Food Kuwait Lawsuit Personal

My Benihana Experience

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 wasn’t too bad for a restaurant that’s 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. It’s 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 Maki’s negimaki which has a richer teriyaki sauce. The Orange Blossom was very ordinary, wouldn’t 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 didn’t 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 I’m 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 wouldn’t. Their sashimi and maki’s 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.


Update: Comments have been closed.

Update2: If you read the comments below you will see that the Benihana GM Mike Servo threatened to sue me. Well, Benihana have actually gone ahead with the lawsuit, I got served my papers and my court date is in March. I have been receiving a lot of support from people via twitter, email and blogs. For now my lawyer has advised me not to discuss the case or talk about Benihana, but as soon as he gives me the go ahead I will be sharing all the details.

Update3: I’ve been given the go ahead by my lawyer to talk about the case, here is the court order and more details regarding the lawsuit [Link]

Update4: The amount of support I have been receiving is phenomenal, here is a link to the full media coverage the subject has received so far [Link]

72 replies on “My Benihana Experience”

I must say they have SOME good sushis there with good prices comparing to Maki, Edu and other Japanese restaurants. But what was so disgusting that I found a hair on my Salmon sushi ><!

im sooooo disapointed ! i was looking farward to going there but now i dont think so

the first video is funny ! he keeps dropping the metal thingy lol

yep….we went couple days ago and found the food to be ok, nothing special, and that the staff were friendly, a bit OTT, but it had just opened.

But the worst bit was the live cook, poor guys obviously havent had the right training, because it is very rehearsed and un-natural (beside the fact he kept dropping the knife and spatular) which then made me feel a bit concerned for my health…

I had a dinner in Benihana at the Avenues last night with my friends , with my past experience with other Japanese Restaurant everywhere in Kuwait ..Benihana is still good and tops above all . Their live cooking is different than others . Friendly people and staff .Nice ambience , decor is unique .

I will recommend Benihana to some of my other friends whom i know .

I just like to comment with MARK & NAT ,I am also an EXPAT here in Kuwait .

Guys nobody’s perfect in this world . Anyone can have their own mistake .

I ate there with my BF and i found its awesome . I love their CALIFORNIA ROLL and the HIBACHI CHICKEN and SILOIN STEAK is just PERFECT .

Thank You Benihana for opening up in Kuwait , I will go for more with my FRIENDS .

Can i have a discount PLEASE ..LOL .

let me continue .,, I just went there that why i said ..Awesome !! Nice show , Good Decor and pretty good foof and price .

I was a Maki fan before , but i will never forget Benihana and I will always comeback for more ..

My husband and i went there last FRIDAY , Below are the things that we can say about Benihana :

– Nice FOOD
– Affordable Price
– Good Ambience
– Friendly People
– Nice Show

I respect others comment , but we ate there and we will be going back for more ..Hey Benihana Management ..PLEASE give us a discount next time ,,ha ha ha ..LOL

I am an India expat i eat chapati & India Cuisine every day but when i try Benihana food i will prefer Benihana food morethan my Cuisine. LOL

Wooooow Benihana ….. its very tasty food. i had recomended to all my friends to visit & taste the food.

definetly its one of the finest restro in kuwait people who loves the taste & cooking style in front of the customer……….!

All the best to Benihana in Kuwait


i just dont feel that the way you attacked others is right . i still respect the freedom of speech , but why you are doing these ?

if you dont like the food , just shut up your mouth out and dont come back to the restaurant anymore . but what you are doing is an opposing attack to detroy others . do you get paid to do this ? by whom ?

thats it ..plain and simple ! you are an expat and we are an expat too . you ate and you have your own taste , we have our own taste too .

this is clear that you filter each and every , comment & messages on your blog .

this is clear that you do this just to attack others and get paid for your biassed comments .

i hope that karma will not strike you back ..

