Food that’s value for money
Writer: Lee Choon Fai
Published: Fri, 08 Mar 2013
THE first word that comes to mind when the common folk think about sushi buffets is probably not “affordable”, yet in Shogun there are certainly some sweet deals that make it so.
Their tempura is consistently tasty, crunchy and is a pleasure to eat.
Of course, when you look at the initial price list, one will still think the price tag of up to RM71.30 per head is way too much, but look further and you will notice the offers and discounts listed which will noticeably reduce the dent on your pay cheque.
Among the most attention-grabbing discounts on offer is the senior citizen (above 55) discount of 50% during weekdays and 40% during weekends; there are also a myriad of discounts for other age groups that could bring the price down to less than RM50 per head.
People celebrating their birthdays there are also entitled to a free meal on the condition that they bring three paying customers.
For a more detailed look at the price list, visit http://www.saisaki.com/buffet-rates.htm.
But enough about the money, readers are probably wondering if the food offered is truly worth the hefty price tag (even after discounts).
Well, they can be rest assured that it is.
Variety seems to be at the top of the list in Shogun’s kitchen as they have managed to churn out more than 200 types of dishes that patrons can enjoy.
These include Korean, Chinese, Western, Fusion, and also some local delicacies; customers can truly get a bit of everything besides the mainline Japanese cuisine.
As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Shogun delivers well with a wide selection of fresh seafood sashimi along with a number of house-style sushi.
From Norwegian salmon to tuna from the Maldives, their sashimi is consistently good with freshness you can taste (especially the salmon and white tuna).
However, fans of wasabi may be disappointed to find that their wasabi has little effect even when it takes up almost half of their moderately-sized saucers.
Their house-styled sushi is perhaps a little more on the interesting side as you will not find them in any other place; they are not only pleasing to the eyes, but also offer a intriguing new taste (not necessarily a bad thing).
Then there is also a dedicated tempura counter, where special attention should be given to their tempura prawn, tempura assorted vegetables, soft shell crabs, and okonomiyakis (Japanese pancakes).
Their unique house-style sushi offers a new dining experience that is refreshing to eat.
Consistently crunchy and a guilty pleasure to eat, a bowl of tempura sauce with a generous amount of radish is recommended to go along with the fried dishes.
Right next to the tempura counter, there is the teppanyaki counter where customers get to choose what they want from a selection of fresh vegetables, mushrooms, and meat, which will be stir-fried right there and then for a hot dish.
There is also steam chawanmushis and cream custards offered directly opposite the sushi bar; the former is a treat to lovers of the dish but the latter tasted bland and uninteresting.
For diners who wish to not just have Japanese food in their meal and want a little more variety, they can take a look at the centre section where food is laid out in the fashion of a typical buffet.
The Korean food section there, although small, is a small treat for Korean food lovers; the kimchi stew is especially good with its thick spicy and salty soup with a copious amount of vegetables in it.
Even though the mixed food section is not as good as the Japanese section, it certainly does not lose out by too much.
Among them are the shitake mushrooms in egg gravy - mushroom lovers are bound to love its juicy and chewy texture, fresh taste, and moderately spicy gravy.
Then there is the almond baked dory, which is a piece of battered dory fish with scattered almond slices on top, which gives the dish an interesting nutty, crunchy taste.
Also a dory dish, the dory Austin may look interesting and appetising but falls short of expectation due to it being fried and smothered in sauce.
It may have been delicious if it’s fresh off the frying pan and dressed right after, but prolonged exposure made its texture soggy even though it still tasted decent.
Then there is the marinated baby octopus, which is perhaps a tad overcooked due to its slightly hard texture but nevertheless offers a pleasant sweet and spicy flavour.
The Asahi chicken should also be noted for its tender meat, finely spiced and salty flavour, along with an aroma of curry leaves.
As if the dishes on display are not enough, there are also dishes that can be ordered such as the traditional Chinese “Buddha jumps over the wall” soup.
Shogun’s version of the cuisine is brewed in a combination of 16 different spices along with sea cucumbers, mushrooms, and scallops which gives the soup a pleasant fragrance and aromatic taste.
Once diners have had their fill, they can proceed to the desserts section where a wide and colourful selection of fruits, ice-cream, ice kacang, jelly, exclusive gelato, and even a chocolate fondue fountain await to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Shogun may not be a restaurant with the highest quality of food, but it makes up for it in variety and as mentioned above, there’s a little of everything for everyone.
It is recommended that diners may want to eat smart to get their money’s worth and give priority to the Japanese dishes (which is undoubtedly Shogun’s forte) and take other food as side dishes.