Something for everyone

. October 31, 2012.
food-trays

Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet
48101 Washtenaw Ave.
734-528-9999
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday, 11am-10pm
www.hibachigrillsupremebuffet.blogspot.com

“My brother would love this,” whispered my five-year-old daughter. She stood mesmerized in front of a dramatic fountain in the foyer of Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet. The restaurant, which opened this summer, is located on Washtenaw just east of US 23. My daughter and I were visiting without my son and husband, our usual sidekicks. In their stead, we brought along my good friend and her daughters, ages nine and seven.  

The nine and seven year olds also found the fountain enchanting and rushed up to it. My friend and I scanned the rest of the Asian-themed restaurant. We saw tables and booths, a sushi bar, hibachi grill, and endless rows of all-you-can-eat items underneath a chandelier and neon lights. With over 12,000 square feet and more than 300 items, the restaurant hopes to appeal to — and seat — everyone.

Pizza, sushi or mac and cheese?

There is no menu at Hibachi Grill
& Supreme Buffet. Simply help yourself, as much as you want. Adults cost $10.99 for dinner while kids are charged according to age. The nine and seven year olds cost $6.99 each; my five year old was $4.99. Lunch prices are less and drinks are extra.

The buffet’s focus is Chinese food, but there were also rows of fresh fruit, a salad bar, fried foods like wings, and kid-friendly favorites like pizza and mac and cheese. My friend's children are allergic to eggs and peanuts, so we asked several servers for allergy information before learning that vegetable oil, not peanut oil, is used for cooking. One filled her plate with sushi, garlic bread and rice noodles, while the other selected garlic bread and pepperoni pizza. My daughter chose lo mein noodles cooked with shrimp on the hibachi grill, fried cheese sticks, and cantaloupe chunks.

“Well, you like what you like,” my friend's daughter offered when she looked at my plate. 

My friend started with the hot and sour soup, which she deemed peppery and good. I dug into my creation from the hibachi grill: lo mein noodles, green beans, green pepper, rice and chicken. My concoction was fresh, but could have benefited from a tangy sauce, if only I had added one.

Piling it on

My second plate was better (you didn’t expect me to stop at one plate?) I piled on steamed white rice, garlic shrimp, dumplings, calamari, a sesame ball, Mongolian beef, and hibachi chicken. The Mongolian beef was my favorite, with beef and green onions in a fiery, yet somewhat sweet, sauce. A sushi fan, my friend tried several varieties and found them nice, although basic. Her favorite dish was the button mushrooms in oyster sauce, which were tender and savory.

My daughter tried the mac and cheese and more shrimp while her friends ate more garlic bread and fresh fruit. They stuck with these safe choices as most dishes were questionable for their allergies.

Best for last? 

After eating fortune cookies, we checked out the buffet’s desserts. My allergy-ridden friends refrained, but pointed out what they thought I should try: chocolate cake, macaroons, and almond cookies. My friend tried something akin to a cream puff. My daughter got a dish of neon-colored Superman ice cream and a brownie with sprinkles.

“This is just kinda medium,” my daughter pointed at the brownie. “And this is just perfect,” she spoke of her ice cream. Generally, the desserts were sweet, but not memorable.

From its entertaining atmosphere to its vast culinary offerings, Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet offered something for everyone and proved a family-friendly place to dine.

 Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline.

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly: Yes

To avoid wait: The restaurant offers so much seating that you shouldn’t have to wait

Noise level: medium

Bathroom amenities: There is a changing table in the women’s room. “The pictures on the bathroom doors were really nice,” reported my 7-year-old.

High chairs? Yes

Got milk? Yes, as well as smoothies, lemonade, fruit punch and pop

Kids’ menu? No. There is kids’ pricing for the all-you-can-eat buffet based on age.

Anything healthy for kids? There are dozens of fruits and vegetables on the buffet. Meats, shrimp, and veggies can be cooked to order on the hibachi grill with little or no sauce.

Food allergy concerns? They use vegetable oil, not peanut oil. Ask your server or the manager to identify ingredients in dishes.