Went to Minado on Grand Opening night, February 14. It is a massive Japanese seafood sushi buffet chain that just opened a branch in East Norriton at the corner of Germantown Pike and Swede Road in a strip mall. Overall I give it thumbs up.
First I want to report that food was indeed fresh. Here is how they do it: the only put out a little at a time. The plates are perhaps a third full at any given time. So there is no time for the food to start collecting airborne ick.
The selection was wide ranging. It was arranged like a giant s-shape with flanking stations for hibachi and dessert. All food prep was furiously taking place behind the buffet. One U-shape was devoted to sushi and cold items, including seaweed salad, scallop salad, raw oysters, king crab legs, nearly raw beef, marinated raw salmon and shrimp cocktail. Sushi selection included all sorts of nigiri sushi like yellowtail, eel, tuna, mackerel and so forth. There were many variations on the (cost-saving and longer lasting) sushi rolls. I had many excellent tastes of things.
The hot station ran the gamut from steamed dumplings to tempura to stir fry. Excellent beef and chicken dishes as well as seafood. There was a giant rice steamer of white rice. The hibachi station was turning out skewers of grilled shrimp, squid, beef, vegetables and chicken.
Dessert was basically little squares of various flavors of sheet cakes and some cookies. Nothing amazing, but who needs amazing when you have plates filled to the breaking point with seafood?
The servers when needed (like at the hibachi station) were generous. The place was packed, with a major crowd waiting to sit down. The majority of diners were Asian. Lots of families. Our main concern was service. The wait staff was confused. We got our drinks halfway through the meal, and it took about 15 minutes to get the check. For people whose only job is bringing beverages and checks, they could have been more efficient. Of course, you could chalk that up to first night jitters. I will definitely go back, but next time I won't leave feeling like a water balloon! Moderation rules at a place like this, but for first timers, the temptation to stuff yourself is overwhelming.
FYI, the ride to Minado from 76 and city line ave is about 20 minutes, up the blue route to Germantown pike west exit, and then 3.3 miles until the intersection of Swede road.