Sushi brunch buffet sounds just about right
And Unkai could well be the place for you. Because we adore sushi and sashimi (among our many other delicious foodie vices), we decided to launch 2016 in a very delicious way – a sushi brunch buffet! Yes indeed, all-you-can-eat sushiness right before your eyes. So, please do come hungry. After all, we have to add, the price tag is quite hefty…
Located on the 7th floor of the Grand Hotel are 2 pretty popular restaurants – Unkai (Japanese) and Le Ciel (French, and definitely our next foodie stop).
The main entrance
The entrance to buffet heaven!
We have visited Unkai a couple of times and we really like the idea of a lazy and yummy sushi brunch. The restaurant was almost fully seated – which we feel says a lot about this place. And if you are ready to get serious about sushi eating (or brunching), this is potentially a good spot. And of course, you can opt for ala-carte. Sushi brunches are only available on the weekends and public holidays. And yes, do call in to reserve in advance.
To kick things off, we were served with light appetisers and a warm bowl of miso soup. This is part of the brunch buffet deal.
The appetiser presentation
Cold tofu with bonito flakes
After the starters, it is the green light for “GO!” or proceed and get busy at the buffet spread. Don’t be shy or you’ll go hungry. Attack!
On one side, there’s always a spread on maki sushi and tamago (Japanese omelette).
Some of the maki sushi
But take it from us and head on straight to where the chefs are. This is the deal, folks! Here is where you’ll get to choose your preferred Nigiri (hand-pressed) sushi. And our tip again: always check/ ask for spicy tuna. And if you feel confused, just ask for one each and come back later for your preferred ones.
The chef’s stand. Here is where you get your nigiri sushi. Hint, hint…
The selection available for hand-pressed or nigiri sushi
A close-up because one must inspect…
The buffet spread is pretty decent – it has prawns (Ebi), squid (ika), tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), salmon roe (ikura) and so on. But Su was missing a few other “exotic” options such as clams (aware), grilled eel (unagi) and sea urchin (uni). O yea, you definitely have to try the sea urchin!! And unfortunately, no Temaki (hand rolled) sushi either. Well, serving Temaki at a buffet might cause quite a congestion…
Exercise 1 – stretching
Exercise 2 – a light warm up (we like to think)
Exercise 3 – cardio (well it is good for our heart)
Exercise 4 – lift up those bars… sushi…
The service was good. We caught pieces of hard shells in our soft-shell crab and a bone in our spicy tuna nigiri. The bone was pretty large. And if you happen to eat your nigiri in one bite or two, this can be a problem.
But as we said, their service was good. We showed the bone to one of the waitresses when she cleared our plates. And in a few seconds, she came back to apologise after speaking to the kitchen. Followed by the manager-on-duty herself.
And just when we thought it will be only verbal apologies from the team, they gave us desserts that were especially prepared for us as an atonement. We thought that was nice that they remembered our feedback and valued it too.
And final exercise – let’s cool down with desserts. Pumpkin brûlée.
A gourmet Japanese restaurant that serves both sushi and teppanyaki. Note that the sushi brunch buffet is served on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays only. And not to be mistaken for the sushi bar (by the same name – i.e. “Unkai sushi bar”) on the ground floor.
Rating – Sue
- Total overall rating: 3.7 / 5
- Ambience : 4.5 / 5, Fancy, formal and you should dress up. The others do.
- Location : 4 / 5, Super central. This place is smacked right in the city itself.
- Food : 3 / 5, It was good overall but I felt that the Maguro somehow didn’t taste quite “it”. The rice somewhat tasted “flat”.
- Price : 3 / 5, It comes with a price tag. You do pay for the location and ambience.
- Service : 4 / 5, Service is great, professional and individualised. When alerted about the bones, they took our feedback seriously and came to apologise in-person a couple of times. They even gave us special desserts.
Rating – Nicklas
- Total overall rating: 4 / 5
- Ambience : 4 / 5, As you can expect from being located in the Grand Hotel, the restaurant is grand and a bit formal. Might not be the place to bring the kids who can’t sit still.
- Location : 4.5 / 5, Right on the ring, you cannot miss it.
- Food : 3.5 / 5, We have eaten here a number of times and for most of the times, the food is a perfect “4”. Way better than your neighborhood sushi stand, but unfortunately it not as good as what you will find in Tokyo.
- Price : 3.5 / 5, If you are hungry and want stack the plates of food, or have a sushi eating contest with your friends, this is your spot! And best of all, you can do it in style!
- Service : 4.5 / 5, The service is really good and they pay very good attention to the customer.
Sushi brunch buffet: Sat, Sun & public holidays from 12:00 to 14:30
Lunch: Tues-Sun: 12:00 – 14:30
Dinner: Mon-Sun: 18:00 – 22:45
Tel: +43 (0)1 515 80 – 9110