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New Sushi Buffet in Middletown

A sushi / seafood buffet restaurant will be opening around the end of the month in Union Square where Midtown was. Rt. 35 south across from Whole Foods. Its name is Saki One. I'll probably try it after a week or two and report back.

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  1. In the old Midtown space next to Centrex?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mr. Bingley

      That's correct. Signs went up for it Monday or Tuesday.

      1. re: cantkick

        i missed them since i havent made it back to the gym recently...

    2. I wonder if it is related to Sake One restaurant in Staten Island...

      1. Talked to them today. They are just waiting for the health inspector to give them the ok, so they should be open in a week or two.

        They said prices are about $17 for lunch and $20 for dinner (a little steep compared to the competition, but not unreasonable if it is good).

        Anyone up for a Chowhound Chowdown when they open?

        1 Reply
        1. re: cantkick

          cantkick - I am very interested to read your review. In general I usually avoid sushi buffets (or any buffets for that matter) as I've found that the quality of the food to be diminished as a result of the factory like/conveyor line production. On the other hand, you can't beat the price compared to an a la carte order at a typical sushi bar. I'm interested to know if you get more for your money or in fact exactly what you pay for. Thanks.

        2. Saki One opened today!

          I poked my head inside. It seems to be a pleasant place inside, but it looks like they only used about half the space of the old restaurant. The sushi bar is decent sized, at the front of the house. I saw what looked like a buffet station, but it appeared empty. However, it was around 1:00 on day one.

          I picked up a takeout menu. It seems pretty standard with competitive prices. The list of buffet items is fairly large. No surprises, and nothing missing that I noticed.

          The price for the buffet for dinner is 21.95, a reasonable amount. The dinner one has items from the kitchen according to the hostess. I assume that means teriyaki and tempura and things like that.

          For lunch the buffet is 17.95. That is simply out of line, since the competition is around $5 cheaper. I'll probably go within a week or so and get a bento box or a couple rolls, and look at the spread. Anyone want to join me?

          1. Well I decided to give it a shot tonight (sunday)

            I am a Middletown resident and a lover of sushi so I figured I would give it a try. I am glad I did.

            To start, everything you order is made in their kitchen. Yes, you order every item and there is not a "buffet line" which is great news. I have honestly never been to a place like this where you order everything you want, at one price. It is a pretty cool idea and they may be onto something. You literally just order as much stuff as you can cram into your pie hole LOL

            It is 20.95 and BYOB. I went with my buddy and we had a good time. To kick things off,we ordered some beef negamaki and it was good. We then ordered some shrimp tempura and rock shrimp, both very good (hard to screw up fried shrimp)

            So after tanking this down we order 2 more orders of negamaki. They only bring 4 pieces so we ordered 8 more pieces.

            So a few appetizers later, we decide to get some sushi. We get a dragon, shrimp tempura, rainbow, and pineapple/salmon. They were all OK, nothing great but not bad by any means. I wouldn't say I am a sushi expert, but I frequent quite a few places. And yes, I have been to Japan too : ) Overall, the sushi was just decent, not great but again, the price is OK considering some places will charge 10-14 dollars for a single "specialty roll"

            Let me reiterate this.... you can order as much food and as a much sushi as you want. I have never seen anything like this. It is truly a pretty unique experience. So if you want to eat 10 rolls, you can order ten rolls and they will make them for you.

            So after chowing down the 4 rolls with my buddy I am pretty good. We decide to order the beef terriyaki for "dessert" which was decent too. Again, nothing was over the top in the flavor department but the magnitude was overwhelming. I will be back to try some more things. The price is right. The service is super attentive but the food preperation is slow (sushi is slow but appetizers come out decently fast) The place was pretty dead on a Sunday so I am not sure how well they will fair on a Friday/Sat

            I was very impressed with the service of the ladies there. We had a few waitresses (not a single person)

            I hope this place does well. I am rooting for it and I think the price is fair. For twenty bucks you can seriously chow down and bring some liquor. The food isn't the best but it is decent. It makes up for great flavor by offering all you can eat. If you want decor and a trendy joint, this isn't for you. If you want to slaughter some serious amounts of B/C level japanese food on a budget, give this place a shot.

