Sakae Sushi: An All-You-Can-Eat Conveyor-Belt Style Sushi Buffet!
As a big sushi lover, I am always looking for great sushi at affordable prices. So, naturally, when I heard about Sakae Sushi‘s conveyor-belt style sushi buffet, I had to give it a try! Along with David Christopher Hizon – my photographer, fiance, and partner-in-crime! – I headed to the Mall of Asia in Pasay, Manila to taste what Sakae Sushi has to offer.
We arrived around lunch time on a Saturday, so the place was already pretty packed. We had to sit at the entrance and wait a few minutes before we were finally seated at a table. We didn’t mind waiting, though. Since it’s a buffet we figured that the hungrier we were, the better! One we were seated, we saw that there are two ways for you to enjoy the buffet: you can either avail of the unlimited sushi for 399php (249php for kids) per person, or you can pay per plate you grab. For the second method, you will see that there are different kinds of sushi, as well as other things to eat like meat dishes and tempura, on different colored plates. The color of the plate you grab will tell you how much it costs.
Be careful when deciding which way to go, though: I definitely would suggest availing of the unlimited buffet rather than paying per plate. At the end of our meal, we counted up what our total would have been if we had gone that way, and our bill would have been over 1800php instead of under 800php, which is what we paid for our meal.
We definitely brought our appetites, so we both went for the unlimited sushi buffet. It came with a bowl of miso soup for each of us, as well as our choice of bottomless hot or cold green tea. Since we had traveled all the way here from Cubao on our motorcycle, we were quite warm and thirsty by the time we got there, so we both had cold tea. It was pretty delicious, very sweet and refreshing. We enjoyed sipping the tea as we watched the conveyor belt going around right next to us with different plates passing by filled with maki rolls, nigiri sushi, meat dishes, crabstick tempura and squid tempura.
I really love the concept of conveyor-belt style sushi buffets. There were a few back where I lived in the US, and I frequented them often. It gives you a chance to try everything that a restaurant has, without having to commit to ordering just one maki roll off of the menu, and without having to get up out of your seat to grab more. Just watch what is going by your booth and grab whatever looks yummy!
I have to admit – we were somewhat disappointed by the lack of variety of the sushi passing by us. I don’t think there was more than 4 different kinds of maki rolls, and since that was what I was looking forward to, I was less than impressed by what I saw rolling by on the belt. However, I still tried to taste everything!
The maki roll pictured above was my favorite out of the ones that I tried. It was filled with shrimp tempura and the sesame seeds on the outside gave it a really nice flavor. Dipped in a bit of soy sauce and wasabi, I think I ate 2 or 3 plates of this particular maki roll!
I found this maki roll coated in yellow roe fairly mediocre. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I felt a desire to grab another plate of, either. It was filled with crabstick and some other ingredients that I wasn’t quite sure of. It seemed like there was a bit of fish in it, too, but I couldn’t tell what it was. It wasn’t tuna or salmon, and it tasted a bit dry.
This isnother maki roll that I tried, also filled with crabstick, as well as cucumber and other mysterious ingredients. One thing that I would love to see at Sakae Sushi is a label on each item on the conveyor belt. I am a curious person and I like to know what I’m eating! Besides the sushi rolls, there were a couple different meat dishes that we tried. They were actually fairly tasty – perhaps better than the sushi even, and that’s hard for me to say since I am a huge sushi lover. But I have no idea what they were!
At any rate, we were pretty hungry and the food wasn’t bad (it just wasn’t that great, either); so our stack of plates kept growing and growing and growing! I ate mostly maki rolls, as well as some salmon and tuna nigiri sushi, and David enjoyed the maki, as well, along with the meat dishes, squid and crabstick tempura.
Another small complaint that I had, though, would be that the chefs seemed to use one particular type of fish or ingredient up until it ran out before switching to another. So, for the majority of our time there, there was only tuna nigiri. Then suddenly, in the last 20 minutes before we left, there was only salmon nigiri to be found. The same happened with the tempura… there was only squid available for most of the time, and we didn’t get to enjoy the crabsticks until the very end.
So, for my final verdict: if you love california maki and other rolls with crabsticks and want lots of them at an affordable price, then this is the sushi place for you. I usually prefer tuna or salmon maki rolls myself, so the selection here wasn’t really for me. I have to give them a thumbs up for the tempura, though. It was very tasty! It’s quantity over quality and variety here at Sakae. But for the price, it’s a fair bargain.
Tel: (02) 556 0150