It was yet another meet up with my ex-uni mate during the weekend. Not knowing what to eat (and where to eat), my friend suggested to have Japanese buffet this time.
LC : Have you heard of Umai-Ya? It is a Japanese buffet restaurant.
Me : Nope.
LC : Wanna go there for lunch this Saturday?
Me : Wokay…
Umai-Ya is yet another restaurant which offers a selective Japanese cuisine. Unlike any other buffets (that I know of), Umai-Ya’s style of buffet is somewhat different compare to the likes of Shogun, Tenji, Jogoya and etc. Instead of you going to counters picking the food you planned to devour, all you’ve got to do is to look at the menu and select what you want as well as the quantity. Then, pass the menu (or paper in this sense) back to waiter for ordering. Besides, Umai-Ya offers nothing but Japanese food. Having said that, there is a thing about this restaurant which I’m going to touch on later.
They were running some buffet promotion on the weekends (for lunch only). The deal is you eat and drink all you can and you only have to pay RM48++. Good deal? I guess so judging on the *tsk* current economy *tsk*. Being kiasu and all on the safe side, I’ve decided to make reservation to avoid any disappointments. And I think I made a good move because by 12.30pm, the restaurant was quite full.
Besides the ordinary seats (tables and chairs), they have Tatami seats too. Like the Japanese style, you are required to sit on floor (with a tiny cushion sandwiched between your ass butt and the wooden floor) while enjoying your meal. From the outlook of it, the restaurant was pretty big. There were significant numbers of tables and chairs as well as Tatami style.
Upon browsing the menu, I found that they focused on a certain amount of Japanese dishes only. To those Japanese food lovers, you might be disappointed knowing that your favourite dish might not be available in this restaurant. Well, to be honest, I did feel a little disappointed after having to know that they don’t serve unagi kabayaki in their buffet menu. WTF?!
As usual, we ordered bottomless ocha (a.k.a. green tea) as our drink of the day. Besides ocha, you can opt for Coke or Tiger beer. Yes, you heard me right. Unlimited Tiger beer. We picked quite a number of dishes at one go knowing the fact that it’s gonna take a while for them to serve. Here are the items we ordered for the first round…
Soft Shell Crab Maki & Ebi Tempura Maki
Age Dashi Tofu
There weren’t many complains about the dishes being served. The Soft Shell Crab Maki was better than the Ebi Tempura Maki. The tofu was warm yet delicious but the size of Unagi Sushi was a little too small (the rice). Having said that, the seaweed they used on that wasn’t fresh at all. It was rather chewy instead of crispy. Still not satisfied with the amount, we went for second round. It’s a buffet afterall…
California Cheese Maki
The Beef Teppan was something I didn’t expect it to be when it first arrived. Ginger-y yet sweet, the sauce was alright and went well with the beef. But the beef was slight overcooked making it chewy. It took me awhile to finish them all since my friend doesn’t eat beef. After completing those dishes, my friend felt a lil bloated but not for me. I went on to order a few more dishes with the thought that we were still waiting for our Dragon Maki which we ordered during our first round.
Salmon Mayo Maki
And surprisingly, the Salmon Mayo Maki (from our third round) came before our Dragon Maki!! IIRC, even though the table besides us arrived at the same time as we did, they had 2 plates of Dragon Maki and we haven’t had ours yet. Disappointed with their service, we decided to devour our Salmon Mayo Maki first while waiting for that damn maki. The Salmon Mayo Maki was alright as the salmon was fresh. We seriously thought they would drench the maki with mayonnaise instead of drizzle them. Oh well… The Yaki-Tori was probably one of my favourites for that day. The meat wasn’t dry and the sauce wasn’t too sweet.
Bare in mind that we’ve reminded them for god-knows number of times about our Dragon Maki and yet, the waitresses failed to provide us with satisfactory answer. All they said was “I will check for you…” and they didn’t bother to get back to me. And by 1.20pm, I asked one of the waitresses again about our order. With slightly above my normal conversation tone, I told them about our order and waited for more than 1 hour for it. And again, the waitress gave me a dumbfounded look and the same answer which I heard over and over again. But this time, I guess my request was being treated with ‘priority’. I saw the waitress ran to the sushi bar and demanded for Dragon Maki instantly. And by 1.40pm, only our Dragon Maki arrived at our table.
Green Tea Ice Cream
Still not satisfied at all, I ordered another dish as well as desserts. We were not surprised at all that the desserts came first before my last order. We had our Green Tea Ice Cream which was quite good actually. They have this strong green tea flavour in it yet not too overpowering. The red bean paste was little as compared to the picture in the menu. I guess, that’s what ‘Pictures for illustration purposed’ only’ is for…
We chatted while waiting for my last order, which was Chicken Karaage. It took them more than 45 mins for it to be served. Surprised at the speed of the service? No. Disappointed? Yes. But they were saved by the fact that the chicken tasted good. Besides, I think it goes pretty well with a beer in hand. The chicken cubes were juicy yet the batter they used was good. I would order again if they were to serve it in timely manner.
Overall, it wasn’t a good experience as the service was below par. I don’t know what went wrong with our order but I do know that it doesn’t take long (read : more than 1 hour) just to do a Dragon Maki. Besides, at that time frame, we saw at least 10 Dragon Maki were being served (2 of them were for the table beside us). Judging by the service, I’m not sure whether I would be back again but the price seems significantly cheaper than other bigger Japanese buffet restaurants.
49A, Jalan SS21/37,
47400 Petaling Jaya.
Tel No. : (03) 7726 4410