Marcus/margaux/Sameer/Deepu/Sweety: I don’t allow people to come in here pretend they are multiple people and post comments. If you’re from Benihana and would like to leave a comment you’re more than welcomed to but telling me to shut the hell up if I don’t like the food and not to go back if I wasn’t satisfied or to accuse me of being paid by your competitor to post my opinion is very unprofessional.

ps: I am going to leave your first comment under the nickname Marcus, I am deleting all the others that followed under the different nicknames.

Yes keeping them is better. it’s pretty easy to notice that the same style of writing is used in the posts that also happened to be written in short intervals. fun stuff.
I can’t blame them/him/her though, they might be worried about losing their jobs?

Agree. Must be the same person, same writing style and comments ( “LOL” and “give me a discount”). What a joke and a pathetic attempt by management to cover issues instead of addressing them.

So…in other words, not one of the people who actually went thought it was good? 7asaafa. Not even a “you have to know what to order” comment?

The one in DC is awesome…(well awesome is an overstatement…its still Benihana)

Hai Guys, I went to Benihana with my wife on days ago. I experienced also the Benihana in Hawaii. I promise to you guys, the benihana in kuwait, they serve the food and customer service with a world high class. I ordered the hibachi steak and my wife try the jumbo shrimp. The chef was did a great job infront of our eyes and the food was very nice. As well as, we ordered some mocktails and that were delicious.
As per my experience in Benihana Kuwait, it was nice and also my wife enjoy too. If we compare the price with other Japanese restaurant, the benihana is cheaper. Also, the employees are very friendly and they are always with us until leave from the restaurant. My wife is pregnant and the chef and Managers are given very good gaudiness for chosen the food for her. I REALY LIKE THE BENIHANA RETSUARNT IN KUWAIT. Hopefully, i will visit again this restaurant on this week again.

What i find suprising is that we are giving an review of our experience, instead of taking it on board good and bad and trying to improve, you get upset and think it is a whole conspriacy theory.

Why not except the comments and try to improve?

Dude,,, easy on them man, be fair 😉
Yesterday I went there with my wife, it’s was the best Japanese restaurants in Kuwait.
I’ve went to all Japanese restaurants here, till yesterday Benihana was the best.
Best food, best price, best value… have you just felt the warm decoration or the staff & their hospitality?
I’m sure I’ll do it agian & again…

Dear Mr. Mark,

We are from Benihana management of Kuwait; my name is Mike Servo the GM of the Company .

Thank You for visiting us in our restaurant and dining in with your wife .I had found your comments and in your web site on Benihana.

I also found it out that our rights and name is being used in a wrong way and broadcasting the video without a proper consent from us is really annoying specially Benihana is just opened up its doors to the public.

We are seeking and consulting our legal dept. on how we can form a type of law suit against your website to be brought up to the Kuwait authorities.

We respect opinion, but we see it in a way that Benihana name have been destroyed and abused on your website.

We are eager to know your name and meet you personally if you don’t have anything to hide.

You mentioned clearly on a detour way on not to go to Benihana and go to Maki or Wasabi or Chocolate Bar and we believe that this is against the law of Kuwait, We respect our rights on not to advertise in your website and if we don’t, this will not mean that we will be hurt by your side and if this done, the court in Kuwait will be in our side to give us our rights. to make this conversation short . We want you to give us your information, your name, your number and your address so our lawyer will take it from there and be sure that you in Kuwait were the jury is
100 % clean and fair.

We also expect that you might be sending people to Benihana to make a play and that is why we have informed the CID about that, In the past we encountered your add in Subway and it is one of our companies franchise, we really didn’t give it any attention, and it very clear now that Subway is an elephant while other competitors are closing down, however this time we will not let it go and we will follow you legally.

This is the last comment from my side and LPRC side; we wish that you will be free to give us your info. BTW are you Lebanese?

Thank for your concern and we have that you are brave to give us your info and we will meet in court soon.


Mike Servo

A comedy classic.

‘John’, you’re not fooling anyone.

