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Monday, April 14, 2014

Banzai with the SoMoms

I always get excited when there are new restaurants opening in the Mall of Asia complex.  Aside from living near this area, I look forward to the day when I don't need to leave the area and head to Makati or Ortigas to get great meals.  Traffic is getting worse and with the ongoing road reblocking, even weekends are now affected.

I first heard of Banzai early this year from Carina and Jen.  However, I didn't have the chance to drop by to eat because Stan was exceptionally busy during the 1st quarter of the year.  So when Sheryl Laudico, one of the owners, invited the SoMoms on a dining trip to Banzai, there was no way I could refuse!  
Banzai is a huge 1,000+sqm. restaurant composed of all Japanese dishes.  Once you enter the restaurant, you will be handed this map so you can view the different stations at the restaurant.  Even if Banzai is all-Japanese, there is a variety of dishes/cooking styles to choose from.

The sushi/sashimi station is common for all Japanese buffets.  However, Sheryl shared a secret with us - she asks the chef to torch the top of the salmon sushi to cook it a little and makes the salmon sushi more tender.  I also like that they don't display the slices of sashimi out.  The slabs of fishes/seafood for sashimi are stored in a chilled display shelf and if you want the sashimi, it is cut as you order.

The ramen station is also worth visiting.  Unlike most Japanese buffets where the noodles stations is broth + noodle, at Banzai, the station is very specialized - serving tantanmien and tonkotsu noodles among others. I also like their dumplings - beef, chicken and vegetables.  The balat is not thick and the the filling is packed.   I wasn't too happy with the takoyaki - I found that there was more flour than octopus meat.

The real winner for me is the teppanyaki station.  I especially love the beef and squid teppans!  It is a challenge to keep these 2 items tender and Banzai successfully did it.  I had to stop myself from gorging on the teppan beef and squid so I could still try the other stations.  Beef and squid - not just tender, but very succulent and flavorful.  If you can only choose 1 station from the Banzai buffet - pick this one!

Save some room for dessert!  Their creme brulee is served in really small cups - just enough to whet your appetite.  Definitely do not miss the mini chocolate cakes - dark chocolate - rich but not too sweet - my kind of dessert!  
those round chocolate cakes are divine!
Also included in the buffet price are the drinks (house blend ice tea, red iced tea, blue lemonade, sodas and draft beers).  The Japanese beers are an additional P118 per bottle. 

I like how Banzai thoughtfully planned their interiors to represent the different faces of Japan.  From minimalist modern design to the brightly lit "Ginza-ish" decorations.  They also have shows by their chefs to entertain the guests.  Don't forget to drop by their "Trick Art" gallery and dress up as a Sumo wrestler or a period Japanese citizen and pose for photos at their wonderfully painted backdrops!

costumes for kids and feeling kids alike!
are you a secret ninja?
Dress up as a sumo wrestler and bump tummy to tummy!
Banzai is still on soft opening and will formally open on Easter Sunday.  The buffet we sampled was just 3/4 of their entire spread.  I will definitely visit again with my family when the buffet is 100% fully opened.  The restaurant has ongoing and regular promotions for their guests.  Keep updated by liking their social media pages:
Facebook -
Instagram -

Visit Banzai at Bldg J, By the Bay Leisure Park, Seaside Blvd., Mall of Asia Complex, Brgy. 76, Zone 10, Pasay City 1300 Pasay City, Philippines 
Call them at 09155245705,09994713579, 09163775357, 552-7368

Thanks Christine for organizing!

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