Review: Kyojin, Mason (Lunch)

It’s a well-known fact that I hate buffets.  I really don’t like Las Vegas-style buffets.  Indian buffets I tolerate, since they’re often the only Indian lunch option I have.  Breakfast buffets, unless it’s one like the one at Orchid’s, are really not my cup of tea.  Sushi just never seems like something that would be good in a buffet, but my coworkers all told me that I absolutely NEEDED to go to Kyojin for sushi.

So, when my good friend Carla asked me to lunch, I suggested Kyojin. Correction: I suggested Kyoto, but thought I suggested Kyojin. I hear Kyoto is good and all, but it’s farther from my office and I had a limited amount of time, so Carla was a doll and drove to Kyojin.

Kyojin has a multi-level buffet: you can get sushi, or you can get traditional Japanese dishes like gyoza or udon, or you can get a bit of both.  We chose simply sushi.http://winemedinemecincinnati.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=1736

The place has its strengths and weaknesses– the nigiri sushi (fish, shrimp, etc. in slices on top of a small mound of rice) isn’t fantastic– they serve it, but it is not high quality product, which I don’t think anyone could expect for a lunch price of $9.95. Their strengths are some pretty creative rolls, seaweed and seafood salads, and the like. The thing I tend to not like about buffets, and what I am not comfortable with about sushi buffets in particular, is the fact that things just sit there.  I made sure to grab sushi rolls that were being refreshed frequently, and this was a safe bet (part of the reason, I think, that the nigiri doesn’t do so well is that no one was eating it, so they weren’t making the investment in top quality fish).   They had great spicy tuna rolls, the traditional California rolls, dragon rolls– you get the idea.  All were good and fresh (again, watch to see what is being made often) and a great deal at 9.95.  I’m not sure I’d do this for dinner– simply because I prefer to be served at dinner and am not in the time crunch (generally) that I am at lunch.

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Kyojin Japanese Buffet on Urbanspoon

  • Mr_Frump

    I’d recommend Kyoto, just a bit further from our office. They have a 3 roll lunch combo for $12 that is more than filling. You get to pick from any of the standard or gourmet rolls, so you’re not forced into the usual California roll, spicy tuna roll, etc.
    They have a similar combo with nigiri where you get to pick 7 pieces and a one roll (or maybe it’s two rolls, I forget).
    And it’s some of the freshest sushi in Cincy.

  • CincyCapell

    I simply refuse to eat sushi from a buffet. Period. End of discussion. Can you imagine what the quality level of the fish that goes inside those rolls? Even reputable Japaneses restaurants use less than choice cuts for rolls, often those that have blemishes, etc that would not be acceptable to serve as sashimi or nigiri. Less reputable restaurants use fish that is sometimes below sushi grade, or that is past-its-prime, in their rolls. The worse the quality of the fish, the more cr@p they put in the roll to hide it.

    I lunch at one of the three Japanese restaurants in Florence regularly, either Jo An or Miyoshi (I don’t think that Matsuya serves lunch). When you walk into a Japanese restaurant and 95% of the customers are Japanese you know that you are in the right place. I their Bento Box lunches, which typically include Sashimi, Tempura, Nimono, and a choice of Beef Teriyaki or Chicken Teriyaki or Salmon PLUS Rice, Soup & Salad for $14. It’s a great deal. And you can trust the quality to be outstanding.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Completely see your point– and most of the rolls had cooked product, not raw. Strangely enough, your “most of the clientele is Japanese” rule applied here– there was a very large Asian clientele eating as Carla and I were there, not really the “Mason lunch crowd” you see in other restaurants. I’m taking my coworker’s suggestion to try Kyoto next week or the week after– Jo An and Miyoshi would end up making my lunch a 3-hour-tour. Far too much work to do!

  • http://willflyforfoodblog.com Christina Baita

    I am not sure of any of these type restaurants around here however, if you are ever in West Palm Beach, Florida…yeah, I know, there is a great place called the Crazy Buffet, also called VariAsian. It is a sushi and more buffet that I would love to fly down just to go to (this coming from a flight attendant). The sushi/sashimi/ect goes on for ever and is constantly being made and replenished right there. They also have a Hibachi Grill, Wok, other seafood as well as more buffet with different style asian foods (more than just Japanese). Traditional foods as well as some typical. Green Tea ice cream…you get it. It’s $20 for lunch and well worth it. I’ve even taken salmon from the bar to the grill and they will cood it up for my son who prepares his “chicken” cooked. Full bar too for those who go at night.

    I definitely agree with both the caution with raw fish and if the natives to the cuisine eat there it’s a go.
    .-= Christina Baita´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary Dear =-.

  • Deepak Kumar

    I had been to Kyojin once, and decided that I was never going to go to any buffet again. I too, don’t like buffets. I’m an Indian, but I have stopped going to Indian restaurants for more than a year. The food is just average everywhere. If you want to have Indian food, I recommend a place that doesn’t serve buffet. Order just one (or two) dishes, and try tandoori roti/naan with it.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

      It amazes me that there is so little good Indian food in the Mason area, considering the population of Indian folks who lives here! I usually go to Ambar for Indian– my standard order is chicken tikka, onion naan and raita.