Last Update
Aug 22nd, 2014

Ichiyami Buffet and Sushi

Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton FL, 33432
(561) 395-7977
Overall Rating
2.4
Food
Service
Ambiance
Last Review
04/25/2014

Details

Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Valet, Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Entree Prices: M-F Lunch 11.99, Dinner $19.95, $13.95 and $24.95 on weekends
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: Yes

Critic's Review

Ichiyami Buffet is doing an unannounced soft opening; they're offering 15% off for a limited time. I didn't know this; if you're going to have a special it's a good to at least maybe mention it on your facebook page?

At 2:10pm, I had trouble finding a parking spot in the lot; I figured that the place must be packed. But upon entering, I found that I'd be largely dining alone, with only a couple of other diners, some of which I believe were the owners.

It's a handsome space, dark, with lots of bright lights on the food.

A dude seated me, "I'm going to put you at a table" he said which I thought was odd, was putting me at the bar in an empty buffet restaurant an option?

They have a glass waterfall thing, and some big tasselly things hanging from the ceiling. It's very Boca Raton.

At this point I still have no idea how much this is going to cost me; most of the buffet places have the prices up by the door, but not here. I think they're still feeling their way around; again, what's the point of having a 15% off special if you don't know what the full price is?

Everything "looked" really nice; it's presented nicely. I started with the soup, because that's how I usually start an asian meal. As with most of these buffets that bill themselves as Japanese, the hot food is largely Chinese; it's a Chinese buffet with sushi. They have the standards; Hot & Sour, Wonton, Egg Drop and Miso. I guess Miso is the "Japanese" part. I tried the Hot and Sour. They have fresh green onion that you can drop into your soup.

Not "hot" or "sour", it didn't taste much like what it was supposed to be. If hot and sour soup doesn't make you cry it's not worth it.

I also gathered a plate of hot food. They only have about 10 hot items and 6 of them didn't interest me.

Green beans, chicken w/broccoli, fried shrimp, teriyaki chicken and "Mongolian Beef". The beans were overdone, perhaps from being left out too long; the beef and chicken were mushy which happens when you marinate it for too long; the broccoli was too raw and the teriyaki tasted like something else. The key ingredient in Mongolian Beef is scallions and there were none in this dish. Maybe it's a Japanese version?

Time for another plate.

Fried Rice, "General Tso's" Chicken, a dumpling and Lo Main and a piece of beef with more broccoli. The fried rice was concocted; some of the rice kernels were undercooked and you shouldn't have to pick rice out of your mouth. The General Tso's was sticky sweet without being spicy, and the dumpling was filled with something mushy that didn't taste like what's usually inside dumplings. The Lo Mein was pretty good, but I'm not big on Lo Mein.

I figured I'd try another soup; this time the Egg Drop.

If you like egg drop without the white pepper or sesame oil, this is it. Eggs dropped into low-sodium chicken broth. I could have fixed it, but decided not to.

Onto the "Sushi" buffet.

The obligatory peel and eat shrimp, legs on, not de-veined with cocktail sauce. Also unseasoned; spice the water people. Boiled shrimp are boring. Good, horseradish-y cocktail sauce though. Cold asparagus. They had the usual bright green seaweed salad and this dark one, which was actually pretty good. The rolls were decent as rolls go, but I'm not excited about them.

I went back looking for some sashimi or nigiri, but they just had a bunch of different rolls, which as I mentioned, don't excite me. I had to get the rolls and strip off the fish, which didn't impress me as being very good. Kind of mushy.

I didn't notice the ice cream cart until I went over to check out the desserts, which were mostly unappealing. But I do like Chinese Ice Cream, particularly the red bean.

Red Bean and Chocolate. Easily the best thing I had today.

The big problem with this buffet is that the food isn't very good, and there isn't enough sushi. I don't want rice; I want fish.

Another issue is that this place seems to just copy other semi-broken concepts, rather than being innovative and building a better mousetrap. They have girls serving drinks and carrying chopsticks (which they don't offer to you unless you ask for them). Why? It makes me have to wait for my drink and wait for refills, and it adds 10% to the cost of my meal because I have to tip them. Then I have to feel bad about only giving them 10%, because, am I really supposed to tip the same when I have to fetch my own food as when I get service? Get an iced tea and soda machine and lose the servers.

And they need to adjust their marinades, because mushy meat is bad.

Parking is also a big issue here. With no parking when they have no customers, I'm not sure where you'll park when they're busy.

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Im not sure about the prices. My server rattled them off and I couldn't really follow.

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