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Japanese buffet / Watami alike? / Black sesame ice-cream

I'm going to visit NYC soon and I'm looking for a good all you can eat sushi buffet that is not too expensive. I tried Yaku the last time that I was here, and while I liked it, there weren't that many selections. I prefer a buffet where you order the food you want versus the ones where you go stand in a line and get what's already put out.

Also, when I was in Hong Kong, I ate at a restaurant called Watami (http://www.watami.com.hk/eng/menu.asp). I was told that there is a branch in New York but after doing a search, I discovered that this is not the case. Is there a similar restaurant that my friend might have confused it with? I really like Watami and would love to go to an alike if there is such one.

Lastly, which restaurants serve black sesame ice-cream??? I've been craving it for monthhhhs.

Thanks!

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  1. I've had a black sesame gelato at Il Labratorio. That was this past summer, and I'm not sure what the status is now. It was amazing though. You might want to check out Whole Foods, since they carry the brand too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kayonyc

      Il Labratorio @ Whole Foods (Bowery) still carries black seasame ice-cream on a regular basis.

    2. They also have black sesame ice cream at Chinatown Ice cream factory.

      About the AYCE sushi -- If that's what your heart desires, I would try Kinoko on the UWS or Yuka on the UES.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miss Needle

        And at Sundeas and Cones, on 13th Street in the East Village.

      2. There's black sesame ice cream at Sobaya, it's delish. There's also honey-wasabi and yuzu.

        3 Replies
        1. re: soopling

          Where's Yuzu? Tried looking it up on menupages and couldn't find it...

          1. re: doona

            Yuzu is an ice cream flavor. (Citrus-like)

          2. Watami is a mid-range Japanese chain izakaya. There's no branch here in NYC, but in Manhattan, you might want to try Sake Bar Hagi or Izakaya Riki, which have similar vibes, menus, and prices. You can do a Manhattan board search for "izakaya" to come up with other options, but those two remind me of the Watami in Japan.

            1. There is a Todai sushi buffet in Manhattan's 32nd street. Not far from Empire State Building. If you are a buffet enthusiast, you migh have already been to one somewhere else in the US or in other parts of the world. Its not my favorite sushi buffet place but it does off a variety of food and it is an international sushi buffet chain (branches in the US and Asia). Here is the website: http://www.todai.com/

              I actually prefer going to Minado (Todai basically inherited Manhatta's Minado buffet's old spot on 32nd street a couple of years ago but there still a few Minados in NJ/Long Island). If you don't mind going to New Jersey or Long Island you can check out their website:

              http://www.minado.com/

              I have been to the locations in Little Ferry, NJ and Morris Plains, NJ.

              I find Minado's food a little better than Todai's. (I think Todai's quality varies from location to location but the one in Manhattan is not one of the better ones, although I have had the worst one in Arcadia, Calif!).

              Buffet restuarants are not too popular in Manhattan because the rent is too high to justify people eating all the food they see for one single price. However, there are a many good Japanese restaurants in Manhattan so you might want to search the board to check them out, in case you have already been to Todai... or if you do not wish to travel to NJ to check out Minado. Wish you a good (food) trip in NY.

              P.S. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory sells Black Sesame Ice Cream. It's pretty good. I believe someone has mentioned it earlier too. It's on Bayard Street in Manhattan Chinatown. For your information, here is their website:

              http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/