            Corvette Johnny

            14 Replies
            1. re: corvette johnny

              Glad you enjoyed it. I was going to wait until I tried a few things before writing a review, but since you started....

              I did take out Friday. I had one of their specials, a King roll. It was shrimp insdde, and kani (whatever that is) outside. Very nice. I also got a shumai app. Not quite up to Kanji standards, but very good.

              There are a lot of things I want to try. And I do like the idea of Japanese Dim Sum. I chatted a while with the owner (I believe) and he told me that they decided that leaving things in the chafing dishes would affect quality, hence the process they are using. BTW, the owner is Chinese, not Japanese, not that it really matters.

              1. re: cantkick

                We went last night and left disappointed. We plan to wait a long while before giving it another chance. I agree the sushi is just ok. We enjoyed the the beef negamaki. We also tried th Udon soup and it was also just ok. There is better Japanese in Middletown, I would go to Sono for Sushi and Asahi for other Asian fare.

                -----
                Asahi
                99 Taylor Ave, Manasquan, NJ 08736

                1. re: Dori Murray

                  Did takeout again last night. Got the negamaki and three standard rolls. The beef was fine, but it didn't wow me. The rolls were ok. They weren't anything special, but I wasn't expecting them to be. But I have had poor ones, so I was happy.

                  I plan to try a couple more special rolls before passing final judgment, but so far I've been happy. For "pigout" or if I want something when I'm right there, it seems to be a good choice, but I agree, Sono is better.

                  1. re: cantkick

                    Cantkick, try out Kyoto in atlantic highlands. I think sono is good too but give this a shot. I love the spicy tuna rolls there...best around IMO. Ask them to kick up the spice if you are into that and they are great!

                    I also am a huge fan of the yellow tail jaw (Hamachi Kama.) Oh and the volcano roll is another one my top choices. I eat the hibachi there regularly too. Its not as well decorated as a sawa or Shiki, but the food is good, fairly priced and you can bring booze. They have some interesting special rolls as well nightly.

                    1. re: corvette johnny

                      It seems the best seafood at the shore is in Japanese restaurants. :)

                      I don't get up to AH very often, but when I do, I'll check them out. Aren't there a couple other places there (or nearby) that have been praised on CH?

                      1. re: cantkick

                        If you don't mind the hike up to Keyport there is Nemo...

                        http://www.nemorestaurant.co/

                        1. re: cantkick

                          I need to get back to the Sake One to try a lot of other dishes....looking forward to it.

                          Cantkick, I am new here so I don't know what people like and dont like. I like to try things out myself and then give a good/bad review with substance. People who just write a line or two and dismiss a place I don't take seriously at all, nor do I take them seriously if they write a one line positive review. Furthermore, if they write with terrible grammar, I take that into consideration too. As Samuel L says, ENGLISH MOTHER F-ER, DO YOU SPEAK IT? LOL

                          Honestly, a lot of people have no clue at all when it comes to dining. I am not a food critic but I eat out a LOT and I go to local spots, yet will travel to eat good food. I am a big meat eater. I will post some pics soon of me in tokyo at this posh steak house eating REAL kobe beef and drinking 20 year old scotch ; ) Don't ask what it cost, you will throw up LOL

                          As far as Atlantic Highlands area,what kind of food are you into? I have been to many around here. I can make some recommendations if you let me know what you like and what kind of prices you are comfortable with.

                          I would highly recommend Caio Bella for Italian food. It gets packed on the weekends so either go early or later, or you won't get in. BYOB. They have a good lasagna, a great antipasto, and a great scallop dish. Oh and the chicken scarpiello is good too (with sausage.) They make a good pizza as well.

