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“Tucked away restaurant on a side street offering excellent sushi.”
Review of Kushiya Benkay

Kushiya Benkay
Ranked #249 of 632 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: USD 15 - USD 30
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch
Description: Traditional Japanese Pub serving yakitori (grilled food on skewers), kushikatsu (fried food on skewers), and sushi rolls.
Reviewed 6 August 2017 via mobile

I randomly stopped in, as I was tired from walking around the city. I loved the dark, cozy interior. Service was fast. I had the sashimi salmon and tofu dumpling soup and a Sapporo all for under $20. It was exactly, what I was looking for.

Thank 333meg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 20 reviews

Reviewed 21 March 2017

I've been wanting to eat here for some time, but between having to choose from 20 other good Asian restaurants and just not getting "called in" by its uninviting storefront.... I hadn't gotten here, until recently. Friends who are especially inclined toward Asian cuisine and I chose this restaurant, finally. It is easy to walk to from our front doors. We met on the sidewalk and entered, being shown to a table for four along the closest wall of this one large-room "Japanese pub" with semi-open kitchen concept. The menu is extensive and making choices was therefore a bit challenging. Server was a young Japanese woman who was friendly and efficient. It was pretty busy on a weekend night for dinner. Lighting was low and soothing and I especially enjoyed the beauty of two very unusual crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling.

Though I didn't take very good notes, here's what I recorded that my friends and I had here: a rice ball appetizer (dense and not all that flavorful), miso soups (better than average), two seaweed salads, a shiitake mushroom rolls dish, beef yakitori, shrimp tempura, pork dumplings, shrimp rolls with cucumber salad, and a make-your-own Bento box. Waters and glasses of wine for most. One friend especially liked his entree saying it was possibly the best Japanese dish he'd ever tasted. That being said, he later reported getting ill, blaming it on his entree, whether accurate or not. None of the rest of us had any difficulty holding-down our food.

Dinner before tax & tip came to $112.00. I liked my experience here and will likely return when I run out of new Asian restaurants to explore in Portland, which is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

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Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2016 via mobile

We went on a First Friday Art Walk evening in Portland Maine. First we went to the children's museum and then looked for a place to eat. We came to this restaurant with our two year old and were pleasantly surprised. Husband had a sushi plate with 12 pieces and I had veggie Yakisoba noodles. Both items were excellent and there was more than enough food. Our total bill was under $20. This was for dinner! I will go here again when family comes for Christmas because they love sushi.

Thank CherylBelize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2016

My family was trying to find a different sushi place after a trip to the children's museum. We stumbled in here instead are were very, very pleasantly surprised!

Highlights included the Seafood Soup appetizer, a dish many sushi restaurants serve, and which I almost always order, and which frequently disappoints. Here it was boldly flavored and had tender delicious chunks of fish and seafood — not the dregs so many places use. I will order this every time I return.

Their miso soup was a revelation! Instead of the straight-from-the-freeze-dried-packet sameness I've come to expect from a random Sushi restaurant, it was distinctive in its flavor and complexity. I only got a spoonful's taste of my wife's bowl because she refused to share more of it!

The salmon skewers were simple but delicious; my guess it that their other skewers would be similarly well-prepared presentations.

The sushi was served at the traditional temperature, not ice cold, and was quite nice.

They make their own kimchi, which was a delightful surprise, considering that this Korean staple is not common in Japanese restaurants. It was spicy, flavorful, and fresh (while displaying the fizz of its traditional fermentation).

All in all, we were very pleased with the quality, price, and service at this restaurant. We arrived during a particularly empty moment — a warm, sunny, summer Sunday in Maine, when yearlong residents avoid the indoors which are their prison in every other season; as summer residents from the Southwest, we prize good food over sunshine. It's possible that our experience was augmented by the speed of service and attention to our food. Maybe it's worse when crowded, who knows? But putting aside such speculation, this restaurant served one of the best meals we've had in Maine over five years of frequent summer dining out, for a fraction of what we paid for the tasting menu at the fancier Miyake. My family of four includes two small children with big appetites (at the time of our visit a 1-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl). We all ate well and were satisfied for $65, not including the tip.

I strongly recommend Kushiya Benkay, and look forward to our next visit!

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Thank sjb0926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2016

Small but modern space with very solid sushi. Good selection of maki rolls and nigiri. Also great late-nite weekend hours.

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Thank JodyPWM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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