All reader reviews by KP

Benihana (Swiss Cottage)

The occasion was my stepson's 14th, the venue Benihana at Swiss Cottage, the results were frankly appalling.

First of all, when I dine and pay £35 per head I expect a certain level of cleanliness, food quality and service. Benihana failed on all fronts.

The chairs were so filthy that the manager ended up covering the seats with napkins. She unplausibly volunteered that they were steam cleaned regularly, and then - that because they don't dry in time, not so regularly after all. The carpet was disgusting, encrusted and filthy. The decor was circa late 1970s, probably cast-off from an old porno movie. It was dark and depressing. The extraction system so inadequate that we all stunk from head to toe. The menus were tattered, sticky and grubby and the food was terrible. Just where exactly in Japan is everything fried in butter and oil? The rice was lukewarm and served to us 15 mins before our performing seal chef prepared our Japanese "Fry-Up". Incidentally, I found him irritating and his uniform also looked like it has seen better days.

My conclusion is avoid at all costs. It is as Japanese as an English greasy spoon caf and a far cry from the spartan and crisp, clean and fresh environment usually associated with Japanese dining. I would have rather spent the evening in front of the TV, slowly inserting tenners into my paper shredder.

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 1 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0

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