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Minado in Natick

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Has anyone been to Minado in Natick for their lunch buffet? My aunt and uncle love sushi. I love buffets but I don't eat sushi. I want to take them to Minado for their lunch buffet. I will eat the non sushi items offered at the lunch buffet. How is the food at Minado's lunch buffet? Is the quality of the lunch buffet food worth the $16.95 per person price? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

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  1. I've only been for dinner so can only comment on that. I think it was $28 (it was my birthday and my friends paid, so not sure) and I left stuffed and definitely felt like I got their money's worth. The sushi chefs prepare and bring out new food constantly as it gets taken by patrons so I felt that everything was fresh. The selection borders on overwhelming. I started out trying about 1 of everything that looked good to me, and by the time I was ready to go back for favorites, I was already stuffed. I thought the overall quality was very good. I definitely want to return.

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    Minado Restaurant
    1282 Worcester St, Natick, MA 01760

    1. I also like it. Some of the sashimi is cut a bit thin, but you can get all you want, so it's no big deal. Like julieapfel said, they're always putting fresh stuff out and the large hot buffet is also kept fresh and hot with constant turnover.

      1. Haven't been in a few years as I don't get out that way much, however I really enjoyed it. Miando is the first place I ever experienced sushi, everything was clearly labeled and as I understand it, sushi that hadn't moved within 15 minutes was discarded. Of course, judging by the number of people going for the sushi, that rule was never tested. The buffet is huge with many more traditional americanized chinese dishes, a huge salad area and even a dessert area with fresh fruit and minature pastries, including green tea cake. Our server was especially helpful stopping by and telling us whenever something fresh was coming out. He also made a wonderful wine recommendation. One item I especially remember was a seafood salad with octopus which was outstanding. If you don't care for sushi there are many, many other items to choose from. I think the $16.95 is a bargain, especially since the price hasn't changed in a few years.

        1. There is a lot of sushi and its fresh (new sushi is put out all continuously) - that the good.

          The bad is, the rice is pretty bad. The quality of the fish is fair to good. The quality of the sashimi - not offered at lunch only at dinner is very spotty. Some times good, other times fairly bad. Also the rice is pressed by machine and not by hand which is how most sushi restaurants do it.

          Thus, are your aunt and uncle quality over quantity or quantity over quality people?

          I have been about 8 times over the last few years but have not been in about 6 months and am not sure if I will ever go again.

          4 Replies
          1. re: debidokun

            My wife, daughter and I went 2 weeks ago and won't be hurrying back. I'd say the selection is the only redeeming quality of the buffet. The fish is okay and certainly nothing was spoiled (talk about setting the bar low). The rice was either dry, stale, or just plain poorly prepared. And the knife work was amateur. Altogether, I'd say the quality of the sushi was as poor as I am willing to eat, maybe worse. And while Oishii may be my favorite place, I am no stranger to Whole Foods sushi for lunch.

            1. re: BJK

              I've had sushi lunch a few times at Whole Foods in Legacy Mall but it's no better than the sushi at Minado so Minado wins by a landslide due to variety. The Chinese and Vietnamese interns making the sushi at WF doesn't make it taste any better than the Guatemalan and Brazilian making it at Minado. It's all in your head.

              1. re: joebloe

                To each his own. I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment. I couldn't care less who is doing the cooking. But poor knife work has a significant impact on the sushi being prepared. And stale, dried out, or poorly cooked rice even more so. Whole Foods is no shining star of sushi, but I'll take it any day over Minado.

                1. re: BJK

                  Actually we do agree. If you make them make it for you on the spot then it's better than Minado. If you pick up the one already laying there, then the sushi is dryer and colder than Minado. Like I said, I ate at Oishii 3x/wk so I'm no expert but I'm no novice either.

          2. I went once for dinner. I also dont eat sushi and felt that it wasnt worth $28 for the hot food. It was all fairly lousy and i wasnt impressed. Have had much better chinese buffets at 1/2 the price. For sushi, i imagine it would be a good deal but if you dont eat all the rice, they will charge you for any left on the plate and the rice to fish ratio is in their favor!

            3 Replies
            1. re: hargau

              I know someone who is a host there. They no longer have a policy to charge you if you do not eat all of there bad rice.

              1. re: debidokun

                I just ate lunch there and the price is very fair and borderline cheap for what you're getting. You go to any sushi restaurant and you'll pay the same price for much less in a cute square plate. The fresh salmon hand rolls here are better than what you at Oishii and I eat at Oishii 3X/wk. Order three of those and consider everything else a bonus!:)

                I noticed they have smartly shrank their sushi rice to avoid waste as people like me dump half of it anyway.

                1. re: joebloe

                  Joebloe,

                  Makes a very good point. The hand rolls are by far the best sushi at Minado. They will let you get 2 each time you order. You can go back as many times as you like. The spicy tuna is very good.

            2. If they are sushi connoisseurs, go for Fugakyu Cafe in Sudbury instead. It's not a buffet, but you can get good non-sushi Japanese entrees, the sushi is good, and the ambiance is nice.

              Minado has the all-you-can-eat thing going for it, but the sushi is only a small step up from the packaged stuff at a grocery store. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not sublime either.

              1. Minado is OK, as other people have noted, if you're looking for just OK quality sushi (though I will have to try the hand rolls next time - do you have to ask for them specially, I've never seen them out). Their non-sushi items are pretty good, too. Someone recently suggested Bamboo, in Dedham, I think. They have some kind of cheesy, seafood gratin in a scallop shell that I need to try, and they sound like a good alternative to Minado.

                2 Replies
                1. re: nsenada

                  Here's the thread on bamboo. Turns out it's also a good bit cheaper: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/677704

                  1. re: nsenada

                    Bamboo also have sushi with their Chinese buffet but their sushi is really limited and more like a joke. But for $10 bucks it's still a very good deal overall.