Our most recent Disney cruise found us staying at a non Disney owned property for the first time. We had a full kitchen, two bedrooms and a washer and dryer in our suite.
We got to Floridays Resort in the early afternoon and were too tired to cook dinner so we decided to splurge and headed to Benihana on International Drive for some teppanyaki.
Benihana Orlando on International Drive
Luckily we called ahead of time to make reservations as the restaurant was busy and there were five parties waiting to be seated when we arrived.
We made the mistake of not checking the map and drove to the restaurant only to realize that we could have walked there from our resort. Although the street numbers don’t indicate it, the restaurant is right next door to Floridays Resort. Our our room was at the opposite end of the resort so we couldn’t see the restaurant from our suite.
Benihana is a teppanyaki / hibiachi restaurant where your meal is cooked in front of you by a Benihana trained chef on a hot grill top.
We’ve been to these types restaurants before with our kids and they enjoy it – there’s lots to keep them entertained for two hours. Funny enough, we’ve visited other Benihana locations around the world (Bankgok, Las Vegas, Seattle) but not the one we have at home in Toronto – it’s steps away from the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Get to Know Your Table Mates
This restaurant is good for large families and travel groups as tables accommodate up to 10 people and everyone gets to choose their own entree.
We were seated with a few locals and other tourists. It was fun chatting with them and getting tips on what to do in the area outside of the theme parks. We didn’t have time to check out the kid friendly attractions or shopping malls they suggested but hopefully we will during a future Orlando trip.
Let’s Talk About the Food and Entertainment
Kids menu items are affordable and the adult menu offers a variety of meat and seafood entrees.
We all started off with a bowl of onion soup (it was a bit on the salty side) and watched our chef prepare our dinners on the cooktop in front of us.
He juggled salt and pepper shakers, did some knife tricks, flipped shrimp tails onto the top of his hat and made a volcano out of onion rings.
The kids enjoyed watching this and only asked to play on our phones closer to the end of dinner – pretty good I say as they’re patience levels aren’t the greatest.
After soup and salad, the food just kept coming – grilled vegetables, mains, chicken fried rice (this is a $3.50 upgrade – the standard dinner comes with plain rice), and then dessert.
Each guest gets their own bowl of sauces – soy mustard sauce for chicken and beef and ginger soy sauce for vegetables and seafood. While the kids opted for plain soy sauce, the adults at the table agreed the ginger soy sauce was incredible. I’m not a fan of ginger root to begin with and I almost used up all my portion during dinner.
With all the added side dishes before their entree, the kids couldn’t finish their dinners. Splitting one meal would have been a better choice for a 6 and 3 year old.
My husband enjoyed the Hibachi Sirloin Steak (he ate it before I could take a photo!) and I really liked the tuna steak. I asked for it to be cooked medium well but after seeing another guest at our table order the medium rare, I wish I had gone with that instead.
Regardless, it was still very tasty and not as heavy as my usual surf and turf entree (filet mignon and seafood) I’ve had at other locations.
The tomato avocado edamame accompaniment was delightful. The tanginess of the balsamic sauce gave the fish flavor and I used the ginger sauce sparingly.
We really enjoyed our night out at Benihana and highly recommend it to families with picky eaters – there’s something for everyone here. As for food allergies, we alerted the staff to Mr. C’s nut allergy and disclosed that while they don’t use nuts in the food they serve they do use items that may contain traces of nuts (soy sauce, ketchup, butter etc). We were fine with that as we had his allergy medication with us and we ordered dishes he has had before at other hibachi restaurants.
Upgrading to the chicken fried rice is worth it. It’s so good that our 3 year old Mr. C ended up eating 1.5 bowls of it on top of a few pieces of the hibachi chicken he ordered.
The butter is probably what made it taste so good – they are very generous with it here at Benihana and use it for almost every dish including two big scoops for the fried rice.
Two Benihana Locations to Choose from in Orlando
There are two Benihana locations in Orlando and you’re guaranteed to find a table at one of them if you make reservations ahead of time – both seem to be very busy and popular with tourists and locals.
The cost of dinner is average for a grilled table-side hibachi type restaurant ($20-40 per adult depending on entree and drinks ordered) and the entertainment value, quality and quantity of food is worth the drive (or walk if your hotel is near the restaurant) to Benihana.
Come hungry because the portion sizes are large here. We arrived for dinner at 7:30PM starving and yet we still had a box of leftovers to take back to our suite!
12690 International Dr S.
Orlando, FL 32821
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Judy Cowan says
The food looks really good, I have never been to this type of restaurant before. Will have to check one out at some point when we are in an area with one.
omg! I didn’t know downtown Toronto had habachi! It’s been forever since I went to one. That’s definitely on my list to stop at next time I’m in the area
Heidi c. says
What a nice kids’ menu. Prices are reasonable as well. Thanks for the recommendation.
Anne Taylor says
I’ve never been to a Benihana Restaurant, but we do have a restaurant here in Victoria that is the same style! My kids love going there as they put on a great show and their steak sauce is to die for!