Jack Hutton’s Restaurant of the Week: Benkay Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant

Radio Host, Jack Hutton’s Restaurant of the Week:  Review of Benkay Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant

Author: Jack Hutton (USM Student and host of No Longer Dangerous) and Kayla Bogert (USM Student)

There is just something about traditions that make a dining experience that much better. Benkay  Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant is masterfully decorated with traditional Japanese art and architecture. Combined with a sense of ambience and comfort that will transport you to a different time. Much like the Samurai proudly displayed out near the hostess podium, the Sushi chefs on staff are chiseled warriors. Disciplined in the art of their craft, one that takes decades to master. Wielding blades sharp enough to slice bone but gentle enough to perfect each and every cut of raw fish. That is why I couldn’t recommend more that you should sit right at the Sushi Bar and watch them work. It is nothing short of magnificent culinary artwork. Benkay does not skip a beat, the serving staff are timely and aware, with smiles that make you feel at home and ready to share this experience.

Let your eyes wander around the room after you analyze their extensive menu. Ask them if there is anything they recommend and sit back with delicious delight. I brought along a friend and coworker at the station Kayla, to try Sushi for the first time. Knowing this place, rated Best of Portland Sushi, would knock her socks off. When the beautiful plates arrived, I could see her eyes dilate before the many colors of sushi on the variety plate. Something that could only be equated to tourists visiting New England for the first time in the fall. The first bite redefines what you think of sushi. I can only compare it to my time stationed in Hawaii, absolutely lovely. Now I’m gonna turn it over to Kayla with her thoughts on eating sushi for the first time.

Through a conversation Jack and I had, we came across the topic of how I had never tried sushi before. Conveniently Jack had already planned an article centering that exact dish. So I was kindly treated to Benkay’s Japanese Restaurant’s sushi in exchange for offering the perspective of someone new to the world of sushi.

The experience and atmosphere of the restaurant was great, we happened to arrive at a time when the restaurant wasn’t busy so I got the opportunity to really see the restaurant’s decorations and ambience. We also got the chance to  chat a bit to the waiter serving us. We told her how it was my first time and she was very kind and personable and excited to know how I enjoyed it.  As someone who has never had raw fish before, the flavor of the sushi was great, the rice was fluffy and just right and the seaweed was perfectly wrapped to finish the presentation. Benkay turned out to be a perfect introduction to sushi. Now despite all this praise while well earned, I have come to my own personal conclusion that sadly the texture of the fish is not for me. While I did heavily enjoy the flavors of all the food I tried and the presentation was great. I guess I am just not truly ready for all that the world of sushi has to offer. Overall I left Benkay’s Japanese Restaurant knowing why they have earned themselves the title of “The Best Sushi in Portland Maine”.

Jack is a student at the University of Southern Maine, Veteran and host of “No Longer Dangerous
Kayla is a student at the University of Southern Maine and DJ “Simply Seventeen