WHEN THEY FIRST OPENED THE FOOD WAS GREAT. THE PRICE WAS GOOD ALSO, BUT NOW THEY ARE LIMITING THE BUFFET TO TYPICAL ASIAN BUFFET FOOD. WORST OF ALL THEY DONT MAKE THE BUTTERED SHRIMP FOR LUNCH ANYMORE. I WONT GO BACK!!!
I was really excited to try this place, but I was not surprised that it was like a typical buffet place. Although I will admit that I did not have the noodles. I am not a noodle person. The food one the buffet was not great, and the first crab rangoons and egg roll I grabbed was hard to get to as the steam from the buffet was coming out from everywhere and burned you if you had to grab something in the back. And then I got to the table to eat and opened a rangoon and it was cold. The eggroll was also cold. So it was weird that I got my hand burned by the steam to get them, but they were cold. I will probably not go back. My husband is a noodle person and liked the noodle bowl though.
I have always been a fan of Tryyaki's little sushi drive through on 23rd street, so based on a number of mini-reviews on Twitter, my wife and I decided to try out their new location and buffet.
The atmosphere was great. Lots of bright colors on the walls with upbeat, but well curated pop music playing. The chairs and tables all looked to be new and were well spaced to provide seating options for just one couple, all the way up to larger parties.
The service was excellent. Quickly seated, water refilled when needed, but without constant interruptions. Check was provided at the ideal time. Very pleasant service.
The food was roughly divided into four buffet style serving stations:
Prepared hot food Soup prep station Sushi Desserts
The prepared hot food was the most disappointing station. It largely included Chinese style hot dishes. I thought the quality of these dishes was lower than you would find at every other Chinese food focused buffet in Lawrence. The flavors were average, but the texture of the food never seemed to hit the mark. It could be because these dishes has set out longer as the other parts of the the buffet are the stars.
The soup prep station is much more elaborate than it sounds. The staff explained to us that we could put whatever ingredients we wanted in the provided metal bowls and then take them to a small window in the back where the food would be cooked. You could request either beef or chicken broth . I believe that their were four meats offered. I remember that beef, chicken and shrimp were offered. Six different noodles were offered as well as tofu. That combined with a number of vegetables made for plenty of customization. The soup itself was excellent. There isn't a lot of seasoning with just the broth, so I suggest adding the paste they offer or adding some Sriracha which is on all the tables.
The sushi offered was the best I have had at a buffet in Lawrence. A dozen different types were offered. My only suggestion would be better labeling of what each roll was (I don't believe any were labeled).
Finally desserts. I don't usually expect a lot of dessert quality in Asian food focused buffets, but I tried two different pieces of cake, and they were both excellent.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience and the price of 8.99 was more than fair for the quality of food and level of service.
A good meal with helpful staff!
First off I should say I'm primarily a vegetarian and therefore I didn't try many items at the buffet. The place was new and I was hankering for something different and gave it a try and went along with someone who is much more carnivorous than I so we could give it a fair shake.
Inside they did a great job of decorating. It had the feel of a Japanese garden with tasteful room dividers and it was very clean (which I'd kinda expect after a change over). I liked the fact you could see into the kitchen a bit--always a confident sign. On the table was the yummy chili-garlic sauce called Saracha as well as soy sauce.
The first set of about 15 steam trays had typical Asian buffett fair such as pork egg rolls, pork pot stickers, a Geneal Tso like chicken dish, veggie low mein, green beans and egg drop soup. However, there were some more exotic items such as miso soup with tofu and some red mini-lobster/crawfish dish. I would have liked a description or even some kind of name above the dishes, but I cut them some slack because they were new.
The second buffet table had the ingredients for the noodle soup and dishes done in mongolian BBQ fashion. A series of starches that including different styles of rice noodle: pad thai, vermicelli, japanese as well as udon noodles and a few I didn't recognize. Then you had your proteins such as chicken, shrimp, beef and tofu. Finally a few different vegetables. Kinda limited but still satisfying. When I explained I was a vegetarian they made sure to give me a veggie broth as well as point out he vegetarian items on the menu.
Third table was the sushi and dessert. About 10 different types of sushi and because they were unmarked I couldn't tell you what they were except all were made from white rice. The attendant I spoke with pointed me to the vegetarian one which had seawood salad in it. Mmmm, it was good.
The desserts were typical Asian buffet as well--little bites of cheesecake, macaroons, tiramasu, etc. Ironically no soft serve ice cream, which I'm thankful for.
My carnivorous dining companion said the food was great. He is not a buffet fan and especially not Asian buffets. Wow, that's impressive for him to compliment the place, so consider that high marks!
Service was excellent and I appreciate their willingness to find me the vegetarian items despite. Drinks and plates were taken care of quickly without being annoying and you pay at the table not at the register, unlike most buffets.
Price was around $9.00 for dinner. A little bit higher than most, but I think this had more upscale and therefor expensive ingredients. Prices weren't listed, so I'm not sure about lunch.