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Le BENKEI

  • Private Rooms
  • Anniversary services
  • English speaking staff
  • Middle school and up OK

Nara's local consumption-touting Grande Maison, boasting a guest list of distinguished guests imperial and abroad.

Originally opened as the 'Benkei' in 1975, 'Le BENKEI' has been pursuing excellence ever since, in the same 6000m²-plus location on the outskirts of Japan's ancient capital, Nara. The grounds originally belonged to a warrior clan serving the lord of Koriyama castle, prior to becoming home to the current western-style villa of magnificent stone-build. From its beginning, it proposed its own unique style, fusing the famous Todaiji temple's lacquered serving trays 'hinomaru-bon' with western course presentation, re-imaging the trays as charger plates. On its 25th anniversary, the restaurant underwent extensive refurbishing, reemerging as a Grande Maison serving authentic and exrtaordinary French cuisine.

Owner-chef Kinji Ogawa, born to a family of traditional Japanese restaurateurs, was nonetheless enchanted by the French counterpart. Naturally, he became an early leader in the visionary movement for Western-Japanese-fusion cuisine, infusing his French menus with traditions of the tea-ceremony and Japanese culinary themes. A heavyweight in Japan's culinary world, chef Ogawa was presented the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's 'Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays' in 2017 for his contributions regarding local consumption, slow-food-ism, and culinary education, in addition to his achievements in hosting the imperial family and a multitude of distinguished foreign guests.

Chef Ogawa exclusively selects from local Nara produce in constructing his courses; as an authority on the local consumption and slow-food movements, he is also prevalent on the production side as well. His dishes, illuminated by the vibrant 'life' of the fresh ingredients, are created from selected local sources; contract-farmed 'Yamato' greens are supplemented by home-smoked ham, home-grown additive-free vegetables and fruits, and honey from an in-house batch of bees. The expansive cellar shelters over 150 labels of wine, centered on French bottles, but with recent focus on domestic products as well.

Guests lead through the stately gates and marble-lined walkway find a luxuriously-clad interior; an 80-seat main hall looking over the gardens, as well as private rooms small and large on the second floor. Tableware, china and cutlery from the likes of Okura Pottery, Narumi, and Christofle are joined by paintings of eminent artists from home and abroad, antique furnishing, and more, creating a refined and lush atmosphere perfect for hosting others. From business receptions, Family celebrations and get-togethers, anniversaries, and more, 'Le BENKEI' provides an unforgettable memory for guests young and old alike.
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* The availability of an English version of this page does not guarantee that the restaurant can provide services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that, even if stated, there may still be days when English speaking staff are unavailable.

【Access】
■15-minute walk from Kintetsu Koriyama Station (Kintetsu Kashihara Line)

Courses

Dinner

Chef's Dinner Course; with Aperitif

23,000 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    9 Courses
    Aperitif
    Amuse-Bouche, Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Today's Seafood Dish, Today's Meat Dish, Cheese Platter, Pre-Dessert, Dessert, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Mini-Sweets

    ※ Our courses are structured similarly, but use different ingredients

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.
    ※ Reservations accepted from groups of 2 and up.

Dinner

Chef's Dinner Course; with Aperitif

31,050 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    9 Courses
    Aperitif
    Amuse-Bouche, Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Today's Seafood Dish, Today's Meat Dish, Cheese Platter, Pre-Dessert, Dessert, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Mini-Sweets

    ※ Our courses are structured similarly, but use different ingredients

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.
    ※ Reservations accepted from groups of 2 and up.

Dinner

Chef's Special; Select Dinner Course

42,550 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    5 Courses
    Aperitif
    Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Today's Seafood Dish, Today's Meat Dish, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Dessert

    ※ A unique and special menu prepared for your special occasion, using the finest ingredients available.

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.
    ※ Reservations accepted from groups of 2 and up.
    ※ Please reserve at least 1 week prior to your visit.

Lunch

Chef's Lunch Course; with Aperitif

11,500 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    5 Courses
    Aperitif
    Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Soup, Today's Seafood Dish OR Wagyu Steak, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Dessert

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.
    ※ Your choice of today's seafood dish or a wagyu steak

Lunch

Chef's Lunch Course; with Aperitif

14,950 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    6 Courses
    Aperitif
    Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Soup, Today's Seafood Dish, Today's Meat Dish, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Dessert

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.

Lunch

Chef's Lunch Course; with Aperitif

19,550 JPY / Guest

  • ▼Course Details
    9 Courses
    Aperitif
    Amuse-Bouche, Cold Appetizers, Hot Appetizers, Today's Seafood Dish, Today's Meat Dish, Cheese Platter, Pre-Dessert, Dessert, Fresh Bread, Coffee/Dessert, Mini-Sweets

  • ※ Tax, service charge, and reservation fee (to Pocket Concierge) included.
    ※ No extra charges unless additional orders occur.
    ※ Reservations accepted from groups of 2 and up.

Access

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Information

Name [Japanese name]
Le BENKEI [Le BENKEI (ル・ベンケイ)]
Cuisine Type
French
Opening hours
Lunch:11:30~15:00(L.O.14:00) Dinner: 17:00~22:00(L.O.21:00)
Holidays
Monday , Irregular Holidays
Access
276-1, Kitakoriyama cho, Yamatokoriyama, Nara
Closest Stations

15-minute walk from Kintetsu Koriyama Station (Kintetsu Kashihara Line)

Website
http://www.benkei.ne.jp/