As a food blogger, a question I have been asked many a time is..
"What's better: Sambokojin or Yakimix?"
Considering one has the exact same smokeless grill buffet concept as the other, there's no way you can mention one without mention the other in the next sentence. The comparisons are simply inevitable.
Sambokojin is actually the name of a Japanese Kitchen God that came down to our planet to save us from hunger.
I actually went to Sambokojin some time last year, just before we watched Transformers 3. I wasn't too happy with the pictures Rina took, but mainly because she was a bit in a hurry for the movie. (It took me 45 minutes to get the ticket, but that's another story). We ended up going again with my brother, so Rina was able to take better pictures.
First off, Sambokojin's interiors far more minimalist than Yakimix's luxurious digs that look more like a hotel ballroom than an eat all you can buffet. Sambokojin is more of the Zen approach, with less being more.
But you're not here to read about Sambokojin's interior design, right?
Like Yakimix, Sambokojin just doesn't have a wide selection of raw meats. They also have an array of (cooked) predominantly Japanese food to choose from.. which is good because if you're like me, the thought of having to cook your own food at a restaurant isn't exactly a pleasing one.
Call me old fashioned but when I go to restaurant, I expect them to do the cooking, but that's just me.
Because of the sheer number to choose from, there's no way I could give a concise review on each and every dish, and truth be told, the moment the food plops down on my plate, I totally forgot what the name of the dish was anyway, so let me do a rundown of what they have.
Several types of Sushis
Different types of Tempura..
Shrimp Tempura is the most popular so be on the lookout for that
Gyoza, including a Meat and Shrimp
They also have a few Korean items as well,
the most notable was the Korean Beef Stew and the Chap Chae
The grill items consists of several types of seafood
Beautiful cuts of premium pork and beef
The raw station has (to my recollection) three different types of marinades..
A regular salt and pepper, a Bulgogi marinade and a spicy marinade
Perhaps my favorite station had to be Sambukojin's Bacon station, which consisted of a variety of items wrapped in bacon, such as asparagus and crabstick. My personal favorite of mine was the Bacon wrapped in potato.
Part of the whole Sambokojin experience is cooking the meats yourself on your table. Sure, its a unique way to enjoy your meal, but I won't be winning any awards for patience when it comes to waiting for my food to cook, especially when I have to do it myself (I'm lazy, so sue me), but it's undeniably delicious.
The dessert station had a pot of chocolate wherein you could dip different types of fruits in it. They also have different flavors of Ice Cream and cakes. Truth be told, nothing really spectacular.
Something you MUST know about Sambokojin is that they offer something that Yakimix does not....
....... Kamameshi Rice! This is something in high demand, and they only give it to you upon request, so I strongly recommend you order it the minute you get your table. It's nice and sticky, has generous helpings of chicken in it, and they give it to you steaming hot.. Long story short, it's pretty amazing.
Sambokojin has different sauces readily available in every table, which comprises of the "Sambokojin Sauce" (sweet and salty), Takumi Sauce (It seemed to be either tomato or chili based), and Ponzu Sauce (supposedly good with seafood)
I'm a firm believer in different strokes for different folks, so there's no real definitive way for me to answer the question of what's better, Yakimix or Sambokojin.. I mean.. Both are extremely popular for its smokeless grill eat all you can buffets, and a wide selection of fresh meats and seafood to choose from, not to mention their price range (around P600++) is identical.
I like how Yakimix has a selection of Chinese entrees in their cooked food menu (I loved the honey spareribs), whilst Sambokojin sticks mainly to Japanese and Korean fare. Since Sambokojin is part of the Triple V group, the Japanese dishes were very "Saisaki-esque". However, Sambokojin's Kamameshi Rice makes a strong case.. But perhaps it's their Bacon Station that puts them over the top for me..
Also on another note, I like how Sambokojin didn't seem to mind Rina taking pictures, where as Yakimix has a no photography policy (BOO).