This is a first for the Yinz Hungry blog… a buffet! I think it might be a little difficult to review a buffet since there is so much food to try, but I will do my best. I went for lunch this past Sunday, and for lunch it is about $15 per person and from what I hear close to $20 for dinner. If you are going to visit Hokkaido I’d bring your "A game" because for that price you are going to want to get your money’s worth. If you start at the beginning there is an assortment of salads from an octopus salad, seaweed salad, tomato cucumber, some fruit to a few others. I DO NOT recommend the seaweed salad, but interesting just to say that you have tried it. The octopus/calamari salad was interesting as well and it had a hint of heat in it, but I think I will stick to fried calamari from now on. Along with the salads you have soups, which I noticed some traditional soups like wonton, but I didn’t get any soup on this trip.
Moving on down the line next you will find the chinese buffet section, and you will find some interesting items here too. Traditional items here are steamed rice, fried rice, lo mein, and general tso’s. A few new items to me were korean chicken and tempura scallops both were delicious! Another interesting item I have never seen on a buffet before were baby lobsters, in which you have to do the work of getting the meat out of the lobster. This has alot of potential for my next visit. Next you will see a section of raw meats for you to choose from and they can be cooked on the hibachi station. I love hibachi style food but did not try on this trip, once again next time. There is alot of stuff to try it is so impossible to get everything in one trip.
After the hibachi comes my favorite area and that is the dim sum, my favorite item was the roasted pork bun, if you like wontons you will love this the dough is so light but still packs a ton of flavor. My least favorite item was a red bean bun, wow that was bad. The beans where crushed down into a paste substance and placed inside the bun. Not only did the beans taste bad, but the bun had little flavor too. So to recap DO NOT TRY the Seaweed salad or the Red Bean Bun. An interesting item in the dim sum area was a sweet dumpling, I am sure to alot of people this is good, but I did not enjoy it. It was like a coconut pudding inside a sweet/clear dumpling with toasted coconut on top. I hate coconut, hence why it wasn’t a favorite. Next to dim sum is a fried foods section, which holds a favorite at any buffet of mine and that is chicken on a stick. I have yet to find a place to have a bad chicken on a stick, how can you screw that up? I’m sure one day I will find a place, but Hokkaido’s passed.
The next step on the journey was the main reason I went to Hokkaido, and it was the sushi bar. I tried so many things I don’t remember what they exactly where, except the one that sticks out as being unique was the tempura fried sushi. Never, EVER, have I had a fried sushi. I was very impressed with the amount of sushi and the variety that Hokkaido had to offer, especially for the sushi I will be back. The last section is the dessert section, and sadly I didn’t even make it by to check it out.
There are many items here that you can find at a regular chinese buffet that I am sure is cheaper, but at Hokkaido you get a great assortment of different styles of food with a great variety to choose from. The atmosphere inside makes this place seem a little upscale from a traditional chinese buffet. Next time I would like to visit for dinner to see if there is a difference with the food, I doubt it but I would like to find out. If anyone has every been to lunch and dinner and noticed anything different other than the price let me know. If there is no difference I will stick to lunch just to save a few bucks.
4536 Browns Hill Road
Squirrel Hill, PA 15217