7 Unique Things about Japanese Buffet!

7 Unique Things about Japanese Buffet!

Have you tried Japanese Buffet before? We usually call all-you-can-eat style “Viking (バイキング)”. Although the origin of the name is uncertain, most of us, Japanese people know what it means when we hear about Viking. Here, I would like to introduce 7 things of Japanese Buffet you should know to fully enjoy your food exploration in Japan!



 

7 Unique Things about Japanese Buffet!

 

1. Time limit

Most of the buffet style restaurants have time limits in Japan. When I ate out a buffet style meal in the United States, I was so surprised since I could continue eating as much as I want! But I wonder how that kind of restaurant makes much profit… Anyway, in order not to make people eat too much and also to increase customer turnover, Japanese buffet style restaurants usually have 1.5-3 hour-time-limits depending on the place. So be careful not to stay longer than the limit or not to try to eat your favorite at very last only to find out you don’t have time.

 

2. Drink as much as you want (Alcohol)

This is often held in Izakaya –which is Japanese style bar. If you choose this style called “Nomi-hodai (飲み放題)”, you can drink any alcohols on the list such as beer, cocktails, shochu, sake, and so on. The price would be around 2,000-3,000 yen per person for 2-3 hours. Some Izakaya even have all you can eat in addition to Nomi-hodai for around 3,000-4,000 yen per person. Moreover, some fancy restaurants and cafes have this drink as much as you want style menu. One of my favorite is the place called “Saru café (猿カフェ)” since it has a lot of non-alcoholic beverages such as café latte, green tea latte and even smoothies! You can choose from these places depending on what you would like to drink and eat.

 

3. Drink bar (Drink as much as you want –non-alcohol)

This is another type of drink as much as you want style menu –the difference is that I am going to talk about what we call “drink bar (ドリンクバー)“ that is mainly in “family restaurant (ファミレス)”. Unlike the similar menu in Izakaya, drink bar often costs only 200-300 yen per person –it would be more reasonable when you order it with some meals. In addition to that, they usually do not have a time limit…! So it would be a great idea to stay at “family restaurant” –except when it is very crowded.

 

4. Sweets buffet

There are a lot of sweets buffet restaurants in our country. Some people go to the place instead of eating lunch and others just enjoy tea time with a lot of cakes. The price range is about 2,000-3,000 yen depending on the restaurants but it is more likely to be pricy when the buffet is held at some hotels. One of my favorite sweets buffet place is “BITTER SWEETS BUFFET”. They serve mainly sweets, but for those who cannot eat too many sweets without any salty meals, they also have regular buffet such as pizza, salad and pasta. Lunch is about 2,000 yen and dinner is 3,000 yen there, and if you want to drink alcohol, you can order drink as much as you want menu for additional 1,000 yen. Sweets buffet is especially good when you achieve some of your goals and/or when you are very tired after a lot of work. Eat a lot of sweets would make you feel happier!

 

5. Cookie buffet

Not only sweets buffet, but also there is cookie buffet –which is so popular among young women in Japan. This kind of buffet is mainly held at a cookie store called “Aunt Stella’s (ステラおばさんのクッキー)”. The place is a well-known cookie shop that has a lot of stores all over Japan. And the price is less than 900 yen including eat as much cookie as you want and a cup of drink for an hour! Very reasonable! Since their cookies usually cost more than 100 yen per cookie, you can eat more of them in much cheaper price. If you don’t have a time –it’s okay, they also have all cookies you can pack for about the same price for those who want to bring cookies back home. Stop by at the place next time and enjoy a lot of cookies!

 

6. Salad buffet

This type of buffet seems to be the most widely held at restaurants all over Japan. Not only at the place where there are mainly buffet style menus but also at what we call “family restaurants (ファミレス)” often have all salad you can eat style meal. The most places have many kinds of salads including potato salad, pasta salad, and Gobo salad. If you really want to focus on vegetables, I would recommend the place called “Moku-moku farmer’s restaurant (モクモク農場レストラン)” that is mainly located in the western part of Japan. They use fresh vegetables from Moku-moku farm in Mie prefecture, so it is very healthy and those foods are so delicious! Not only salad, but they also serve dishes such as soup, stewed food and even sweets –all of them are including ingredients from the farm they own. Please try salad and/or vegetable buffet and stay healthy!

 

7. Shabu-shabu buffet

You might have seen BBQ style buffet in your country, but how about Shabu-shabu buffet? Shabu-shabu is one of the most famous Japanese meals –putting a thin slice of meat into boiled water just for a second and it is ready to eat! There are a lot of restaurants that have shabu-shabu buffet, but I usually go to the place called “On-yasai (温野菜)”. They have a variety of buffet menus depending on how many kinds of meats you want to eat. And the most of the menus include some appetizers and even dessert! The price is about 3,000-4,000 yen for 2 hours depending on the kind of meat. It is a great idea to eat as much Shabu-shabu you want with your family and/or friends and stay warm during winter time!

 

Conclusion

There are many kinds of Japanese buffet including sweets, drinks and meats. Even though most of the places have a time limit, it is enough for us to enjoy the meal. Consider trying Japanese buffet next time you want to eat out with your friends/family!

 

7 Unique Things about Japanese Buffet!

1. Time limit
2. Drink as much as you want (Alcohol)
3. Drink bar (Drink as much as you want –non-alcohol)
4. Sweets buffet
5. Cookie buffet
6. Salad buffet
7. Shabu-shabu buffet