Thursday, January 27, 2011

168 Sushi Buffet

Don’t you hate it when you get home from work and there’s no dinner? Well I have a solution to that (though it’s not always practical); go out for dinner! Now hear me out before you start using excuses like, “it’s expensive to eat out”, “I’m too tired”, or “I just changed out of my work clothes *sad face*” Just suck it up and treat yourself for once!

Where am I going with this? Well, everyone was lazy on Sunday and no one felt like cooking. Mom came home around dinner-time and since there was “nothing to eat”, someone suggested that we go out for sushi – 168 Sushi Buffet to be specific. Everyone was up for it, so we went to the restaurant that was located where Rogers used to be. Despite having "buffet" in their name, 168 Sushi Buffet is an all you can eat restaurant. Just saying.

We were seated and began ordering. Since the night was a blur (due to over-eating), there won't be a lot of descriptions. For those who love food porn, hold onto your pants!

The good:
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Seaweed salad: Well-seasoned salad.

Lucy's comment: I really liked this.  It had a great hit of sesame oil, and the texture of the seaweed was spot on!  It didn't have an overly fishy smell.

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Salmon and white tuna sashimi

Lucy's comment: The fish was relatively fresh, but I bit into a few bones in the salmon.  The second plate of salmon was far superior than the first, since the first serving tasted a bit fishy and the texture was a little mushy.  I only ate two pieces.

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Kalbi beef: These were sweet and flavourful. Mom said that it was a bit too fatty.

Lucy's comments: The kalbi were marinated well.  The beef contained a lot of smoke flavour, and the fatty bits certainly boosted its tastiness.  I generally don't like kalbi, as I often find it overcooked for my tastes, but I enjoyed this.

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Mango and crab meat (special) roll: The sweet mangoes were very tasty. If the fake crab was replaced with a salty protein, say smoked salmon, I think this roll would taste twenty times better!

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Flying fish egg hand roll: To Jimmy's surprise, there was flying fish eggs throughout the whole hand roll.  He didn't want to bite the roll in half, because he thought his second bite would've been egg-less.

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AYCE desserts: It seems dumb to say this, but 168 Sushi Buffet actually doesn’t limit desserts. Some places only give you one scoop of ice cream, while charging extra for deep fried bananas.  *cough*1000 Island Sushi*cough* The deep fried bananas had a few squirts of (Aunt Jemima's butter-flavoured) syrup. The bananas, themselves, weren't ripe enough.

The bad:

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Edamame: These were over-steamed and weren't enjoyable.

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Teriyaki beef and chicken yakitori sauce: There was an excess of the uninspiring "teriyaki sauce". It's the same stuff you can get in jars at your local grocery store. Maybe if both plates weren't drowning in the over sweet sauce, it would be more palatable. 

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Sweet potato tempura: These were greasier and a tad soggier than the shrimp tempura that were stacked on top. It’s too bad they crammed everything into one basket.

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Kimchi: They lacked flavour and spicy kick.

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Deep fried shrimp wontons and scallops: These were over fried and the shrimp filling wasn’t great. A bit of sesame oil would’ve made it go down easier. The scallops were frozen but we expected as much.

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Steamed shrimp dumpling (ha gow): I knew these weren’t going to be great, but I was curious to see how good these were. They were over steamed and, just like the deep fried shrimp wontons, the fillings could’ve used some sesame oil. (Yeah, I know, they most likely didn’t make these.)

168 Sushi - 30
Frozen white tuna sashimi (second round): Why serve frozen sashimi?
Bones in the salmon sashimi: Lucy and Andrew found bones in their salmon sashimi on separate occasions. Be careful.

Lucy's comment: The restaurant actually forgot about this order.  We had to flag down our server to find out if it was coming, and he had no idea what we were talking about.  This came out quickly after we sent a duplicate order form to the kitchen, but it was clear that the chefs didn't know about it.  The tuna was almost completely frozen.  I was stunned they served it like that.

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Green tea that looks exactly like the wasabi paste: Imagine if you got tricked into eating a spoon of green tea that was really wasabi? Ouch.

The others:

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Shrimp tempura

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Tofu pocket sushi

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Spicy salmon rolls (right side) and hamachi + green onion rolls (left side), bordered by a variety of indistinguishable rolls.

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Hamachi + green onion rolls

Lucy's comment: These were my favourite of the night.  I headed straight for them and definitely ate more than my fair share.  The green onions balanced well with the oily fish, and it was one of the freshest, simplest, most flavourful rolls I've eaten.

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Spider rolls

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BBQ eel sushi

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Red and green dragon rolls

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Flying fish egg sushi

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Spicy chicken

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Stir-fried chicken udon

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Chicken fried rice

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Octopus sashimi

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Surf clam sashimi

On a random note, there's an item on the menu called the Ottawa roll (cooked salmon, cream cheese, and green onion). What does that say about Ottawa? I think I'm offended...? lol

At $22.95 per person, this was on the expensive side of the AYCE sushi places in Ottawa. But this price includes refillable carbonated beverages, a larger selection of items than other places, and actual AYCE desserts. Check out their menu. We didn't find anything to be mind-blasting, but at the same time, there wasn't anything that really failed (with exception to the kimchi).

One of their managers said that it's their soft opening because they're in the process of getting their liquor license. 168 Sushi Buffet has been opened for about two weeks now and yet, it seems to be very popular already. This could be Ottawa's best AYCE sushi, but we'll have to go back a few more times to make sure they're consistent with their service and food.

1651 Merivale Rd.
Ottawa, ON
168 Sushi Japan Buffet on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I think you will need to try out Sawa Sushi in Ottawa-Orleans, they offer 196 items and have the biggest Sushi Restaurant tittle in Ottawa. They have only been opened for a month and they have gain so mad review on , check out their facebook at and you should talk to Jack the owner who I believe is the most friendly restaurant owner you'll find and their staff are super nice too, not to mention they have great food with great presentations. A must try if you are looking for the best AYCE in Ottawa.


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