Really, you’ve got to wonder if a company would be foolish enough to actually get its employees to post such lame comments in response to your review, but who knows.

why didn’t you complain more vehemently before you left the restuarant?

hey chef, i’m sorry but
hey, manager , i’m sorry but

i like your blog but did you honesty bring the faults to their attention and let them try to rectify? then retaste and complain again if necessary?

blogs are last resorts for complaints IMHO

I’d tried the different kind of foods in some restaurant here in kuwait but frankly say that some are bad & some are good.Definitely if we like the taste of the food we’ll comeback to order again.When i heard abt. the opening of Benihana in kuwait i’d totally laugh & i though its just a joke.Suddenly my friends came to my house & ask me to go in Avenues because of Benihani…When i saw the place i’m very much suprised b’coz everything is perfect even their employees are very friendly & the ambience are pretty much good!Foods are very delicious & affordable…try to go there guys, for sure” you will enjoy the taste of Benihana kuwait…see yah!!!

they might have brought you something else, discounted the meal or given you a voucher

or free desert

Mike Servo!

Are you serious about the whole thing you wrote! Your comments are pointless and will not warrant anything at all! It is about a person’s experience in your place! People can do what ever they want! He talked about his experience and might be a one off bad experience but in your case your making it much worse!

Now I really wont ever go there or recommend people to go there because if the food is bad you will be sued by Mike Servo who doesn’t know the laws of Kuwait and wants to waste time of the CID!

Be informed that you can go the them and file your complaint, asking for someone’s personal information is rude and shows that you are really lacking in any form of company dignity! You really want to sue someone because your restaurant made bad food! Unlike other restaurants which tried to fix their menu and improve things!

I have a feeling that your restaurant will be closing in no time at this pace! I’m planning to try it out to see how bad it really is, and if it is bad I’m going to probably write a worse review and please tell CID about me, lets see what happens when I turn the tables on you and your company.

Also posting lame comments from your company repetitively is very childish and immature!

Hahaaaa these are the funniest comments I have read in a while. The manager is funny if he thinks he can do anything about this review.

I will be trying it this week and blogging about it. I hope it is the same as the one in washington d.c. Or else I would be really disappointed.

Mark, who in their right mind judges a place “that’s just been open for a few days” and then writes about it? No business is perfect– and a restaurant/dining facility needs at least a good month or so to get its act together. You KNOW your blog has some sort of influence on people in the area (for some strange reason), and I agree 100% with “Meme.” You could have stated your feedback of the place in a diplomatic fashion to their management and THEN see the outcome. Only then would your review have been a FAIR & JUST one. I don’t think YOU would have appreciated such a negative review a few days after you opened had it been YOUR business– or am I mistaken? Seriously, stop writing out of your a** just to have something to post about… *sigh*

Is it just me or does anybody else find this Mike Servo character, a real ****? mind my language?

What does Mark’s nationality have to do with this whole thing, except proving that you’re racist?

I’ve read a lot of Mark’s opinions about several restaurants in Kuwait, some were good experiences, while others weren’t, but this is the first time that I read a response from a restaurant that lacks taste and professionalism. Instead of thinking about paying for a lawyer to make a lawsuit, invest money to train your management staff, or even better, hire an actual professional manager, that knows how to deal with criticism, because clearly the current management lacks this, big time!


I was going to visit Benihana .. but after seeing how you treat customers reviewing your restaurant, I plan on avoiding it at all costs.

Instead of taking the constructive criticism and focusing on enhancing the quality of food and service; Your approach to resolve the issue is by making threats of lawsuits and arrests.

Not to mention, you have your employees write fake reviews commending the restaurant on its service and quality (and requesting discounts?); which in itself is deceitful and sad.

I hope you learn a lesson on how to take your customers opinion to benefit your business; as this would affect your success in future ventures.

It’s funny how there are lots of people in this world who still don’t comprehend the power of technology and especially blogging, as well as an old customer service term called “word of the mouth”, which can a two edged sword if you’re not careful….

