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Friday, April 22, 2005
  All You Can Eat Extravaganza

Sushi Hut


Address: 3636 Steeles Avenue East - Markham, ON
Phone:
(905) 513-9889

Cuisine:
Japanese


This is the place our group was trying to go to a few weeks ago. It's a little hole in the wall, only 14 tables, but what it lacks in décor it makes up for in value. It's a great place to take a group of 6 or under, any more than that and it might be hard to fit into the place, especially without a reservation. Sushi Hut is not an open buffet style 'all you can eat' joint, you have a paper menu with all your options and you fill it out for the table, with the amount of how many of what items you wish. Then they will serve the items to your table in what seems a random order, it makes for an interesting experience to have constant waves of plates to taste. They have a very impressive list of items to choose from: sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, noodles, tempura, stir-fry, teppanyaki, hand rolls, salads and deserts. The sashimi/sushi list is a little small compared to the average sushi bar selection, and tuna is noticeable absent, but it's still a better selection and freshness than open buffet 'all you can eat' restaurants.

Food:
We started off with some green tea and miso soup, but quickly moved on to some salmon sashimi, california rolls and cucumber maki. The salmon was cut exactly as I prefer and was melt in your mouth. Next we moved onto some stir-fry vegetables, shrimp tempura and was quickly followed by a couple of speciality rolls. The 'Red Dragon' was my particular favourite, salmon wrapped rice, cucumber and avocado, wrapped around a shrimp tempura. It was simple marvellous, the mix of tastes in addition to the warm crunchiness of the tempura is something I'm going to have to have again soon. We also had some chicken teriyaki, which was quite excellent and ordered another plate quickly. I also really like a beef rib dish they had, it was cut into thin slices perpendicular to the bone, and it would make an enjoyable appitizer. There were only a couple of selections for desert, ice-cream (green-tea, mango and another) deep fried banana and ice-cream pancake, which seems like a poor translation of a dessert crêpe. Everybody ordered an 'ice-cream pancake' and Wanda and Chris split a 'deep fried banana', they looked and smelled good but I was unable to sample them.

My only complaint is there isn’t a better description of what you can order from, it would certainly save us from pestering the waiter for descriptions of many items. Not to mention the language barrier you might encounter, hampering an accurate explanation, such was our case in ordering desert, we couldn't quite make out one of the choices of ice-cream (Chris ordered it anyway, but were still unsure what flavour it actually was...).

Service:
Our server was pretty decent, he was patient with us and tried he best to explain any questions we had. Food and drinks came at regular intervals so you were rarely left waiting.

Value:
The cost per adult is $19.99 including drinks, and it may seem steep, but it's really an uncommonly good bargain; the variety, quality and creativity of the food is exceptional. Do keep in mind the restrictions: you can order as much as you want, but eat what you order (or be charged full price for all leftovers), a 90 minute seating limit and 10% for gratuity is automatically charged. I have no complaints with any of these restrictions, they are all reasonable, balanced and in no way put off your dining experience. If you were alone or just with just one other person, only then i would worry about ordering some of the more obscure items on the menu and not be able to finish it.
 
Comments:
I agree, the Red Dragon was a big-time hit. And they should definitely put descriptions of the various rolls on the menu, instead of leaving it all up to the server! Memorizing the ingredients of each mystery roll is a lot to ask of the staff.

One day I will phone them up and see what that other ice cream flavour was. It tasted pretty good.
 
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