Originally I wanted to post this on Thursday but then I reckon since it's mid week, we kinda need a booster to make the week more interesting. I confess I'm currently suffering a severe addiction to Japanese food. Once I start eating it, I kinda crave it a lot so expect to see quite a few more places. The good thing about my Japanese craze is it kinda covers all kinds of items within the scope of Japanese cuisine. Not all are fantastic though as evidenced with this recent visit to Shogun but I guess you need to also cover the bad and good or else how would people know. Note that this is my personal view which may differ from your opinion.
Last week, during a crazy moment in time when we were strolling around 1 Utama Shopping Centre looking for a place to eat, I decided we should go try this place. Although I usually avoid buffets, I decided to throw in the towel to sample this particular one. Maybe I was struck with extreme hunger (I didn't have any breakfast that day so my tummy was growling for sustenance) or it just sheer boredom with the mundane food and beverage selection at the mall.
I was quite happy when I saw the sushi and sashimi counter filled with glass trays of rows and rows of various types of sushi. Since I love to play with my food, I was in seventh heaven as I had the time to arrange the sushi nicely, snap pictures and savour each piece slowly. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be as midway during one of my photo sessions, I was nicely told that I couldn't snap any pictures. Shucks, I guess that's when things went downhill.
First, it started with the sashimi which was served in a big wooden boat. To get your sashimi cravings satisfied, you had to use these enormous chopsticks to pick them up to your plate. Bad idea especially since they were all cut unevenly and odd sized. Each piece looked like a remnant after they had sliced it nicely for their sushi.
Moving away from the sashimi and sushi counter, we sampled the tempura selection. Maybe because they wanted to cater for the expected lunch crowd, each piece of tempura was pre-fried. Bad idea as cold tempura tastes awful and despite how much you dunk it in the soy sauce dip, it just doesn't taste great at all. Sadly most of the food was pre-cooked and kept in warmers which drastically affected the quality. For instance, they had steamed parrot fish kept in the warmer which developed a hard layer since it was overcooked with the heat lamps focusing on it. Even the unagi was slightly soggy after being left soaking in a pool of liquid. Most of the deep fried items like the mini crabs weren't crunchy anymore with the exception of the tiny prawns at the wasabi and soy sauce counter. Even the lamb ribs should be avoided as it was heavily coated with batter and full of fat.
Each table had an order of cheese baked oysters which was not too bad. Not as plump as imported oysters but pretty decent for locally farmed oysters. You can also select other types of seafood like scallops, snails, prawns, mussels which is cheese baked from the counter. They also serve pretty good teriyaki salmon pieces among that selection. If you like teriyaki salmon head, they even have that on the warmer.
Although there were quite a bit of minuses in the buffet line, some pluses were also found like the plain boiled prawns they had in a bowl next to the chawan mushi. These tasted really fresh and sweet. I liked how it was kept warm in some kind of steamer. In fact if you love prawns, you will find various types here cooked in different styles. The teppanyaki counter is also a good choice if you like your food warm as they cook it from a selection of items you choose from. I had an all mushrooms one - enoki, shitake and oyster which was good. There is an array of ostrich meat, beef, lamb shoulder, bai ling mushrooms, fish and etc to select from. If you hate garlic, make sure you ask them to hold the garlic as they add loads of fried garlic in it. The sushi was not bad - I liked the one wrapped in salmon sashimi and topped with either green wasabi tobiko, ebiko and the black fish eggs (I doubt it's caviar! since it is so small). They're really innovative with the various types of sushi and makis. Saw some topped with pink dragonfruit, wrapped in egg wrappers and even turkey ham. There is also peking duck roll which looked interesting.
For sweets, you have a selection of fresh fruits, Malay kuih muih, cream cakes, mochi and Nestle ice-cream. I quite liked how they gave you aloe vera cubes in syrup to eat with your ice-cream which was nice and refreshing.
If you can eat a lot, drop by here one day. I suspect during the weekend with a larger crowd, food will be replenished and hopefully be cooked on the spot. The charges for the buffet are:
Buffet Lunch - RM43++ per person (Monday to Friday), RM52++ per person (Sat, Sun and Public Holiday)
Buffet Dinner - RM52++ per person (Monday to Sunday and Public Holiday)
Kids from the age of 4 to 11 years are charged RM28++ per person
Shogun Japanese Buffet Restaurant
Lot S 335A, 2nd Floor Oval
1-Utama Shopping Centre
Tel No: 03 - 7726 5770
(Pork Free. Open for lunch from noon to 3.30pm while dinner is from 6.30 to 10pm)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.