History of Benihana
Benihana is a well-known Japanese cuisine franchise with nearly 80 restaurants around the world. It was founded in 1964 on West 56th Street in New York City by 25-year old Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki. He was a qualified wrestler at the time, but did not attend the 1960 Summer Olympics and started the restaurant with just $10,000 that he earned from driving an ice cream truck in Harlem.
The first restaurant (named Benihana of Tokyo), was named after the red Safflower which was the name of his parent’s coffee shop in Tokyo. Rocky’s idea was for customers to enjoy meals around a teppanyaki table combined with some knife theatrics (which I really enjoyed!)
Restaurant Review & Photos
We first started off my meal with a warm and satisfying miso soup.
And then began the knife theatrics! Our chef started throwing eggs in the air and catching them with his knife so that it would split exactly in half. Very skillful!
And then he fried us some Japanese style fried rice in the shape of a heart. Aww :)
Freshly served Fried Rice! Yum!
Then comes freshly cooked shrimp! Mmmm..
Our chef then proceeded to cut up some onions, stacked them, then poured some oil down the middle and it then turned into an onion volcano! Hahaha..
Here’s our teppanyaki style dinner. The meat was probably a lot more chewier than I liked (especially when I asked for medium-rare) however the whole experience was really enjoyable and the food was quite decent. I would recommend coming here more for the experience, and it was a lot of fun. Expect quite the show while you eat. Also expect to be very full though – I normally eat A LOT and I normally eat VERY FAST however I was the slowest one to eat on the table because there was just so much yummy food!
It is located at the Royal York Hotel at Front and York St, Toronto.
(Entertainment District, Toronto, Canada)
100 Front St W, Toronto, Ontario