When a sushi restaurant’s menu consists of over 146 varieties of sushi, sashimi and the like, you know they must be doing something right. And, at Sushiminto, they are. The fact that you need to book a table at their Salwa Rd restaurant, speaks for itself.
It’s been at this original location, opposite the Jarir bookstore, for over ten years now and sports a funky, 70’s vibe with red and white décor, massive circles cut out of the end walls and a double height ceiling that adds a sense of spaciousness. As to be expected, there is a Japanese influence to the décor but not too heavy, with cherry blossom trees and bamboo bridges punctuating the stainless-steel counter behind which the chefs are beavering away, non-stop, to keep up with demand from hungry diners.
You’re probably thinking well, it’s just another buffet, but the fact that its best to book a table, for either the evening sushi buffet or the Saturday afternoon international buffet, should signal that they are onto something here.
On this particular Friday night, it was pretty full and such a high volume of ravenous sushi seekers means the buffet is constantly being replenished, so you are not going to spy any of that tired looking stuff that you sometimes see parked-up on buffet counters. No siree, everyone is here, dear reader, for the super-fresh sushi.
To maximise the buffet experience you have to remember the main rule – a little of everything. So, starting my journey off with a smallish miso soup, I eventually made my way to the sushi proper and then onto the buffet.
Of course, if you go with the family or a group of friends, you’re obviously going to find that not everyone has the same penchant for seafood, so Sushiminto offers a variety of other dishes to keep everyone satisfied. There are plenty of options, such as a very tasty nasi goreng, tender slices of beef steak or Asian style chicken curry, chicken wings with orange, steamed vegetables and tempura, or you can fill your plate with goujons (sounds posh!) of battered fish, mixed with fried potato wedges and you’ve got fish and chips if that’s your thing! Well, sort of, and, if you really need it, the ketchup is right there on hand too.
There’s a small selection of desserts, such a crème caramel, crème brulee, fresh fruit and even green tea flavoured ice cream, which is surprisingly pleasant and not at all what I was expecting. Just enough to refresh the palate but without leaving you feeling guilty about breaking those new year’s resolutions you made to yourself.
The very professional and ever helpful Manager, Jhoana Manaysay, is constantly darting around the floor, and made a point of emphasizing the freshness of the food as she took me upstairs to see the dedicated teppanyaki restaurant – easy to overlook, as any guest will surely be focussed on the buffet, at ground level – but, again, most tables, and certainly all the seats around the teppanyaki hot plates, had reservation signs on them, signalling that it would be wise to call ahead and book.
If there is such a thing as a blueprint for success then they have it at Sushiminto. There is a nice buzz about the place, no pretensions, everyone is wearing a smile, you’ve got excellent service, and, most important of all, excellent food. Just great for a relaxing Friday night or a Saturday lunch.
Review by: David Moore
International man of mystery, beachcomber extraordinaire, raconteur and bon vivant.
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