There are times when my sushi craving gets the better of my wallet – or when I’m out with a group of people and it’s much easier to have everyone eat ‘all you can eat’ (AYCE) rather than have to divide up a huge and diverse bill at the end of the meal. (I don’t envy the restaurant staff who try to keep separate bills for us!) When these situations arise, All You Can Eat is the way to go. But, AYCE is often plagued by small portion size, second-rate quality, disinterested staff, forgotten orders, and unappealing atmosphere.
So, what are your options when you want AYCE sushi in Calgary?
I previously reviewed Sushi Tokyo and their AYCE offerings, and I think it comes out with a rating in the middle-ground. While the service is good (for AYCE, which normally has less attentive service…) the portions seem to be hit-or-miss. Sometimes they’re the same as ordering off the menu, and sometimes they’re smaller versions. The decor is what really lowers their score for me – out of date and in need of repair. On the other hand they have a nice central location which is easy to access by bus or train, and there is a decent amount of parking either in the Dragon City mall parkade, the parking lot across the street, or the parkade kiddy-corner from the mall.
Sushi Ichiban (Macleod)
Sushi Ichiban on MacLeod Trail has limited parking, so head around the corner for more. It is easily accessible from the C-Train though, which makes it ideal for a wide range of groups getting together. While I found their tempura oily, the sushi is pretty good at Ichiban, and the decor is nice. They have a lot of different sizes of booths as well, which is good for groups. I find the service there a little hit-and-miss though; there have been times when the service has been great, and other times when we weren’t sure if our order was going to come or not… Click the link for my full review.
One note – their Westbrook location (which I have visited a few times, since it’s close to where I live does NOT have AYCE – only their Macleod Trail location. Boo.
Sushi BBQ Inn
I have only had one previous experience dining here (on an ill-fated first date!) which turned me off returning again. Perhaps if I’m feeling brave, I’ll head over at some point when my belly is as empty as my expectations.
Gunkan Sushi House
Katherine filled me in on this sushi place – very out of my regular area, so I hadn’t heard of it before. The reviews on UrbanSpoon were mixed – newer reviews were generally positive, while older reviews were almost entirely horrible. However, all was for naught, as apparently they’re now closed…
Banff – Miki
Ok, this is supposed to be a list about Calgary AYCE sushi, but I’d feel bad if I didn’t include Miki. We’ve had several good experiences there (minus some pains with their hours and parking!) and I love that they include a lot of types of sushi and other food on their AYCE menu.
Update! (Feb 2014)
I have a few more additions to add to this list for you – though they won’t make the “best of” list!
Grey Eagle Casino
Grey Eagle Casino’s Asian theme night offers sushi, and since it’s a buffet, it’s technically All You Can Eat. However… I don’t recommend it. The sushi didn’t seem fresh, wasn’t made well, and there’s something about picking bones out of my sashimi that really turns me off. You can read more by clicking the link, or head on over and make your own decision. Thanks to a Happy Sushi Belly reader for reminding me of this one so I could add it to the round-up!
MacLeod Sushi & BBQ
Another All You Can Eat Sushi & Korean BBQ place is MacLeod Sushi & BBQ.. on.. you guessed it, MacLeod Trail. This restaurant has decent parking, and I thought that the service was good too – but that’s the best parts about this AYCE sushi place for me. The atmosphere and smell are both off-putting to me, and the hot food could have been hotter, the defrosted food should have been defrosted, and the rice was overly sticky. Overall, the food ranged between mediocre and bad, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for an AYCE sushi night out. (However, the place was busy both times I went in, so perhaps I’m more picky than their average customer!)
Additionally, another AYCE place that offers sushi is the Asian Buffet. Like the Grey Eagle, I really don’t recommend this for your sushi cravings. Even the Asian food itself wouldn’t get any rave reviews from me. Thanks to a Happy Sushi Belly reader for reminding me to include this one in my list too!
Update (August 2014)
The One Sushi
In July, The One Sushi opened on Macleod Trail, with an iPad gimmick for ordering, and a wide menu of sushi, along with Thai, Japanese, Korean and Chinese cooked dishes as well. It’s not the best AYCE sushi in the Calgary area, but it’s alright, and a good option for groups who might not all love sushi.
Update (February 26, 2015)
One of our readers suggested we check out Kushi-Ya, but with not very keen reviews on their UrbanSpoon profile, I’m pretty skeptical. If you’ve been to Kushi-Ya add your thoughts in the comments – maybe if there are enough readers who really want us to check it out, we’ll make the trek sometime soon 🙂
So, I need to get out to some AYCE at some point to really flesh out this list – but in the meantime, do you know of any other AYCE sushi places in Calgary? Add them to the comments along with your review!