ENTERTAINING teppanyaki restaurant Benihana has announced a successful start to 2019 with record international growth hot on the heels of its Glasgow opening.

The global restaurateurs revealed a 53% increase in its restaurant numbers with multi-market franchise agreements signed in Egypt and Pakistan, and a single-unit agreement in Mexico.

The brand will have created a total of 29 restaurants across their global portfolio upon completion in the coming years.

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The Evening Times reported first back in October how the Japanese favourite would be adding to the city’s vibrant food and drink scene.

Taking over the former Carluccio’s unit on West Nile Street, which was asked to vacate the premises by its landlord earlier than expected, the globally recognised teppanyaki steakhouse Benihana opened its doors in February with a 400m2 restaurant able to accommodate over 100 guests.

Bosses revealed an evolved, new look and feel for the brand, where guests experienced a striking new design concept that married authentic Japanese visuals with a modern palette and texturised materials.

Also, with the introduction of a new small dish menu to complement the popular teppanyaki plates and a new partnership with Amsterdam-based The Cocktail Professor, the team expanded the offering and brought new and exciting options for Glasgow guests.

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The branch features nine teppan tables where guests can experience a fast-paced performance of chopping and juggling by their own personal chef, something bosses say creates an “exciting and entertaining” teppanyaki-style dining experience for all ages.

The ground floor restaurant occupies a dominant position, less than 100 metres from Glasgow’s prime shopping location on Buchanan Street, and close to Central Station.

Charred timber detailing and anime wall graphics make the eatery stand out from its competitors in the area.

Those passing and entering the restaurant are greeted by a striking three-dimensional timber cladding exterior entrance.

The opening was an exciting development for the brand as it celebrates its 55th anniversary with the international group’s first venture into Scotland.

Managing director Richard Mackay said of the new Glasgow restaurant: “As the first equity restaurant to open in more than 20 years, the opening of Glasgow was a marker for our future aspirations.

“This is an important period as we look to evolve, both through new bricks and mortar, as well as culinary experiences.

“I would like to thank the Benihana board of directors and Minor International in their support making the expansion a reality.”

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Benihana first opened its doors with just four tables back in 1964 and entertaining guests was the legendary founder ‘Hiroki ‘Rocky’ Aoki.’

Operations now span across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and North America.

Richard added: “With a five-year growth plan in action to open more than 40 new restaurants, we are excited to share this exciting journey with our guests and partners. We are inspired by the success of our founder, Rocky Aoki who once said: ‘Only those who do not fear failure will achieve success.’”