media, then you will know that last Wednesday I had the most awesome day out. As so many of you have asked how it went, I thought it’d be fun to cover the best bits of the day in a post!
So yeah last Wednesday Benihana invited a group of us to come and have a little blogger get together while checking out the restaurant as a family destination. I was excited to go for various reasons:
1) I had never been to the Japanese restaurant Benihana, but always wanted to, 2) I hadn’t been to London in an age and certainly not to do anything fun and 3) Ben was looking after the boy for the afternoon, which meant I got to go child free (he was invited too, but if you read my blog you may be aware just how not ready for a trip to London my boy its yet!). Can you think of a reason not to love this?
I caught the train up to Waterloo and and then the tube over to Sloane Sq. It was so much easier than I thought it would be and only a short walk away from the station. I arrived at the a tardis of a building early. The entrance was tiny, but the restaurant itself was huge!
The only downside I could see was the large staircase we had to descend to reach the part of the restaurant we were in. There might have been a lift I didn’t see, but I think all those stairs might have put me off if I’d needed to take the buggy.
The group of bloggers who had come along were so friendly and all had children of different ages. It was great to get to meet other people doing really inspirational things (seriously I met a woman with 7 children who still has time to blog!) and despite not having Oscar with me I was drawn to those who’d bought toddlers or babies with them! Typical!
We had some amazing nibbles in the large bar area, including a really healthy array of sushi and chicken. They also bought out these crisp things which tasted far too good not to be loaded with syns, so I had a few and moved on. I admit I caved and had one cocktail, but only to be friendly you understand 😉 .
We then got to meet the Beni Girls. 50 years ago, ‘Rocky’ Aoki set up his first Japanese Benihana diner in the US, making this year a very special birthday for the chain. To celebrate, the Beni Girls have been commissioned to choreograph a dance, which they’re touring with across the world, visiting many of the 120 branches.
Rebecca and Megu, bless them, really tried their level best to get us up and dancing, but in the end the children put us all to shame by joining in with gusto!
Once the ‘lessons’ were over, they showed us their dance.The girls were so good with the children! When a toddler decided to join in they happily incorporated him into their dancing. What great sports!
After all that exertion it was time for the children to sit down, be entertained and eat from the specially created children’s menu. The teppan chefs truly are as good at theatrics as they are at cooking. You sit round the teppan plate (great if you’re in a group as we were) and just watch the show!
If you want to see them in full flow you can visit the Benihana homepage for an awesome video
I love this style of cooking. It’s really healthy as it uses extreme heat, cooking the food quickly with little oil (great if you’re food optimising) and all the ingredients used are fresh. It looked like great fun! The only drawback I noticed was that all the food is cooked on the same surface. One of the children in our group was allergic to shellfish, meaning she could eat nothing cooked on the plate once prawns had touched it. In this case the staff were incredibly good, rushing to get her something else to eat and I’m sure if you told them in advance something could be arranged, but it’s something to bare in mind.
I came away absolutely convinced it would make a wonderful birthday venue for a child’s party. Sit up to eight of them around the teppan plate and let the chefs keep them entertained and quiet, except for the ooohs and ahhs! Would I take Oscar? No, not yet. Apart from the journey into London, I’m not sure he’s at a place where he would appreciate it. It’s more expensive than the usual suspects of ASK and more local Asian restaurants and you’d want to be sure they’d get as much out of it as possible if you’re going to push the boat out. Would I take him when he’s older? Definitely! I would love to be able to take a bunch of his friends up to town and celebrate with such an exciting experience. Maybe when he turns 10.
Only another 7.5 years to plan that one then!
I appreciate my photos are not the best – I so wish I’d taken the big camera. If you search Instagram or Twitter for #BeniGirlsBash you’ll find some awesome pictures taken by the others.
I was given free food, drink and entertainment at Benihana in exchange for an honest write up. I was not paid to write this post.