Two of my favorite cuisines in one place...
Several months after dining at Yakimix, I've had the chance to try out a similar buffet place -- Sambokojin. Tucked in the heart of Eastwood's City Walk, the restaurant spans two storeys, with the main dining hall at the 2nd floor and the reception area at the Ground floor. The theme is red, white and black and when we arrived, a swarm of people were already milling around, some busy scarfing down their plates while others weighing down their options in front of the buffet. I was glad to see a sufficient number of waiters, all ready to offer suggestions and to help you with anything that you might need. They're pretty lenient when it comes to taking food photos, too, so that's another plus for a food blogger like me.
I head first to the sushi bar and my first pick was the Salmon Sashimi. Pale coral in color, its pinkish property is a testament to its succulent and fresh meat. I get a couple of my staple California Maki, while contemplating on what else would make it to my first plate.
Just look at all these sushi! It was definitely hard to take your pick especially when considering that getting all of it may mean you won't have enough space for the other fare. There were labels on the counter atop the cooler display, albeit it was hard to decipher which is which. And so I had to base on what looks good enough to eat, and hope for the best it doesn't contain a huge amount of wasabi within.
As I walked to the section across, I see platters of bacon-wrapped anything. There were enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon, veggie stalks hugged by these porcine meat and even sliced omelette imprisoned in these fat-inducing protein.
They have a wide selection of meats for grilling. From fish and prawns to pork and beef that's further divided into ones with sweet marinade, spicy, or in original sauce, you're bound to find something that will suit your taste.
They have crab sticks, salmon and skewered quail eggs as well.
Moving on to the cooked dishes. I liked their Katsudon -- breaded pork drenched in a sauce filled with sweet undertones. A dish with shiitake mushrooms got my vote as well even though I didn't get its name.
They have a number of tempura dishes and I get a couple of the Ebi or shrimp variant. Standing in two lines and alternately slanted towards each other, like two rows of swords ready to welcome royalty through, I was excited to try this version as most modern Japanese restaurants manage to fail with this dish's execution. Batter is light and crisp, which is good, for it gives more focus to the shrimp it cocoons. I therefore decide I like it and get a couple more.
Sambokojin has a vast array of comestibles, some of which were hits although some were misses. But these so-called misses are more due to the fact that they just didn't suit my personal preference rather than for anything else. They have sukiyaki, gyoza, tonkatsu, tempura, chili wings, tofu steak, yakisoba, chili squid, chapchae and a host of other viands in between. In general, their food is saporous and the quantity is enough to leave you satiated and satisfied.
There are 6 available sauces to choose from where you can dip your grilled meats for added flavor. Among those are the Original Sambokojin, Teriyaki sauce, the spicy one and the oil with salt and pepper. Their meats are already abundant in flavor on their own, albeit dipping them into these different sauces somehow make them extra special and definitely more palatable. They have suggestions for which proteins go with what sauce, but I like to mix and match and find a combination on my own that befits my palate. They also have this special type of rice called Kamameshi mixed in with some sliced vegetables and chunks of pork and beef, which I adored. As much as I would have wanted to steer clear of it because it does make you full, the savory taste compels me to take in one more forkful after the supposed "last" one.
For the afters, a few basic flavors of ice cream were available with little colorful marshmallows and chocolate chips for toppings.
Aside from this frozen treat, there was a fruit bowl, as well as sticks of pineapples and marshmallows ready to be drowned into a pool of rich, chocolate fondue.
Petits fours filled several rows of shelves. I see squares of blueberry cheesecake and some chocolate sponges topped with icing and marshmallows. There's even one that looks remotely like Tiramisu though I can't really be sure. A regular-sized one sits on a cake pedestal, its cherries and peaches perch on a bed of icing separated by chocolate slivers; its circumference is tainted with cocoa powder, attracting those with a muted sweet tooth.
Their desserts are meant to give you just that -- a sweet endnote to your delicious meal. Nothing really to capture your fancy but they do the job still. I don't really expect them to excel in this course though I must say, I favor them more than those I've tasted in Yakimix. Well, it has been about a year, maybe they've improved on those as well?
How about you, which do you like better, Yakimix or Sambokojin? Or perhaps you have another similar buffet fave? Tell me your thoughts, I wanna hear from you. :)
Php 499 Monday-Friday Lunch (No Leftover Price)
Php 599 Monday-Friday Dinner (No Leftover Price)
Php 649 Saturday-Sunday-Holiday (No Leftover Price)
Php 299 Children below 4ft.
Free of charge for toddlers.
Add Php 200 for Leftover
Spot: Eastwood City Walk, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Contact Nos.: 421.0145 to 46