Address: 1089 Inman Avenue, Edison, NJ 08820
Wow, was I stuffed as a bear last night.
A friend and I had been talking about going to grab some sushi for a little while. I remembered that she had told me about this place while I was still at school, but yesterday we decided that it was time to make the trip. So, the two of us and another friend ventured out to Edison in pursuit of the gem that is a quality sushi buffet. I have only been to two other sushi buffets, so I was really eager to compare the three to see how Sushi Palace stood out, and I walked out of the restaurant really impressed.
The thing that differentiated Sushi Palace’s business model from the others was that all of the sushi was made-to-order, not set out in a buffet style. That, to me, signals that the rolls are guaranteed to be much more fresh and that you could read the ingredients of the particular roll before ordering it. I know with the buffet-style you have less of a wait time, but I was at one of the other restaurants pondered what exactly was in four different “Chef’s Special” rolls that were on my plate. The system that they have as Sushi Palace is that they hand you two sheets of paper: one is for sushi orders (sushi, sashimi, maki rolls, and maki special rolls) and one is for kitchen orders (soups, appetizers, tempura, teriyaki, and other traditional Japanese dishes). The paper with the sushi had the descriptions of the special rolls right on there, so it was easy to pick out ones that you might want or ones that you wanted to try. All of the orders are grouped family-style, but that’s no problem since it basically offers the chance for everyone to try all different types of sushi.
The three of us ended up trying a little more than half of their special roll offerings, and ate about $100’s worth of sushi. The price per person: $20. A fantastic deal by any consideration, especially for this because everything is made fresh. All of the rolls were really tasty, and the wide variety that was offered made us sit and think for a little bit when we were placing our orders. It was a really awesome experience, and this will certainly take the cake for the best-value, best-quality all-you-can-eat sushi buffet for this area in my book.
Here are my rankings for Sushi Palace:
Food: 5 / 5
All of the sushi and kitchen dishes are made to order, so everything tasted extremely fresh. The eclectic menu selection really blew me away, especially for the all-you-can-eat price.
Atmosphere: 4 / 5
The interior was decorated pretty nicely, with finished wooden tables and comfortable chairs. It was a smaller restaurant, so some of the tables were bunched kind of close.
Service: 4 / 5
The waitstaff was good with promptly removing empty plates from the table and refilling our drinks.
Price: 5 / 5
Absolutely fantastic. There really is no other way to describe the value you get for what you pay here. If you can put down even two of their special rolls, you have already made back your $20.
Overall: 18 / 20 (90%)
July 21, 2012 Post Update:
The following comments reflect my thoughts on the Middletown location of Sushi Palace that opened up this past March.
Address: 582 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Tonight my family and I headed over to the Union Square Mall to check out the new Sushi Palace location that had opened up not too long ago. Having tried their food at the Edison location (see post above), I had very high hopes for this particular location, especially since it is right in my hometown and effectively cuts the drive from a half hour to about 10 minutes. They certainly did not disappoint.
The first thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that the location itself is much more open than the Edison one. The dining room itself is much bigger, and now there is actually space to walk around between the tables, not to make you feel packed in like a can of sardines. I also felt that all of the food tonight tasted a lot more fresh than what I remember from my past visits to the Edison location. All of the sushi and maki was handmade to order, and the plates certainly came out looking absolutely fantastic. For the five of us tonight, the meal practically gained its value after we had just two full-sized plates of the sushi, sashimi, and maki.
For those of you who have tried Sushi Palace’s other locations and were curious to see if this one meets the same standards, I am happy to say that it certainly does. Overall, from comparing my two visits between the Edison and Middletown locations, I would prefer to go to the Middletown location because of the more open dining atmosphere, freshness of the food, and a seemingly lower wait time between ordering food from both the sushi bar and the kitchen. Also, the close proximity to my house certainly aids things quite a bit. The last you want is to have a long drive ahead of you after eating so much sushi….