Have you ever gone to a sushi restaurant and been forced to find some middle ground between how much sushi you actually want to eat and how much sushi you can afford? I normally get 2 rolls, because it’s enough to satisfy me and not break the bank, but every now and then, I finish my order and I’m left wanting more. Unfortunately, paying $25+ for that is already enough for my wallet.
Well, to everyone who has this dilemma, I’m here to make your day. Yuka Japanese Restaurant on the Upper East Side has a deal where every day, all day you can get All You Can Eat sushi for $21.95 per person. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
When I found out about this place, I think I was even more excited because I’ve never been to an AYCE place/buffet in New York City and it’s SUSHI, which I’ve never seen, unless you count what’s at those cheap Chinese buffets. And to make everything even better, they have an “A” sanitation grade, which, let’s be honest, is exactly what you want and need in a place serving fresh fish.
The way it works, is you mark your selections on a little card which you then pass to the waitress. There’s a 2 hour time limit and you’ll get charged for any sushi you don’t eat, including leftover rice, to ensure that you’re not wasting their food. You can keep turning in multiple cards, so it’s easy to order a little bit at a time to make sure you don’t get greedy and order more than you can handle, and they have quick service so you don’t have to worry about your 2 hour time limit being used up waiting for the waiter to take your order or your food to come out. There are a few special rolls on the card that if you order you’ll get charged a little bit more (like the rainbow roll, shrimp tempura roll, and spider roll), but otherwise you can get maki (rolled sushi, ordered by the roll), hand rolls (wrapped in a seaweed cone), and nigiri sushi (a raw fish piece with rice underneath). Oh, another interesting thing is that you aren’t supposed to tip at the end of your meal. Don’t get too excited though. A 15% charge is automatically added to your bill.
I went here with 5 of my friends, which made it a lot of fun because we were able to try a lot of different things (as you can tell from the photos, which were just SOME of what we ordered). For rolls, we tried the California, cucumber, spicy tuna, shrimp, crab, scallop, flying fish roe, squid, shiitake mushroom, and hijiki ones. Don’t know what hijiki was? We didn’t either. But we were having too much fun trying whatever to worry about that. After ordering and eating it, we finally decided to Wikipedia it to see what it was, and according to the site, it’s “a brown sea vegetable.” I mean…why not? For nigiri, we had some of the egg custard, shrimp, tuna, yellow tail, and salmon. We also tried the crab hand rolls and the rainbow and shrimp tempura rolls. Yeah, we ordered a TON.
At a place that has this kind of deal with sushi, you might expect the fish quality to be a little questionable, but not to worry! It was all good and delicious. Because we went on the weekend there was quite a long wait though, like an hour plus, so be prepared for that.
After this meal, I couldn’t even think about eating sushi for a week. But now that I know Yuka exists, any time I’m craving it, I’m DEFINITELY going here to get the most bang for my buck. If I had to do it again, I would order more nigiri rather than the rolls, since you get more tasty fish that way and don’t fill up on rice as quickly. I would also probably skip the hand rolls, because those were WAY bigger than I thought they were going to be and kind of set me over the edge. While I wait for that one fateful day when I’m able to afford to go to Sushi Nakazawa, I’ll be eating my weight in sushi here.
All you can eat sushi!
1557 2nd Ave New York, NY 10028