The only reason I ever heard about Sushi Samurai was because they offered a sushi buffet.
Sushi being one of my favourite foods, and a buffet being one of my favourite ways of EATING food…holy cow combine the two and I’m just going to explode…in both my stomach as well as in joy.
Oh and this is a buffet challenge – my illustrious friend (who also goes by the name of Michael) challenged me to the buffet, and of course, I wasn’t going to turn him down. Several of our friends joined us to both eat and watch. It’s going to be exciting.
IT’S BUFFET TIME. No time for wasting words, let’s eat.
Date Visited: 9/02/2013
Address: 14 Bunn St Pyrmont, NSW 2009 (or Neutral Bay/Cremorne – Sushi, Japanese 197 Military Rd Shop 3)
Go-to dish: if you don’t get the buffet you may as well not come.
It’s a fairly small place – wouldn’t seat more than 25 people really, but I guess that didn’t matter for a Saturday lunch it seems. The place was mostly empty, but that’s a function of the fact that the restaurant was closing up soon (they’re not open all day – only during lunch & dinner hours) when we arrived (thanks to those *ahem* late *ahem* people).
One unfortunate side effect was that the buffet – which is a timed 90min period btw, was only going to last us just under an hour. So yeah, we’re technically not getting our money’s worth, but that’s actually our fault for arriving late. Oh well, it’s time to eat faster.
I mean it.
Someone orders a cocktail, which is unimportant because DRINKS FILL YOUR STOMACH UP
You get to choose from a “normal” buffet and a “premium” buffet which allows you to select more expensive dishes off the menu such as certain seafoods, nigiri and sashimi. Either set however, starts with a few fixed items – the first being agedashi tofu. This was pretty much on par with ones I’ve had in the past – it’s pretty good stuff and leaves you wanting more. That umami, the trend is going to stay for the course of this meal for sure.
We all chose the premium buffet, and at what I believe was $34.95, is quite affordable – as long as your stomach can make use of every dollar spent
One of my favourite dishes I had on the day – the seafood salad was excellent. This was primarily due to a) the plentifulness of the seafood that was included – generous! As well as b) the fact that they’ve been seared to perfection. A lovely smokey hot salad is the result, which is absolutely delectable. See, a good salad always has to have meat in it
Whichever buffet you order, you end up choosing a “starter platter” of either mostly maki rolls, or mostly nigiri. The above is the maki sushi platter. I didn’t choose that, as it was mostly tuna which is probably just canned tuna anyway (it may not actually /be/ ‘canned’, but I always refer to that kind of tuna as canned tuna for obvious reasons). In addition – too much rice. Still a nice set though as I had a few bits and pieces from it.
Now we’re talking – this is the nigiri set to have. Lovely nigiri of all types, they all tasted quite fresh and I don’t recall noting down any particular objections to anything. Well, except the karaage which was perhaps too dry for my tastes, though water takes care of that pretty quickly.
After we finish the sets, we begin to select items off the menu for the wait staff to deliver. We start with some nigiri and salmon roe gunkan sushi.
It’s all pretty good stuff, though since we were timed, I wasn’t able to focus on the flavours too much as I was eating quite quickly, but I recall that the shrimp had a very nice texture that wasn’t too gelatin – it’s something I’m probably going to order next time if I revisit.
Up next, we saw something interesting on the menu with the wagyu beef okonomiyaki – something I don’t have often. In fact, the last time I had it was at the Night Noodle Markets, and before that, even longer ago.
It was quite good – there’s plenty of beef in there, and overall the package worked well thanks to the sauces (though it got quite rich near the end). Apart from the beef being a little tough, it was an overall enjoyable dish to have.
We were only allowed a maximum of two plates of sashimi each, and I guess I can understand that – cleverly, the buffet is not marketed as unlimited! We got our limit’s worth though, and are rewarded with some tasty sashimi that’s very much on par with what I would expect. It’s not exactly straight-out-of-the-ocean fresh, but you’re at the wrong place if you expect that.
I should mention at this point that we actually got multiple rounds of many of the dishes you saw above – just in case you were thinking “well that’s not really that much that they’re eating”. The amount we actually ate? Perhaps 2-3x what you saw there. Too easy really.
To finish off, spider rolls. I didn’t really want too many of these since it’s deep fried stuff with lots of carby rice, but the crowd insisted. Oh how easily I succumb
They’re good for the first few rolls, but you get sick of them REALLY QUICKLY.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time before one of us could actually no longer eat any more, but I felt like I may have had the edge on this one. Just a…gut feeling
What’s the next challenge? I can’t wait!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
The Good: good sushi at good prices
What could be improved: oh man I sure wish we had more time to finish…
I give a grand total of seven and a half Caesars out of ten – 7.5/10