I've been hearing about Yakimix for months, and recently, we found a reason to try out the restaurant in Greenbelt. Having an infamous reputation for famished crowds, we deliberately made our way an hour before lunch time to secure some seats.
The interior of the Greenbelt branch lends a hotel-like feel, with its high ceiling and elaborate chandeliers. Booths lined up several sides of the restaurant and family-style tables were available as well.
The dining tables were set up with smokeless grills in the center for cooking the raw meat dishes that they also serve. The weekday lunch buffet was P499 per head, while holidays, weekends and dinner buffet was P580 per head. Kids below 4 feet can eat for P380, and the leftover price is P699.
Camera on hand, all ready to take photos of each dish (surreptitiously of course in order to avoid disturbing other diners), I was about to take my first shot when a staff suddenly approached me and partially blocked my view of the buffet, simultaneously pointing out that it was against restaurant policy to take pictures of the food.
A short exchange with the branch's manager provided me with a way to circumvent the situation. Apparently, the only thing they don't allow is taking close up photos of the food directly on the buffet table. Any food you bring to your own dining table, you can shoot to your heart's content. You can also take pictures of the buffet from afar.
Unfortunately though, this unfavorable position limits you in identifying the food you're about to partake. Unless you have the memory of an elephant, I doubt you can enumerate all the food in your plate 10 minutes into eating them. A menu won't be of help either, not that they have one. Since they don't serve ala carte, they found no need for menus. You may be lucky with remembering some of the cooked and uncooked viands, but I guarantee you won't be with the numerous sushi and sashimi congested in the sushi bar.
Recently dining at Red Kimono (which has set the bar for ebi tempuras) impeded me to appreciate any inferior version. What I love about Yakimix though is their vast selection of sushi. Not everything was good, nevertheless, it was fun trying out each variation.
I like the baked mussels a bit but admittedly, I've tried far many others that are better tasting than this. The sad looking greens beside them, on the other hand, had bitter after taste and not having something to complement it just threw my taste buds off balance.
I was surprised to see some fried pork lechon, but happily so since the skin had so much crunch into it and the meat was seasoned well. I love love love their salmon sashimi. It tasted really fresh and the color was just the right amount of inviting pink that I had to go back for a third helping. Oh no, looking at the salmon is making me drool again.
My favorite was the rows of uncooked protein that you get to grill yourself. The marinades of the meat were delicious, amply providing earthy and robust flavors. You can choose from a wide array of seafood like shrimps and squid, beef, bacon-wrapped mushrooms, chicken, and pork.
The sukiyaki was insipid at best, almost bordering on awful if you compare it with Tempura's or Red Kimono's. Enough said.
The salad bar was fine. Nothing that really grabbed my interest but they're nice for cleaning your palate. Not to mention, those fibers are good for washing down all the meat you've consumed guiltily (or not).
Their Blue Lemonade (P75) was yummy albeit in a sickeningly sweet way. It was refillable and you can even change it to other drinks for the succeeding refills. Nonetheless, I found myself asking for the same drink four times.
Honestly, you can skip the dessert section apart from the ice cream scoop station. The leche flan was passable, but I can't be as generous in describing the mini cakes. Those little petit fours lacked any flavor whatsoever. It was one bland bite after another. I was surprised to see slices of Goldilock's cake in the middle of the dessert table, more so that they haven't even bothered concealing the brand name.
The sweet saving grace? Their ice cream sundaes. With several flavors to choose from and more varieties of toppings like sprinkles, chocolates, marshmallows and gummy candies, it's a delightful ending to a very hearty meal.
The food at Yakimix wasn't really as extraordinary as I imagined it to be with all the hype that surrounded it for months. I guess what just sets it apart from other all-you-can-eat buffets like Saisaki's is the enormous variety of dishes. I'd recommend the grill-it-yourself section, the salmon sashimi, some of the sushi rolls (don't ask me what, I can't remember even a fraction of their names save for the California Maki) and the ice cream sundae. I still say P499 or P580 for that matter, is worth it for the abundant supply of good food.