Name: Tokyo Sushi Buffet
Location: 1247 Upper Front St #5, Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: (607) 773-8888
Price: Around $10 per person for lunch, around $15 per person for dinner
I have to admit, I'm not usually a big fan of buffets. Most of the time, the quality of what you get on a buffet pales in comparison to what you'd get if you order the same food from a menu--after all, who knows how long that stuff's been sitting there? The benefits of buffets, of course, are numerous also. On most, there's usually something that will appeal to any taste. It gives you the opportunity to try out some different foods you wouldn't ordinarily order off a menu. And prices tend to be affordable. My last buffet experience was at The Silo out in Greene for their Friday Night Seafood Extravaganza, and it gave me the opportunity to try out lots of different, unique entrees for a totally reasonable price. When I heard about the Tokyo Sushi Buffet, I was pretty skeptical, though intrigued by the idea of a buffet where sushi was the main focus. Today we decided to check it out for lunch.
Tokyo Sushi Buffet is on Upper Front St. across from Northgate Plaza and occupies the space that used to be the King Grill Buffet. On the inside it's really a rather nice, clean space with ample seating and about five different buffet stations featuring sushi, various Chinese food, a fresh fruit bar, and some fried American stuff.
I filled up a plate with various maki sushi and nigiri sushi pieces and went to town on devouring it. There are about 50 or so different sushi options available, so you can certainly get your money's worth. Definitely bring an empty stomach, as I did. At any rate, I thought the sushi in general was pretty decent. Presentation was definitely a little lacking, which is completely understandable given that the sushi chefs have to be working constantly to refill the buffets and have very little time to worry about careful construction. As for the quality of the food itself, I'd say it was not nearly as good as sake-tumi in Downtown Binghamton nor was it on par with Sakura in Endicott. Still, I enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Roll quite a bit, and the American Dream Roll (featuring shrimp tempura and topped with avocado) was a favorite of both Megan and myself. The "Magic Roll" is one I hadn't seen before, which consisted of tempura shrimp with cream cheese in the middle. Interesting, though not exactly a grand success. The Rainbow Roll, a sushi classic, was not up to snuff compared with other such rolls I've had before. And a word of warning: many of the rolls tended to be spicy (without adding your own wasabi/soy concoction), so if you aren't a fan of spicy stuff, proceed at your own risk.
The Chinese part of the buffet leaves an awful lot to be desired. The General Tso's Chicken was nearly unidentifiable. I will say that I enjoyed the Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, but was pretty disappointed by that side of the buffet as a whole. Then again, I came to eat sushi, and the place is TOKYO Sushi Buffet, not BEIJING Chinese Buffet, so it's hard to be too critical there.
Service is quick, with wait staff scurrying around to clear empty plates and delivering drink orders, and the price was phenomenal (around $10 per person) for an all-you-can-eat sushi experience in a nice atmosphere. But I would have to say that I like Tokyo Sushi Buffet more in theory than in execution. All-you-can-eat sushi is an excellent idea, but I thought most of the rolls at Tokyo Sushi Buffet were just average. Of course, if you want to eat massive quantities of sushi and you don't want it to cost an arm and a leg, this place will almost certainly be up your alley.