The whole point was to review a recently opened venue in Kuwait. What’s the point of having the review after the place gets old and everyone has already been there.

In my opinion this is the best advertising they will get… I’m only going after I read his post.

@ marzouk

you made up your mind before visiting our store ,however ,we still wish you being our customer in benihana , we ask the information about MARK and i dont think that this is an abuse and also everybody knows the law of kuwait is 100 % fair .Mark said in a detour way ” that dont go to Benihana and instead go to Wasabi , Maki or Chocolate Bar , we are suing him for that , and if these not a crime then the judge will say so , at the end i dont really want to continue to each and every comment , because i made my decision and the company’s wide and clear.and he must be brave to show us his info’s .


There’s no protocol that says:
“If you go to a restaurant, be easy on it, and ensure that you don’t judge and write a review about it if you just tried it once. Ensure that you go there at least 5 times to gauge the level of each experience with the restaurant’s service and food. If you find any dissatisfaction, then keep it a secret and only share it with management “.

It’s a choice, and Mark decided to share with with everyone.

If the restaurant’s management was smart and well trained, they could have used this blog and mark’s review to their advantage to market their restaurant, soon enough, they would have people flocking into their restaurant in no time!

I have no experience whatsoever in restaurant management and I figured this out!!!

Mike Servo,

AN opinion was given of the food and which did not meet the expectations that would be associated with a reputable brand such as Benihanas. At no point could any opinion of Mark’s be even remotely construed as being slanderous as quite simply (which I am shocked that I would have to explain to a representative of a brand such as Benihana) he expressed an opinion of the food which did not appeal to him.

As a representative of such a well known brand it is shocking that you would conduct yourself in such an unprofessional manner. I am sure the franchise policy of Benihanas is not one of engaging those who are not satisfied with its product by posting baseless claims and threatening frivolous lawsuits that serve no other purpose but discredit any legitimate concern or issue you may have.

Regarding the numerous posts made under the same IP only further discredits the image of your company and Benihana.

I am shocked that I would need to remind you that the basic principles of the legal structure of a Franchise arrangement is that the Franchisor ensures that the Franchisee does not in any way take any actions that would harm the reputation of the Franchisor. Thus, I do not believe the Franchisor would take too kindly to a representative of the Franchisee engaging in such irresponsible actions and would kindly suggest you check your relevant legal documentation with the Franchisor as to whether or not it is in fact you who have broken some legal obligations you have.

Again, an opinion was given and I would suggest next time if you have an issue with a patron of your restaurant you act in a professional manner and conduct yourself in accordingly.



Dear Mr. Servo,

First and foremost Mark has not slandered the Benihana in any way shape or form, in fact he praised the atmosphere, the staff, and the decor, and then he went on to explain HIS personal experience at the restaurant, which at no point did he not recommend or slander the Benihana franchise, all he did was express HIS personal taste in food and feels that HIS taste leans towards Maki, Wasabi, and Chocolate Bar, people have different tastes buds and palates what to you might taste good to him might taste bad, that is personal opinion and in no way shape or form is that illegal. Now posting different posts as different people on a website and falsely advertising your product without the consent of the admin is illegal, as the admin can track the I.P. ADDRESS of the posters and if the address is tracked back to Las Palmas Restaurant Company then the owner has the right to counter sue for false advertisement, advertisement without owners consent, and personal threats to the owner amongst other things. So Mr. Servo I hope for the sake of Las Palmas Restaurant Company that the I.P. Address is not coming from the company or any employee representing the company.

