Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maiu Japanese Restaurant's très affordable Japanese Buffet at RM 38.80+

What's not to like about buffets? The combination of being able to sample dozens of different dishes, and to eat and drink to your heart's content. Or in the typical Malaysian style, until your stomach overflows :) The seemingly never-ending popularity of Japanese buffet places like Jogoya or Tenji despite their (in my opinion) barely-above-average food quality is testament to the popularity of the buffet.

Food quality normally suffers due to the need to cook 'large' portions of any dish though. Unless it's not strictly a 'buffet,' but instead an 'unlimited ala-carte' - which is how the six-month-old Maiu Japanese Restaurant have set up their all you can eat offering. The feather in the cap is the price - MYR38.80 (plus 10% service charge)!

The first impression we get of the Sri Petaling branch is "oh no." An empty restaurant is never a good sign. We ask the waitress about this, and she says that they're typically light during lunchtime due to parking problem around the area, but weeknights normally require reservations.

Anyways the prices seem pretty reasonable. It's under MYR20 for a set lunch, and ala carte menu prices are similar to mid-range Japanese places like Sushi Tei / Sushi Zanmai. The all you can eat menu is naturally limited to the more basic/popular menu items.

We open up with some sushi and sashimi - the sashimi surprisingly comes garnished and served on a bed of crushed ice! Fish was fresh, too, which is the most important thing when it comes to sushi/sashimi.

We also tried the Salmon Mayo Maki. This one came with some deep fried tempura batter to give an interesting crunch, but I thought the amount of salmon was a bit kiam siap.

Miso soup. Tad bit too much miso and/or salt.

Time to move on to the hot items - Saba Shioyaki (grilled mackerel with salt), Shishamo (grilled pregnant smelt fish) and Soft Shelled crab were all pretty standard fare - comparable to most other Japanese restaurants.

Tempura. Nicely battered and fried. I found it a bit odd that they included ladies fingers (okra) - first time eating tempura okra which was ... interesting. I'm not sure if I'm convinced by the marriage of the crispy tempura batter and the slimy okra seeds.

Beef sukiyaki was a bit of a miss for us. I don't know how to describe it, but the sauce/soup used here was somewhat different from other places - sweet and yet a bit sour at the same time.

Chicken Teppanyaki was a huge miss. It's nowhere near what a normal Japanese Teppanyaki-style dish should be, it's more akin to some sort of stewed Chinese chicken on hot plate dish. Not a bad-tasting one, just ... not what we were expecting.

For dessert - green tea and wasabi ice creams. Wasabi! It had a strong wasabi taste but lacked the 'kick' - and the darling commented that it was just a bit 'too much wasabi for one meal.' :)

Overall verdict? The food is par for the course for an average Kay-El Japanese restaurant (aside from the teppanyaki which you should avoid). However the all-you-can-eat offering does give it top points for value for money. The darling and I would have racked up an RM250+ bill off the ala-carte menu but instead we paid just slightly above RM40 per person, which seems like a steal.

(of course I also mean that the food is better than those rubbish fast food sushi joints like Sushi King)

Anyway, the all-you-can-eat menu is only in Japanese, so keep an ala-carte menu around for translation services :)

Maiu Japanese Restaurant has two outlets - one in Sri Petaling and one in Damansara Perdana. Their all-you-can-eat offering is available for both lunch and dinner. No pork is served.

G-3A, The Place,
Jalan PJU 8/5D,
Bandar Damansara Perdana,
47820 Petaling Jaya
+603 7729 0015

No. 39-1, Gd Flr,
Jalan Radin Anum 2,
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling
57000 Kuala Lumpur
+6017 396 9906


  1. The order menu looks really really similiar to the one by Umai-ya. Haha.

  2. I tried this before! Their buffet is not bad for the price they offer ^^

    1. Are they still running the promotion now? Oct 2012?

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