                          Copper Canyon I go to a lot too. It is loud and gets crowded, but the food is quite interesting and the steak is probably my favorite local steak in monmouth county. Drinks are pricey so if you drink, prepare to pay 10-12 for a drink. They have unique flavors that are not that traditional. I really don't mess around with anything else there. I get the steak everytime (and the chips are salsa are amazing!) Gaucamole is great too but at like 12 dollars a plate I feel like I am getting ripped off, and this is from a guy who spends money on crazy stuff like a racing corvette. I just hate paying out the nose for stuff but don't mind paying when worth it. To me the gauc is not worth it. Also, the drinks have gone WAY downhill. I hope the owner realizes this and maybe will read this. They used to pour a strong drink and now it is almost a joke. They put a small amount of tequila and then have the audacity to charge 12 dollars. I seriously hope the owner reads this (coming from a local fan that has been there dozens of times, at least 4 dozen times over the last few years.)

                          Havanna has a new owner and I went the other day. Before the last trip I made maybe 7-8 trips there and it was a decent spot. The last trip was decent but I need to go back a time or two to write a review. The new owner is super friendly and that made it nice. She was talking to my girl in Spanish and just "assumed" she spoke Spanish from her looks. She guessed right. It is a fun place to eat outside when nice and a good "date night" place. The mojitos are tasty. It is a great spot to go when a little cooler at night if you can get a spot by the fire as well.

                          -----
                          Copper Canyon
                          51 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

                          Sake One
                          500 Hwy 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                      2. re: cantkick

                        Also if willing to go to Strathmore Shopping Center (near intersection of Lloyd Road and Route 34 -- 12 min from Middletown), Mahzu is one of the best Sushi restaurants and have a hibachi setup in back. Across the street is Kickys another nice Sushi restaurant.

                  2. re: corvette johnny

                    Hey Johnny, my friend in Edison has been raving about a place called Sushi Palace that does exactly the same thing - ACYE Sushi made to order. He swears by this place, you might want to give it a try.

                    1. re: joonjoon

                      Sushi Palace discussed here:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733563

                      I've never been. Another place that does AYCE made to order is next to China Express in Old Bridge (Rt. 9 North, in the Shop Rite plaza). That one I've been to.. very good.

                      1. re: MarlboroMan

                        Tokyo is on rt 9 north in Freehold in the Staples Plaza. Is this the one you mean, or is it another one?

                        1. re: cantkick

                          The latter. Tokyo is an actual buffet. The place in the Shop-Rite plaza is a sit-down restaurant with a sushi bar, attached to the Chinese restaurant next door. Sorry, the name of the sushi place escapes me, but the name of the adjacent Chinese restaurant is "China Express". AYCE is something like $18 and includes cooked items as well as sushi. I believe sashimi was one of the offerings as well. It's been a while. I have a menu somewhere.

                          Here's a review I wrote about it on here:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738962

                          Here's another someone wrote about the Chinese food:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707226

                    2. re: corvette johnny

                      Thanks for the heads-up. I think my wife and I are going to give it a shot tonight. I've eaten in a few AYCE places in Florida, and with the seafood so fresh these places are great. There is also a version where it is a buffet but the cooks/sushi chefs behind the counter make things as they are used up to keep things fresh.

                      1. re: PhilBD

                        Two things I found were off the menu... brown rice (suishi and rolls) and green tea ice cream (included in price).

                        Appetizers were fine. Endamame and seaweed salad along with gyoza were fine although it took a while to come... they tend to bring everything at once which may be the plan but seemed we waited for food to be brought to us more than we actually ate.

                        If you order the scallops teryiaki order a few of them, when it finally came, they took 1 scallop and sliced it in 4 pieces. Salmon Teriyaki was over cooked.

                        Otherwise food was OK, not great, but didnt expect much so wasnt disappointed. Suishi which I got with brown rice didnt have any wasabi on the rice (under the fish) which I thought was how it was made but I was glad it had the brown rice.

                        The restaurant that I ate at with a similar model (in Florida) kept the order slips on the table, here I needed to keep asking for another set and everything seemed rather slow (service wise) even though we were 1 of 3 couples in the restaurant.