Dazzled by their large sign up in C-5, I’ve been dreaming about trying out a new place to “Eat-All-You-Can”. I’m pretty tired of the usual slop that is served to me on most of those places where you don’t actually see the food being cooked, rather you just wait around till a good batch comes out and hope that person in front of you doesn’t get the part you’ve been eyeing. That’s when I thought of trying this place, Bono-Yaki. Mig and I enjoy these hot-pot grill places and so far, after the sights and smells…everything starts to smell and taste the same afterward.
A good rating for these kinds of places (for me, atleast) are (I already put in the corresponding rate and notes for this place), this means completely forgetting the cooked stuff or the “fillers” so to speak: (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest)
1) Freshness of raw ingredients: 8…9 for the shrimp. So far, what I noticed about their raw stuff, I didn’t see anything frozen, or right out of the freezer. Things were displayed in small portions so the raw food didn’t dry up too fast. The sushi was really fresh and didn’t look like it was handled by 10 other people before getting to the display. The shrimp…tasted like it had just come right out of the sea (I wonder if it was a good day or they’re really going to serve shrimp like that as their standard).
2) Variety of Raw ingredients: 4…for a place to call itself a “premium seafood restaurant”, this place only had Gindara, salmon, tuna, tuna sashimi, squid sashimi, squid and of course…shrimp…but the shrimp was awesome. I mean I was thinking seafood like clams, mussels, slipper lobster and the like, but I guess they had something else in mind. There were 2 kinds of chicken, 2 kinds of beef, 2 kinds of pork, bacon, and some processed meat grillables like sausage. There was a tiny salad bar with maybe 8 kinds of compound salads (whose dressings became nice and handy). There were about 15 other filler dishes that were already cooked, but since this is supposed to be a cook n eat all-you-can thing, the lack of raw stuff takes a lot of fun out. This didn’t have much variety.
3) Variety of ways of cooking – 2 only one way to cook in this place and its on a hot grill without butter or salt. I guess it was pretty okay, considering 90% of what I ate was the lovely shrimp.
4) Variety of peripherals for sauce creation – 4 on their grill area, they had four sauces … BBQ, vinegar, vinegar and soy sauce, yakitori…not much of variety, I must say, but on the other parts of the table (in the “fillers” side) there were about 6 dressings in the salad bar, a tempura sauce and soy sauce and wasabi. Funnily, I think this is owned by a korean, there was a gochujang based dip and a lettuce and ketnip platter on the grill area. Then there was the usual garlic, ginger, chopped chives and chili.
5) Good wait staff – 9. The staff was quick to change our plate, helpful and quick to get drinks and other items.
6) Comfort within the restaurant – 8, because it was a “smokeless grill”, you could hardly notice the smoke smelling up your clothes. Overall, the lines weren’t too bad since they divided the buffet into several small sections. There was karaoke music on, that gave an odd Japanese feel to the place.
But…why am I really writing about this place that seems so substandard? Because they serve something I don’t usually get to eat unless I get it in the Farmer’s market (and that’s only about a few times per year). IF it was a VERY GOOD day for us and we were fortunate enough to get this on that day, then I wish if you decide to go there…then I hope you will be on a very good day to…I’m talking about their shrimp.
And this is not just typical “I’m still swimming in the aquarium” shrimp but I hardly have anymore sweetness shrimp, but more of a “this morning, I was at the sea and someone caught me and now I’m turning into dinner!” type shrimp. This is a kind of sweetness, you do not usually get unless the shrimp was alive and well just a couple of hours before serving.
Judging from the way they presented the shrimp, it looked like they did this to kill it, and get rid of the unwanted and useless legs and antennae. But what’s funny is that this shrimp was so great, you could even feel some meat on the legs! The shrimp was bright, shiny and super fresh. And when you cooked it, it turned into the crisp, crunchy, juicy and sweet meat you could ever get from a piece of seafood. Am I raving too much?
I quickly decided, since the place had too many seemingly useless fillers, I would just concentrate on the shrimp. And I did. I had about 50… I’m semi-allergic to shrimp and so I got myself a precaution called Telfast hehe. Mig wanted to eat the other stuff while i concentrated on the shrimp. Can you imagine, I found this type of joy in a shrimp that wasn’t even cooked in butter?! I got my shrimp on by mixing a few of the sauces found on the raw area specifically for Shabu-Shabu. And getting some of the salad dressings like the ranch and wasabi-cream type dressing from the salad bar. Ahh heaven!
I could say that I also appreciated the sushi. This was the only filler that reached my plate. The sushi looked very good…not the type where the rice looks fused together like a freaking rice cake, losing the integrity of the grain. Good sushi should always have the grains intact, I guess their chef followed this code. The sushi seemed a bit korean, putting in lots of vegetables in it and hardly any raw stuff. But it was good. At least the sign outside that read “PREMIUM SUSHI” was right. Alas, I am hoping to go back to Bono-Yaki for another shrimp fest. I do hope they continue to have shrimp of that quality. Heck…it would sure put a smile on even Bubba Gump’s face.