If you’re in the mood for all-you-can-eat Asian cuisine, prepare to drive or call an Uber. Your best bets are out in the West End. Sushi King has established itself as well worth the time and gas. Is Hibachi Sushi & Supreme Buffet, located just a couple of blocks away, a worthy competitor?
The dining process at Hibachi is simple. After walking in, you cross a little bridge over a pleasant little stream, sit down and order your drink. Then you’re left on your own to explore the rows of food. For just $11, there are plenty of options. Getting your money’s worth is easy.
Is the food great? For the most part, no. But it’s also not terrible. The dim sum was competent, the General Tso’s was sweet and spicy, and the egg roll was flavorful. Weirdly, the coconut chicken was the most memorable, and I usually find coconut disgusting. All of this lines up with what I’d expect from an inexpensive, Americanized Chinese buffet.
I’ll be honest. I dabbled in the restaurant’s seafood offerings, but most of the options still looked way too alive for my taste. The crabs looked like they would come looking for revenge at any moment. The tilapia stared back at me, peering into my very soul and asking, “Why, God, why?” as if every decision I had ever made personally contributed to the death of this perfectly nice fish. So I stuck to the stuffed shrimp, baked crab and the vague “seafood delight.” They were all sufficiently dead and processed enough for me to handle.
The “sushi” aspect of the restaurant, as broadcast in gigantic, bright red letters on the sign outside, is misleading. I cannot emphasize this enough: If you’re in the mood for sushi, go to Sushi King. At Hibachi, the options are limited and basic. To be fair, my friends and I arrived around 8 p.m. and they closed at 9:30, so things were understandably winding down. But still, sushi is advertised as a big part of the experience and we still arrived at a reasonable time to be eating dinner. The handful of different options, such as tilapia, salmon and clam, were simply disappointing.
Other dishes include roast duck, black pepper chicken, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are even chicken nuggets, garlic bread, and other crappy alternatives to the Chinese options, if you forget that you decided to go to a Chinese restaurant. There are plenty of dessert options when you’re ready to wind down as well, including a variety of cakes and ice cream flavors.
Hibachi’s biggest problem is one it shares with Sushi King. For VCU students, its location is far from ideal. Both are crazy far down Broad Street, almost as far as Short Pump. Hibachi is a couple of blocks closer, but it’s a negligible difference regardless of how you plan on getting there.
Ultimately, Hibachi offers a great variety of decent food. If you’re really in the mood to gorge yourself on Chinese food, then it may be worth the trouble of getting there. But when there are so many wonderful options much closer to campus, it’s difficult to wholeheartedly recommend.