The exterior of this Japanese Seafood Buffet Restaurant, only a few feet from the notorious Little Ferry Traffic Circle on Route 46, belies what is actually inside. Amongst the large parking lot that often times will have several semi-tractor trailers – the root cause being the restaurant is attached to a motel.
This “Japanese” buffet has been around for almost 10 years and the owner is a Korean. I went there solo on a Friday afternoon, the last Friday of 2007 and it was jammed packed. A lot of college age kids were there seemingly hungry for food before heading back to school after a lengthy winter recess.
When the restaurant first opened up, it was truly an amazing place. The lunch is a bargain at $15 per person during weekdays, however, the dinner is $26-$28 depending on day of the week. The only difference is that at dinner they will server lobster tails (puny little ones) I don’t think they ever weigh more than 1/2 lb. But Alaskan crab legs are available for the unlucky ones that had to endure a line that forms and never seems to get any shorter. People actually stalk the buffet line waiting for the guy to bring out a new tray of lobster.
You must have a strategy to eating at a buffet place. One should NOT try to pile on anything and everything that they have to offer on one plate. Scout the area first and make note of what you want to gorge on. Hot food my friends is pretty mediocre at this place. Skip them, except the tempuras. They have vegetable tempuras consisting of broccoli, carrots and onions. But the trick is the pick out the shrimps that are hiding amongst the veggies. Grab a dozen of them, put garnish of shaved radish and top off with tempura sauce that is right in front of the chafing dish.
Area A – My favorite section! Go for the sashimi salad! Bypass any idiot that is holding up the line by ordering handrolls. They are not too smart and lack taste.
Area B – All sorts of sushi “rolls” here. Tuna roll (tekamaki) you can tell is made from scraps. You could do worse by picking other “esoteric” rolls. Except for tekamaki and occasional salmon rolls, skip them. They don’t waste anything here.
Area C – Fruits and occasional salads. During evening hours, crab legs are here. They are usually pretty salty and don’t contain much solid meat. That happens when frozen crab legs have been overly broiled.
Area D – Other salads like seafood gazpacho, seaweed salad. Slim pickins here.
Area E – Hot food section. This is also where the lobster tails come out on evenings! During lunch, the udon guy is here. All sorts of greasy meats are here. Bypass and go directly to end of row for tempura and pick out just the shrimp.
Skip the so-called sushi rolls. They have stuff that are covered in pinkish mayo and other stuff. Skip them, skip them, if you are true sushi lover. Skip the handrolls. Once you grab the plate, the line around the buffet area sort of goes clockwise. Don’t let anyone jump the line or sneak in for things. If you see that the line is not moving, it invariable means some idiot has ordered and handroll and thus holding up the line. Tell yourself that idiot has no taste. Go directly for the salad that is offered right next to the pickled ginger and wasabi. This will be your goal. This salad – the name that I did not make note of despite of eating here almost two dozen times, consists of large cubes of tuna, slabs of salmon, red and yellow peppers (not the hot kind) topped with what tastes like rice wine. This my friend beats any other dish that they have to offer here. One advance of this is you don’t fill up your tummy by gorging on sushi. Stuffing yourself with rice just reduces amount of fish you can inhale! Next go for the mackrel sushi. Often times they will have run out of tuna and salmon sushi. Go for the red clam. Skip the egg (tamako). Skip the damned daikon. Who the hell eats this shit? Oh forget about ever seeming eel (unagi) or sea urching (uni) at this place. They are too costly for this establishment.
Now days, all food preparers are Hispanic. I think this is only place that you can see men and women preparers working in same open area. You would be hard pressed to see any Asian faces amongst them. Yes it has become that predictable. All the rice for sushi are pre-made and come uniform in size, so they are using a machine to form them.
Tip #1 – Do not order green tea. They give you one and only one bag at the beginning and they refill the cup with hot water each time you ask for refills!
Tip #2 – Water of course is good ole Little Ferry municipal tap water. Ask for lemon wedges or just go get them yourself. The lemon tray is next to wasabi and pickled ginger area.
Tip #3 – On weekends and especially on evenings, this place will be jam packed. Be prepared to be assaulted by loud noise and unruly kiddies running around. Parents seem to think this place is great for kiddie birthday parties. Hmm.
Monday – Friday $15.00
Saturday – Sunday $17.00
Holidays – $17.00
Monday – Thursday $26.00
Friday – Sunday $28.00
Holidays – $28.00