Saturday, October 25, 2008

All You Can Eat Rice

The supposedly really good sushi restaurants in New York are either going to make you broke or make you stand in a long line. While doing some online research, we saw good reviews for Funayama (on Greenwich Avenue in the West Village). Timeout New York rated Funayama among the city's best sushi. But what made us really want to try this Japanese restaurant was on Mondays and Thursdays they have all you can eat sushi for $23.10 per person. All you can eat sushi? How could we not go?

Ordering from the all you can eat sushi menu is just like the way you order from Dim Sum houses, where you write the quantity next to the selection you desire. The all you can eat sushi selection is your standard list - tuna, yellow tail, salmon, scallop, shrimp, octopus, eel, masago, stripe bass, mackerel, egg, surf clam, crab, smoked salmon, flying-fish roe, shrimp tempura hand roll, spicy crunchy salmon hand roll, etc.

The first thing we noticed when we got our sushi platter is the amount of rice on the sushi. We've never seen sushi loaded with so much rice. It didn't take us more than a second to figure out what the restaurant's schtik is: give customers so much rice that they get full and won't order too much sushi, thereby helping them not loose money on piggies like us. And by now you're wondering, well why can't you just not eat all the rice? Because if you leave any rice behind (or any parts of the sushi for that matter), they charge you for the price of the sushi. So if we left a ball of rice on the platter, they'd charge us $3. Another negative thing about the rice was that it was very dry, crunchy and loosely packed. We're all for not wasting food but they're not trying to deter customers from being wasteful, they're trying to deter customers from happily partaking in an all you can eat sushi feast fest. Booooooo!

Also, they brought us the wrong order twice - like the dreaded cucumber rolls - why the heck would we go to a sushi restaurant to order cucumber rolls? It'd be like going to a steak house and ordering chicken. So the rice ploy sucked, but the fish itself was not too shabby. Their Yellow Tail was surprisingly delicious. After we finished our first platter, we were not about to let their schtik deter us from getting a second platter. We were determined to get our money's worth. So probably to the dismay of the restaurant, we ordered another round of sushi. We should have brought a ziplock bag to stuff the extra rice in it.

But we could not do more than two platters because the rice really filled us up, as expected. Funayama would not be a bad place for big eaters who aren't familiar with the ways good sushi should be prepared (without so much darn rice). Also, the service at this restaurant was painfully slow. This restaurant was doing well with delivery orders, which the waiters seemed more attentive to than the customers actually sitting in the restaurant. For the price and quality, we'd rather go back for one dollar sushi any night.