I am Japanese (born and raised there) and wanted to post my review of Todai since this is such a big news to Chicago and many of my non-Japanese friends asked me about it. I decided to pay a visit there since my sister in law recommended strongly. WARNING: this is my honest review. I prefer to cook my Japanese food at home, I rarely go to sushi buffet and very picky about where to eat Sushi.
We got there around 5pm on Saturday night. Parking was bit of challenge, but that was expected at Woodfield mall on Saturday evening. We were seated right away and got water for me and my son and Asahi for my husband.
Now, the line to get food was already long. I guess since it was just past 5pm, everyone goes for food at the same time. I went to cold food line and took me about 10minutes to go through. Salad selection was good which included Caesar, Seaweed and Squid salad. I liked smoked salmon, but raw oysters ware terrible. I shouldnt have expected good quality oysters from buffet restaurant. I didnt touch sushi except eel for my toddler son. They had impressive selections of maki and sushi, but didnt appeal to me. My husband brought some ikura looking sushi, I tried one bite and didnt finish. I tried tuna and salmon sashimi. It was OK, but not great. Stone clubs from cold appetizer table was good.
Hot food none of them looked Japanese food I am used to. They used Japanese name, like teriyaki, yakisoba, but no, these were not Japanese food I know of. I took mayonnaise shrimp and teriyaki beef (I personally dont call this teriyaki though.) They were good. My son liked grilled salmon.
Noodles and Tempura- didnt look appealing. Took a pass.
Deserts - tiny portion of many cheesecakes and cakes. Enjoyed most of them with my son. Crepes were really good.
It worth a visit if you never been there. $23.95 (weekend price) is not a bad deal to satisfy your curiosity. Many people there seemed very happy with foods. Oh, one more comment, I didnt see many Japanese people as someone commented earlier on this board. Only one Japanese couple was there when we were there. I talked to them and they agreed with my observation. If you are experienced sushi eater and know what good sushi is, dont go there. I will never go back again.
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