Tokyo Buffet…Irashai!

I love food. Seriously, I do. People say that but usually they are exaggerating. I am not exaggerating. Food and I have a very special relationship. I mean, I have not been on and off nearly every diet you can think of for no reason. But I think that when you are of Italian descent that goes without saying. Italians LOVE food. This afternoon my husband and I went out for lunch at Tokyo Hibachi and Buffet in Deptford, New Jersey (yes that is right I am a Jersey Girl but I do not act anything like Snookie.) I really enjoy this place. It is not too crowded on a Sunday afternoon and it is not to pricey either. We usually visit this place about every 2 months. I am  huge sushi fan. Well, let me rephrase that, I am huge Japanese and Korean food fan. I love ALL of it. Tokyo Buffet lets me get just what I want a lot of and the few other things to taste.

Just a few sushi options

Just a few sushi options

Round 1 started with my normal starters. Ever since I lived in Japan I always begin and end my sushi meal with the same thing, Ikura (イクラ) or Flying Fish Roe/Tobiko  (とびこ). Tokyo has Flying Fish Roe (the bright red on the left of the photo below. so i began there. Then I added some of my other favorites Spicy Tuna Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll, grilled squid, oyster, clam, tuna sushi (aka nigiri – sliced fish over a ball of rice), clam sushi, some Dragon Roll and even a version of Kalbi (Korean styl BBQ Short Ribs).

My first plate

My first plate

All of the items on my plate above were delicious. Even the version of Kalbi that the served was decent. However, I would just go to a traditional Korean restaurant for true Kalbi (I will post on a recommendation soon.) The following is a shot of husbands plate

Hubby's first plate

Hubby’s first plate

He enjoyed his plate as well but we see a few different on his plate. He chose some garlic shrimp w/snap peas and few other fish sushi options. We both cleaned our plates and were ready for round 2 in no time.

Round 2 for me

Round 2 for me

Of course I came back with more rolls but I decided to try a few other things as well. I chose a pork dumpling and crab dumpling, both of which were fantastic, some seasoned octopus (top right) and of course my favorite veggie, edamame.

Hubby's second round

Hubby’s second round

My husband’s second round was a little smaller than his first. But it was just as tasty. He mostly stuck with rolls this time around.

So Yummy!!!!

So Yummy!!!!

I was brave and I went back for a 3rd round but I went super light on the choices this time. Just wanted to the few things I hadn’t had yet and another taste of my favorites. Now comes the best part…dessert!!!

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MMM...MMM...Good

MMM…MMM…Good

The choices for dessert are awesome. Tokyo offers small little petty-for style desserts like green tea roll cake, orange jello squares, and sesame seed balls. Tokyo also offers some pudding like cold soup desserts as well. I chose the Lyche Bubble Soup and the green tea roll cake. Both were excellent.

Lyche Bubble Soup and Green Tea roll cake with an elephant ear.

Lyche Bubble Soup and Green Tea roll cake with an elephant ear.

Overall, Tokyo has a good atmosphere with a nice waitstaff.  I have always been very happy every time I have been there. One last comment and photo…I like how they offer both regular soy sauce (red cap) and low sodium (green cap.) Many place do not put them right on the table because the low sodium tends to be more expensive.

Regular and Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Regular and Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Tokyo Hibachi and Sushi Buffet gets 4 out of 5 forks!

MEAT…Yes, Please

Philadelphia Restaurant Week is my favorite time of year and happily it happens twice a year. I use this week as an opportunity to try to new, higher end restaurants that I would normally try. Let’s be honest, there are not many restaurants that are worth spending your hard earned money on and the ones that are end up being way to expensive for the average person. That is the best part about Restaurant Week. It allows the average person, making an average salary the chance to enjoy an evening out at a place a lot nicer than Olive Garden (people treat it like it is Steven Starr but it really isn’t.)

This evening I was able to patronize Chima Brazilian Steakhouse on 19th & JFK in Center City Philadelphia. When thinking about this evening is…YES…Please!

The "Bring me more meat" button.

The “Bring me more meat” button.

We started off ordering our cocktails for the evening and boy were they great. I am usually not a big fan of Sangria but I thought that I would give it a try. Mostly, because I was eating a more upscale place so I thought their Sangria might taste better. I LOVE being right. It was excellent. I ordered a white one and my mother ordered a red one (yes I do head out to dinner with my mother. My bestie and my husband joined me as well.) The best part…it was only $6 and it was HUGE

MMMM...Tasty

MMMM…Tasty

Now, my husband does not drink alcohol and usually drinks water because in most places it is free. However, since we were doing it up tonight he went a little crazy and ordered a soda!! It was Brazilian style sweet Ginger Ale. He really enjoyed it.

Sorry Canada Dry but you got nothin' on me!

Sorry Canada Dry but you got nothin’ on me!

After we got our drinks we headed to the salad bar which was included in the Restaurant Week menu. The salad bar had everything from typical salad to prosciutto to fresh mozzarella balls the size of a golf ball to carpaccio. A person could have an entire meal of the salad bar alone (which my mother almost did.) Once we returned to our seats with our salad bar dishes the flipping for meat began. A bit of advice to the Brazilian Steakhouse Newbie…remember to turn your card back to “stop” once you have gotten a few meat items.  The waiters seem to have “card-dar” and can easily zero in on the “yes” beacon calling to them. The unprepared could end up with a plate full of meat or a swarm of servers and not know what to do.

Some of our food choices this evening consisted of boneless chicken, Parmesan crusted pork, salmon with passion fruit sauce and swordfish with pesto sauce.

All of this was eaten quickly

All of this was eaten quickly

The best meat item of the evening was by far the top sirloin. Sadly, it was eaten to quickly for me to take a picture so you, my dear reader, will just have to imagine the most moist, mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth piece of steak you could ever eat and you will have an idea of what we ate.

In addition to all meat we had 3 dessert choices.

I ordered the cheesecake. I get nervous with cheesecake because it can be thick and dry or soft and mushy. This was perfect. It had enough firmness to remain solid but enough moisture to avoid being dry. Definitely a winner.

Cheesecake

My mother chose the Sundae. Neapolitan ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauce, nuts, cherry and whip cream. This, to me, is a safe choice. It is pretty hard to screw up ice cream. But it did look pretty.

Sundae

Lastly, my husband and my bestie ordered the Caramel Flan. According to them it was nothing special. I tasted it and it was just OK.

Caramel Flan

Not only was food excellent but the staff was amazing as well. They were very attentive and very kind. I liked that the restaurant was spread out and the tables were not right on top of one another. I have been to Fogo de Chao and it felt as though I was eating with the people sitting next to me the tables were so close. Not the case here. It was a very open floor plan with a nice, calm atmosphere. We are already making plans to for our next visit and to pay full price.

Definitely would give Chima 5 our 5 Forks!!