Sake

Sake, located in Brooklyn, is an all you can eat sushi buffet. They offer their lunch menu for $12.95 and their dinner menu for $17.95. However, Sake is unlike what most of us think of when we hear the word buffet. Instead of us walking up to the food to get it, the food is brought to us. Once you’re seated, a waitress will bring over several paper menus with some pencils. You then mark up what you want and how many of each you want. After you’re done, your waitress will bring over the food to you once they’re made.

From your seat, you can see the sushi bar and the sushi chefs working. I went with the boyfriend and his family for dinner because his mother had seen the Yelp pictures and was craving Japanese food. Despite it being a Wednesday night, they were actually almost full by the time our party left. When we started the night at around 6pm, there were 3 sushi chefs. By the time we left at around 7:30pm, there were 5 sushi chefs hard at work to fulfill requests.

We started off with some appetizers and cooked foods, which takes up the top part of the menu. Each order comes in a small portion, which is good because you get to sample many different types of dishes without being filled up by one big dish. We started with their Kani Salad, or imitation crabmeat salad. The dish comes with crunchy crumbs on top but we asked the waitress to hold ours. We actually ordered 4 orders of the Kani salad throughout the night because it was so good. The crabmeat and cucumber shreds were mixed with mayo and served chilled – just the way I like it!

We also ordered their crabmeat ravioli, which is sort of like a flat fried wonton. The crabmeat is stuffed into dough, which is then deep-fried. Spicy mayo is drizzled on top of the crunchy dough. This dish was pretty good because the dough was very crunchy and crisp. The spicy mayo was pretty spicy so be careful!

The fried calamari comes with 4 pieces per order. They are freshly fried the moment you order so they always come piping hot. We actually ordered a couple dishes of these throughout the night as well. They were crunchy and the squid was fresh. Since they come in such small quantities, you can order a couple for the table to share if you’re coming with a larger party.

Sake offers three types of teriyaki – shrimp, salmon, and beef. We tried all three but deemed the beef teriyaki the best. They come in a small order, with about 7-8 pieces each. This allowed us to snack on each order without getting too full.  We all came to a group decision that the beef teriyaki was the best one. The salmon came in close, but the beef was very tender and flavorful. Towards the end of our meal, we actually ordered another dish of beef teriyaki cause it was that good.

Now it’s time to get to the sushi! We ordered a few shrimp, crab stick and salmon sushi’s because everyone liked them. The crabstick sushi was very good but the rice started to fall apart after we dipped it into the soy sauce. The salmon sushi, though, was delicious. Salmon is my favorite fish for sushi and they did it right. Each piece did not skimp on the salmon and the rice wasn’t too large either. I actually ordered two more pieces later on just for myself!

We also ordered a couple of pieces of eel sushi and octopus sushi. The octopus sushi came out very pretty and I give them major points for being able to pop these dishes out to us. We ordered quite a bit of sushi and rolls and they were all very quick to come out. At some point, we actually ran out of space on our table for all of the places of sushi!

Besides offering the basic rolls, Sake also offers a variety of special rolls under the all you can eat menu. One of their best special rolls is the Kani Naruto roll, which features crab meat and avocado wrapped in a thin layer of cucumber. We actually ordered two of these rolls because they were very good. The use of cucumber made this roll very healthy as well as light. Without the heavy rice to weigh it down, you can actually eat several of these rolls without being full!

Each person is allowed to order one sashimi appetizer, which comes with 8 pieces of assorted fish. We requested for ours to be all salmon, so our order came with 6 pieces. We only ordered one of these cause we were a bit preoccupied with the sushi and rolls. Next time though, I know I will just order a sashimi appetizer, some rolls and a lot of cooked dishes because that way, I can eat a lot more! The rolls made us so full that we didn’t want to order anymore sushi. After we polished off all 7 rolls that we had ordered, we didn’t want to eat any more rice. So here’s a tip, don’t order too many rolls! One is more than enough. Save your tummy for the sushi, sashimi, and cooked dishes!

We finished dinner off with some green tea ice cream. Desserts aren’t included on the all you can eat menu and most are an extra $3. This is a huge bummer for me because I love desserts! The main reason why I love buffets like Ichi Umi is because they offer unlimited all you can eat desserts – ice cream, cheesecakes, cookies and fruits! $3 isn’t really expensive for green tea ice cream, but I’d love it if they had included it on the menu. How much ice cream can I eat anyways?

At the end of the night, I left Sake very very full. I was very satisfied with the quality of the food and the quickness all the dishes arrived. I was, however, not satisfied with the service. Whereas even the worst restaurants I’ve been to, their waitresses have kept my drink refilled, Sake completely failed in this. The waitresses showed no want to refill my tea. Even when we asked for our teacups to be refilled, one waitress had an attitude about it. If I’m eating, I obviously need to drink something to go with my meal.

I also need to complain about the bathroom situation. When we arrived, the boyfriend and I both needed to use the bathroom. Lo and behold, there was only one. And even worse, some guy was in there for about 15 minutes and we can all guess what he was doing in there. Sake could really do with another bathroom in the restaurant. If one person from every table needed to go, there would be a line stretching out to the door.

I’m really torn between how many stars to give Sake. The service was lacking, but the food was really good. For the amount I ate, it was definitely worth $17.95. Sake, your food rescued you. I give you 4 stars out of 5.

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