Seafood and sushi are two irresistible dishes that I can never stop eating once I start. Growing up in Manila where you can buy a bucket of live oysters for as low as a dollar, my chinky eyes bulge at the expensive array of seafood here. As a case in point, a bag of 30 pieces of shell-free shrimps is around $10. Much to my stomach’s growling complaints, my seafood indulgence has to be well controlled.
It’s not the end of the world for my palate, though, because the Asian Buffet restaurant in Okemos has finally reopened. It has been around since 1998 but was closed for renovation for many months, so it was only now that I got to try it. Of course, when you say Asian food, there has to be seafood there — and I wasn’t disappointed. With my luck, they also have a spread of sushi with my favorite raw salmon and tuna! Yum, indeed! At only $12 per person for an eat-all-you-can meal, I already get a good deal for my money just eating sushi rolls to my heart’s content!
Hearing about an endless serving of salmon and tuna in a span of one hour may make experienced buffet diners raise their eyebrows, because the more expensive dishes get replenished infrequently for understandable reasons. I admit I was ready to expect the same eat-all-you-can restaurant strategy, in which the most commonly served is the tamago or egg roll– egg and rice wrapped in seaweed.
But Asian Buffet begs to differ because not only do they have an unlimited supply of sake (salmon) and maguro (tuna) rolls, but also sashimi, which is sliced raw fish. I asked Henry Kwok, the owner/manager, for a list of all the sushi they have and here it is for all you sushi aficionados out there!
1. Happy Buddha – Mixed veggies
2. California – Crab, avocado, cucumber
3. Cucumber and Avocado
4. Mt. Fuji – Spicy crab, radish, cream cheese, avocado, sweet mayo (This is so damn good with wasabi!)
5. Crazy Boy Roll – Crab, avocado, cream cheese, sweet sauce (Same as Mt. Fuji, just not spicy.)
6. Eel Roll
1. Spicy Tuna – Spicy Tuna, wasabi, mayo
2. Jamalin Roll – Cream cheese, tuna, pineapple, avocado, pineapple sauce
3. Rainbow Roll
If you’re not into sushi or sashimi, there are a lot of other famous Chinese dishes there like General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken, beef with broccoli, fried shrimp … all the usual suspects in Chinese restaurants out here. I really find it interesting (or odd, maybe) that they all have literally the same menu from the soup to the seafood dishes. In Asia, I’ve never heard of General Tso’s chicken but it’s like a household name here. And whenever you order here, you get a free fortune cookie! How come we don’t have that in Asia?! From Hongkong, to Macau, to China, to Singapore, no fortune cookie ever!! Weird that it’s only in the US.
I think my only very small disappointment is the dessert bar because I hardly saw any dishes that I can call Asian. It would be great to have those good ‘ol favorites like black grass jelly, bean curd, sticky rice, bananas in sweet syrup … I’m missing Singapore and getting hungrier as I write this. They do offer fruits like pineapple and melon which are big favorites in tropical countries in Asia.
Also, you have to be aware that the drinks are not included in the $12. Kyle and Lorie thought it was already together as it had always been like that when they ate buffet. Nonetheless, It was less than $2 and you get a bottomless drink of your choice.
I seriously can’t wait to go back to Asian Buffet again. And if you’re like me who takes at least two hours to eat at a buffet, then I’ll be glad to return there with you!