Manaf (biggie27)

P.S. on a personal note, I find your retort to his post not only unprofessional but childish as well, I have no idea who taught you business values but in any services business the customer is always right, instead of learning from his experience and offering to rectify a bad experience and winning back a customer who would have willingly written a post about how u went out of your way to fix a bad experience that he had, you opted to post in public about suing him. Im pretty sure if Mr. Al-Mutairi reads the posts and comments, and sees how unprofessional his GM is he would have a few words to share. As for me personally I wouldn’t give you the time of day if this is how you conduct business in fact I had Subway for lunch, and I was thinking about going to Benihana’s for lunch tomorrow, but you know what I think ill just go somewhere else you lost another customer and its not because of Marks post about the restaurant, its because of the way the GM of the company conducted himself because a person did not like the food personally……and I really dont want to be sued because i might not like the food.

Mike Servo,

I just read your comment to Marzouq and it appears you continue to engage in an unprofessional manner on this blog. Saying such things as “he must be brave to show us his info’s” can only be construed as being childish and not the appropriate actions of someone apparently in a position of authority in a business enterprise.

Once again, I suggest you go back to the terms and conditions of your Franchise Agreement with Benihana and see if you are not in breach of your legal obligations as a Franchisee by acting in such a manner that clearly shows the image of Benihanas in a bad light before lecturing people on what you perceive is allowed by Law.



Mr Servo! It seems that you have no understanding of what I wrote, I’m writing about the actions of a General Manager of a company acting like a bitter child!

Honestly I take insult to companies who think they can sue people because they think people shouldn’t express their opinion! I thought Mark’s review was very fair and he wasn’t happy, it must be a one time experience. I for one still remember Benihana fondly from the US but it seems you are off to a bad start in Kuwait with these steps.

I will go to the restaurant I try it out and I will be letting you know what I think about the food and service!

I’m a big fan of Subway and think that the service is good! But I’m assuming at this point that it has nothing to do with you since your actions speak greatly of your opinions of customers!

For those who have automatically made up your minds about not going to the place, why don’t you TRY IT yourselves & judge it based on your OWN experience? Or wait, does Mark chew your food & pick out your clothes too? *sigh*

@Nael, yes, it’s his choice, but as a well-known blogger in this community he has also has a semi-responsibility, in the sense that he is VERY aware that his blog could hurt the reputation of a business or individual based on his posts/reviews(perfect example are the people above who have already decided not to try it). I’m not saying he needs to give the place an excellent review, or needs to lie about his experience, but at least be FAIR. Speak to site management first and see how they react to your feedback right at that moment. People can only do the best they can in the beginning, no one is perfect. I have to agree his review was very negative, and had it been my restaurant I wouldn’t have appreciated it much either. WOULD YOU?


People are making their minds based off the actions of the GM. Instead of acting the way he did, he should take the criticism Mark has offered, improved Benihana and invited Mark back. The issues that Mark pointed out are problems a franchise like Benihana shouldn’t experience. Under cooked Chicken? That could be dangerous.

You are making a number of posts about Mark’s approach to his review, basically repeating the same thing several times. Do you not have any comments to make about Mike Servo’s response?


I am avoiding the restaurant due to the actions of their GM .. not because of Mark’s review.

A proper response would have been .. Hey Mark, we appreciate your comments and will work on it .. We have fixed so and so issues, please come by for a another meal and give us feedback.


So let me get this straight. The current laws in Kuwait will not allow me to comment on my own personal experience with anything. Not food, not TV, not even people who can’t drive for shit but will allow you to imply that Mark is a coward? Come on ….. that wouldn’t fly. If mark were to print what you wrote in the public domain on his website and print what he wrote and present both to a judge if/when a lawsuit is filed you would be accused of slander.

You are not authorized nor can you serve a legal mandate. Even if you were to, the manner in which you phrased your complaint does not contain any information with regards to specifics of your claim. Furthermore for the sake of both sides involved these matters are rarely advertised prior to trail as the outcome may be embarrassing (as this case illustrates)

It must be said that posting a threat up on a website in the manner that you did and implying that you will be pursuing court action without a filed legal claim reflects some immaturity on your part and makes me wonder how a company responsible for this franchise (or any other for that matter) would allow you (or any other person) to expose them to a slander suit, legal fees and more importantly a reputation as a bully who tries to influence any opinion made with regards to their product or products.

