Benten is a Japanese restaurant found in Hanoi, which is popular among Japanese locals in in the city. At around lunchtime, the restaurant is filled with local Japanese business people who are working in Hanoi. By looking at the guests, you can tell that this is a good Japanese restaurant that provides authentic Japanese food.
The restaurant has private rooms for those who enjoy privacy as well as semi-private seating that give some degree of privacy. The cooks are Japanese at Benten and the local staff who work at the restaurant speak pretty good Japanese as well making it feel like as if you are in little Tokyo. If you get tired of Vietnamese food during your visit in Hanoi, you can visit this Japanese restaurant, which is highly recommended by Japanese locals who reside there.
The Japanese restaurant district
Benten is found on Kim Ma Road in front of Thu Le Park and Thu Le Lake. This area has many Japanese restaurants and those from Hanoi recognize it as a Japanese restaurant district. Since Kim Ma Road is a busy road with hardly no pedestrians on the street, this is a location you want to access via a taxi. If you are looking for some authentic and reasonably priced Japanese food, this is where you want to go. Maybe you can visit the Thu Le Park and then visit the lake and the zoo before or after your lunch break at Benten.
A wide range of Japanese dishes to choose from
At Benten, you have a wide range of Japanese food to choose from. With more people becoming health conscious, Japanese food has attracted global interest. For a lot of international people, the image of Japanese food is sushi and maybe ramen, but at Benten, you can eat dishes that are more realistic for Japanese people. For example, Japanese people do not regularly eat sushi. Sushi is more for special occasions and surprisingly, it is a lot less healthy when it comes to thinking about calories compared with other more everyday Japanese food, such as gyudon, udon, osouzai, and teishoku, as you see in the picture..
Large lunch plate, plenty to eat!
As indicated earlier, around lunch time, you’ll see a lot of Japanese business people who are working or taking a business trip to Hanoi at Benten. Thus, the volume of food is perfect for those who need a lot of energy to work hard in the afternoon.
This lunch plate is higawari teishoku, which means lunch plate that changes daily. You can choose your main dish and also can choose 3 side dishes of your choice on top of rice and miso soup. It is exactly how it tastes in Japan, so you can expect authentic Japanese food at Benten. Being Japanese, I can guarantee the quality of food here!
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
Tips for eating at Benten
Since this is a popular place for local Japanese and Japanese people on a business trip to Hanoi, you see a lot of Japanese people here. Because of this, semi-private areas have a lot of customers who are smoking. It is not so common at all to have smoking seats inside of restaurants in many countries today, but at Benten, you will feel and smell the cigarette smoke as you enter the restaurant. Thus, if you dislike cigarette smoke and/or are with small children, you definitely want to request a private room so that you can stay away from it.
Enjoy a variety of Asian cuisines in Hanoi
Of course, when you are traveling to Vietnam, you must try amazing Vietnamese food. However, if you need to mix things up a little, there are options if you are in a city like Hanoi. You may not have these options when you are in the outskirts of major cities, but if you are in Hanoi, you can have decent Japanese and Korean. It is because of Vietnam’s growing global business interests bringing businesses into Vietnam, thus people. On my 2 week journey in Vietnam, I was fortunate to come across great Japanese and Korean food as well as Vietnamese food. It is true indeed that food in Vietnam is great!
Get Trip101 in your inbox