It’s been one week since the first ever restaurant month in Abu Dhabi started, and seriously, it’s been clogging up my timelines (in a good way) since day one!
If you didn’t already know, the lovely guys at Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi have teamed up with my favourite foodie app Zomato to launch this incredible deal throughout the whole of September. 30 of Abu Dhabi’s most sought after restaurants are offering a gourmet 3 course meal for only AED 195!
Some of my favourites are included too – such as Todd English’s Olives, Benjarong, Market Kitchen, Indigo, BiCE & Bu! That’s not saying that the other 24 restaurants aren’t just as good – I’ve just not had the pleasure of experiencing them yet.
I was very lucky to tick one of these restaurants off of my list a couple of nights ago. Benihana is a Japanese/American fusion restaurant tucked very well out of the way in the Beach Rotana hotel. So tucked out of the way that it actually took us a little while to find it!
My first thoughts when entering the restaurant were of pure excitement. I had never been to a live cooking restaurant before and I was very pleased to see an extremely chirpy chef cooking for a group of men opposite our seats as we entered. All eyes were on him and his very quick hands as he whipped up 8 dishes in record time without even breaking a sweat! Now I like to think that I am a decent cook, but watching this guy effortlessly make a veggie egg fried rice made my sweaty and confused attempt a few days prior look like a toddlers attempt!
When I first heard of Restaurant Month, I thought that each restaurant would be putting on a set menu for the diners, so I was very happy to see that there were choices available to us. This is the case for all of the restaurants included (and you can even take a look before heading out over on Zomato. See the collection here).
As there were two of us, we made it very simple and ordered one of each of each course. Good for us as we love to share and it gave us the option of trying all of the dishes on offer. Our gorgeous starters came from the kitchen, and just at the same time our personal chef came out to entertain us for the evening. Chef Rene was absolutely hilarious and had us laughing from the get-go! He had me covering my eyes as he flipped dishes and utensils in-front our faces, and lit up the room with a huge flame directly from the hot plate.
There were six of us sat at this particular corner of the live-cooking area, and he cooked everyone’s dishes to perfection. Matt was really up for catching items of food in his mouth and getting involved in Chef’s antics – and I was seriously entertained by him! It was great not to be pushed into taking part, and chef quickly knew who was ‘up for it’ and who was happy watching (and Snapchatting of course!).
We had a lovely amuse-bouche of prawns with onion and aubergine to get us started, which immediately showed us the skill of Chef Rene, and our main courses were served shortly after that. I went for the Rocky’s Choice Special and Matt had the Benihana Samurai as he isn’t a seafood eater. All of my seafood was cooked and seasoned to absolute perfection, and Matt said exactly the same about his steak and chicken. I pinched some (you know, just to double check) and I can confirm how perfectly the steak was cooked. Dreamy.
All of the main courses came with vegetable fried rice, and of course Matt had to go and catch his bowl like an absolutely
Chef Rene left us once mains were served (to a round of applause I should add) but we were still able to watch the other chefs at other corners of the table serving new wide-eyed diners. The showmanship of it all was amazing, and it kept us smiling all throughout the evening.
Desserts once again came from the kitchen, and were absolutely stunning. How can you not be happy with tempura ice cream and deep-fried cheesecake dumplings?! A little on the un-healthy side for me, but a lovely little treat at an amazing dinner.
My favourite part of the dessert was actually the red beans that were served with the tempura ice cream. It was like a very thick compote, but the taste was absolutely incredible!
The Benihana experience was definitely an amazing one, and I would definitely take friends and family there to dine (whether it was Restaurant Month or not).
Restaurant Month Abu Dhabi is a great way to try out the places that you’ve always wanted to try without breaking the bank. The menus showcase what the restaurant can really do, and with the choices available, there will always be a dish to choose that suits you!
Restaurant Month is running from 1st-30th September (so one a day if you fancy it!) and you can find out loads more information by heading over to the Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi Facebook or Twitter pages. #RMAbuDhabi
Book your tables through Zomato here
Psssst…I think there’s going to be a Dubai Restaurant Month in October!!