Your response will probably be that if Mark can say he prefers this over that, then I can say what ever I want. The difference is that Marks opinion is his own and yours reflects that of you company. For example when you through a tantrum, the whole company looks like a bunch of four yearolds, when you claim that a person is trying to promote a product over another and that only your product should be mentioned in a review, it makes your company look like they’re trying to control what people read and are corrupt.

Oh and “Thank for your concern and we have that you are brave to give us your info and we will meet in court soon.” …. invest in some English classes …… Jesus ……

Hoping you actually know what your doing (because if you don’t I’d book my flight back to Manila)


So if you go to benihana and don’t like the food, you get sued ? What kind of retarded service is this? I personally won’t be going to benihana just because of this arrogant attitude.

@ Patrick/K-The Kuwaiti There were people who had already made up their minds PRIOR to the guy/manager posting…

So what if a couple of people made some remarks about not going – they’re just offhand comments. If they read some good reviews in the future or their friends tell them they had a good time, then… It works both ways.
The real issues here are the fake positive posts made and then the threats from someone purporting to be the GM. If those really did come from someone in the company, then it’s a quite appalling approach to dealing with the issue.

I hope all this is some funny sh*t. Because its unbelievably childish and unprofessional attitude from the GM. The point that his making again and again is that Mark said that dont go to Benihana, which is clearly wrong. Mark clearly states that he *prefers*. I’m sure we all have read many reviews on this blog, some we agreed with, some we didn’t, but never read such *stupid* response from management! He sounds racist. And because Mark is an expat, he probably send his expat employees to write those comments, thinking it works better. But when he saw it didn’t, he has say ” BTW are you Lebanese” !!!! Dear GM, even a college kid knows about customer service and respect these days.

Its true, when ur business is new and when the business is your lifeline, it does hurt to hear someone dislike it and give bad reviews. Shd have taken it in the right spirit, probably offered him to visit again and say you will look into the matter.

Would like to add though that I agree that Mark should have complained about the food to the management right then and see their reaction. Sometimes things go wrong and may be if he had done it then, his view of the place could be different. But its his wish! Even though I personally would prefer a review that involved a second chance, its no compulsion on him.

Ah man … I love threads like this. Need a mind break and this did the trick! Thanks k.thekuwaiti for twittering it.

I’ve been to Benihana in San Diego and the one in Dubai. For me its not about the food (which is genereally quite good) but the entertainment and atmosphere.

After reading this – and the comments from the management, its clear that the Kuwait branch fails on all three.

Thanks again for the entertaining comments!

Come on, you can’t believe that “Mike Servo” actually represents the company. I could come on here and threaten to sue Mark, and I should because he filters half of my comments, but I highly doubt that someone with the intelligence of “Mike Servo” would be managing a company, he even uses the word detour as a verb, what an idiot.

Well, if it is true he is managing the restaurant, then Mark’s review makes sense.

Dear Mr. Servo,

I didn’t like my experience in Benihana – Kuwait. Do you care for my full info as well ?

you can make things right by starting to apologize to Mark and the readers.

Very sad – The WASABI food quality has gone done so much i was really looking forward to an alternative like BENIHANA. I miss the old large Wasabi Crab & Avocado salad… In the good times it had fantastic pink salmon quality , lots of avaocado. Even their sushi went downhill. Now i guess its probably back to Sakura or Maki for lack of other choices…
Its not just about the prep , but a quality of ingredients a restaurant uses that makes all the difference..

@ David
Mike Servo’s response needs no explanation. It’s obvious he handled the issue in a very improper manner.

Seems like Mr Servo’s response to Mark’s review has ruined Benihana’s reputation. If there was one advise I would give the company, it would be terminating such a GM that lacks any professional behavior.

Mr Servo has actually helped me decide not to visit their restaurant and will make sure non of the people I know visit it unless we make sure he is gone from the company.

Thank you Mark for your valuable review.