Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice Review

Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice

So much frozen food, so little time!

We’ve been interested in the frozen side of Benihana’s food selection for quite some time now, but we’ve always got so much to review that we’d overlooked Benihana for a very long time. We did manage to check out their Yakisoba Chicken not too long ago, but we’re interested in digging deeper into this line to see what it’s all about.

In case you’re not familiar, Benihana is an American chain of Japanese-style hibachi restaurants, famous for popularizing the hibachi concept in the western world. Yes, that’s where the cooks make your food right in front of you on a giant iron skillet while putting on a performance, doing tricks with water bottles and juggling food and whatnot.

While all of that is good fun, we’re a frozen food review site, not a restaurant review site, so we’re going to stick to our area of expertise: the frozen meals. Yes, if you want to skip the restaurant experience, you can pick up one of Benihana’s frozen meals at your local grocery store (our Target usually has these in stock, as do many of the grocery stores in the area, though that might vary by region).

So what are we up to today? Well, we’re checking out the Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice. We’re pretty excited about this, so let’s get cooking!

This certainly presents no challenge in the cooking instructions. Simply peel back a corner of the film and pop the meal into the microwave for two and a half minutes. Give it a good stir, then toss it back in for another two minutes. Your meal should be toasty hot at that point, so you’ll want to let it cool for a minute or two before digging in. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out our package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice

First off, we should mention that this ends up a bit more watery than we’d like. Everything seems a little bit wet, and it’s not just because of the sauce — though there is a sauce here. The hibachi sauce tastes more like a beef broth than a soy-based sauce, despite the fact that it is a soy-based sauce.

The portion size is also pretty small. We were surprised to see just how empty the bowl was — the food takes up maybe one fifth of the bowl. That said, the chicken portion is bigger than you’d expect considering the overall size is so small, and that chicken is pretty tasty too. The watery consistency and oddly beeflike flavor both do the chicken a service; this stuff ends up juicy and loaded with flavor.

The rest of the meal doesn’t benefit from this, though. Jasmine rice was a really great choice for the meal, but it’s a bit too moist. There are tiny chunks of carrots, but they end up a bit soggy. We can’t help but wonder if cooking this a little bit longer might cause some of that moisture to evaporate, leading to a better meal.

This bowl also includes scrambled eggs, which always makes us happy. The egg portion isn’t huge, but what’s here seems pretty good. Though, like everything else, the eggs end up kind of damp, giving them an unpleasant consistency.

This meal contains 380 calories and 800 mg of sodium. While that calorie count really isn’t that bad, the sodium level is slightly above average for a frozen meal. Since frozen meals are already high in sodium on average, that makes this a little higher than we’d like it to be, but still acceptable. Then again, as we mentioned earlier, the overall size of this meal is very small.

The Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice seems like a great idea that wasn’t executed very well. We love this conceptually, but it’s watery and we’re not huge fans of the sauce. The chicken is the standout part of this dish, but the rest is pretty mediocre. We do hope Benihana revisits this dish in the future, because it has so much potential to be amazing; it’s just not there yet.

You can learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen meal by check out the package scans below.

Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice
Benihana Hibachi Chicken Rice
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