Some might find it hard to believe that tucked inside a non-descript shopping center in East Norriton, next door to a state store and a Panera Bread, could be a solid sushi option.
Minado, a Japanese Seafood sushi experience, offers a monstrous buffet and a plethoric amount of choices. This has been a staple in my local restaurant repertoire since I moved to the area some 6 years ago. While many can argue that sushi and buffet are two words that should never meet, Minado does it right, with active sushi chefs and a rotating cycle of fresh rolls and sashimi. The rolls range from the basic (sesame tuna, California, Philly) to the tightly packed hand rolls (spicy scallop, shrimp, tuna, masago, uni) to those with a bit more individual touch, such as a spicy fusion roll, with tuna, avocado, salmon, tempura flakes and scallion, or one of my favorites, the panko roll, a salmon and asparagus roll with crunchy panko crumbs on the outside. And that's just the rolls. They have about 12 types of nigiri neatly displayed and three 'boats' filled with salmon, tuna and hamachi sashimi. That concludes the sushi portion of the buffet. There's a section dedicated to tempura and other fried/cooked nibblers like breaded coconut shrimp, beef teriyaki, whole giant prawns, and other various delights. Raw oysters, crab legs and cocktail shrimp follow, with a soup station (miso, hot crab, mushroom) and then an assortment of Japanese salads or cold raw preparations, like seaweed salads, cold mushroom salads and a personal favorite, beef tataki. Hold on, there's more. A hibachi station complemented by MTO (made-to-order) udon (which has exceptionally flavorful broth). This flattop transforms into a crepe station for dessert, filled with chocolate and abundant fruits. Complementing this is a soft-serve ice cream machine with green tea and deliciously rich vanilla ice cream, as well as fresh fruit and various cakes and cookies. Add to this an ample list of beers, both Japanese and American, and a variety of wine and sake for your drinking pleasure. Whew, I need a breather after that description.
For first time visitors, a walk around the vast expanse is necessary to take everything in (and make a game plan). As a seasoned veteran who generally comes with a big appetite, I go straight for the sashimi and a few of my favorite rolls, the masago hand roll is always high on the list. Miso soup and beef tataki are generally the next plate, with more sashimi to follow.
The potential freshness and quality concerns might cause people to worry, but I can attest that while it will not rival the best sushi houses in the city, it's certainly above average sushi and the preparations are flawless for the most part.
With a price tag of $27.95 during the week for dinner, it's certainly not an everyday venture. But when you have that hankering for sushi and can appreciate the variety rather than being stuck with 8 pieces of the same thing, this is for you. For sheer variety alone on the sushi side, it's worth it, which was my initial attraction. However, add in the other well-executed specialties like the udon, beef tataki, or even if you just want crab legs and oysters, and you'll be hard pressed to find a better value.
2917 Swede Rd, Norristown, PA 19401