Food and Drink Pairings from Benihana


We all know that the wine, beer or cocktail that you pair with your meal is just as important as the meal itself. Dallas-based Benihana bartender Kina Reyes-James gives some ideas for food and drink pairings that will surely be useful as we head into the holiday season.

Beer and sushi

That’s right – beer and sushi. Japanese lagers tend to pair very well with sushi. These light-bodied beers are crisp and clean, which make them ideal for complementing multiple types of specialty sushi rolls.

Try it at Benihana: Sapporo Draft Beer and Spicy Tuna Roll

White wine and seafood

Seafood has very light, delicate flavors, which means it needs a light drink pairing. White wines are an ideal match, as they mirror the light flavors of seafood and provide a refreshing palate cleanser between bites. Favorites often include Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

Try it at Benihana: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and the Ocean Treasure

Sake and sashimi

Sake comes in a few varieties, but all tend to pair well with different kinds of sashimi. It’s important to find the right balance between the type of sake and the type of fish. Rich and dry junmai sake is a good pairing with fattier/rich fish like salmon and tuna while aromatic junmai ginjo sake tends to pair better with more delicate types of fish prepared with lighter seasonings.

Try it at Benihana: Sho Chiku Bai Ginjo and Yellowtail Sashimi

Red wine and steak

A hearty steak has strong flavor, which calls for a full-bodied wine to accompany it. The tannins in red wine also cut through the fat of the steak, making it taste more flavorful. And the wine tastes smoother and less bitter.

Try it at Benihana: Don Miguel Gascón Malbec and Filet Mignon

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