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Welcome to my blog. I blog about my community, my passion, work, food, travel. I hope you enjoy the posts. Let me know if you do.

Defending bloggers rights to freedom of expression #BenihanaKUW

This post is in support of Mark Makhoul, a blogger living in the Middle East, who is now the subject of a US$18,000 lawsuit filed by the franchisee of global Japanese restaurant chain Benihana in Kuwait. Mark's crime? Posting a mildly critical restaurant review on his blog, 2:48AM (judge for yourself by reading his review here

What is surprising is an ignorance of the value of an international reputation or anything that is remotely mitigating in terms of PR efforts. 

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My Benihana Experience .... by Mark Makhoul

A few days back I posted about Benihana opening up at the Avenues and yesterday night I decided to pass by with Nat and try it out. The service wasnít too bad for a restaurant thatís just been open for a few days and the staff were really friendly. The restaurant itself is made up of islands and bars with a grill in the middle of each one. You sit around the grill and the chef will come to your table and prepare the food right in front of you which makes things entertaining. Itís actually why I prefer sitting at the bar in Japanese restaurants in general, since you can talk to the chef and watch them put your dish together. The problem with my experience last night though was with the food, it was disappointing to say the least.

We ordered beef negimayaki for starters followed by an Orange Blossom maki and a Hibachi Chicken. The negimaki arrived looking good and was probably the best thing we had there even though I prefer Makiís negimaki which has a richer teriyaki sauce. The Orange Blossom was very ordinary, wouldnít order it again. Now the Hibachi chicken which is basically grilled chicken, that was the worst. The chicken was very chewy (I could swear it was undercooked if not raw) and tasted terrible. Even after I had the chef add some more teriyaki sauce in hopes of improving the taste it didnít work. I tried to dip it into the sauces that came with the chicken but it was hard to figure out if they were actually making things worse or not. Nat only ate one piece of chicken and left the rest while I needed my protein since Iím on a strict diet and forced myself to eat my whole plate (I can do that) but the after taste was really bad. Even the rice and the veggies that came with it tasted bad AND were under cooked. Once we left I considered picking up a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry even though I hate frozen yogurts but I just needed something to get rid of the aftertaste. A few moments later we ended up at Chocolate Bar ordering the gooey chocolate cake (bye bye diet).

I shot the two videos above of the chef preparing our meal. Benihana are known for the live shows they perform when preparing your dish so I was expecting to see [This] but ended up with the above . Would I go back to Benihana? No I wouldnít. Their sashimi and makiís are pretty cheap (KD1.5 for 5 pieces of Salmon sashimi for example) but there are two other Japanese restaurants at the Avenues, Wasabi and Maki, and I would prefer either one of those to Benihana.

http://www.248am.com/mark/kuwait/my-benihana-experience

Posted via email from mitauae's posterous

A litany of woes

Just doesn't add up...