Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya – Sushi Brunch Buffet!

BlueRibbon_lanternsI had been dying to try Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya since January when I saw it on Eater.com as one of the best brunches in New York City. Sushi for brunch and a buffet?! That is like a dream come true! Of course at the time I was in my dieting craze, and just couldn’t fit it into my one binge day a week on my slow carb diet, and it just didn’t fit at all into my calorie counting diet so months passed, and I still hadn’t gone. Finally last weekend, I decided I was finally back to a comfortable weight, and I could reward myself with an all you can eat buffet ;) . I was able to enlist a couple of girlfriends and we made the hike down to the famed Orchard Street in the lower east side.

I almost passed it as I was walking down the street, as it is nothing more than a dark door with a barely legible sign. Once you enter you find a dark stairway lit by lanterns leading up to the restaurant – very mysterious!

BlueRibbon_interior

The restaurant was pretty empty when we first got there at 1:30pm so I was able to get some good shots of the interior. I really liked the feel of it, and loved the hanging lights. I’m a huge fan of Chinese/Japanese lanterns and pretty much any lights hung on a string {it reminds me of Christmas I think lol!}.

BlueRibbon_buffetbar

There are a few different options for the buffet, for $29.50 you get the buffet plus non-alcoholic drinks – juices, coffee, tea, etc. or you can opt for the buffet plus a kitchen entrèe with options like Challah French Toast, Jumbo Buttermilk Pancake & Northern Fried Chicken, Brisket and Bone Marrow Hash, along with many other “western” options for only $10 more. As tantalizing as the breakfast options sounded, I really wanted to enjoy the sushi so I went for just the buffet. A friend of mine was dining at the table next to us, and they did get the kitchen entrèes (specifically the ones I mentioned above) and she said they were amazing!

Once we decided on our buffet options, we checked out the drink menu and went for the Bloody Mary Shochu Clay Pot Service {it’s a mouthful!} which on the menu is listed for 2-6 people. That’s quite a range I thought, but I guess it depends on how thirsty you are ;) !

BlueRibbon_BloodyMaryShochu

The Blood Mary Shochu really was a treat! It was such a great presentation, and lots of fun for a brunch with the girls. We each got to make our own drinks and season them as we liked with as much (or little) shochu, spice, carrots, and horseradish as we wanted. It was so cool! The shochu was much less “alcoholic” than the vodka and definitely gave it a unique taste. Four of us were drinking, and we had a ton of shochu left, so my recommendation would be to get this with at least four people.

BlueRibbon_BloodyMaryShochu2

Once we settled in we headed straight for the buffet! In addition to the sushi, they had yogurt, granola and fresh fruit, brick oven breads and sweets, a cheese and meat board, assorted salads, salmon, cream cheese and bagels, and peel and eat shrimp. I was in heaven! I absolutely love sushi, salmon and shrimp, and everything was so surprisingly fresh! The sushi chefs only put a little out at a time, so they were constantly making more resulting in very fresh and delicious sushi.

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Everything looked so good!

BlueRibbon_buffet2This was my first plate… I was trying to go for breakfast first! The yogurt and berries with granola was healthy and delicious, which is usually hard to find. The pain au chocolat was scrumptious, flaky and soft, and the chocolate oozed out of it. The bread and cheeses and meats were good, but nothing too special. 

BlueRibbon_plate1

And for my second plate, I finally got to the sushi I had been so looking forward to! Like I said before, it was all very fresh and very good. Sure it wasn’t the super fun rolls with all the crazy stuff inside, they were pretty traditional – tuna, salmon, california etc., but you can’t really beat this deal for $29.50. I must say I was really impressed by the size of the shrimp, they were huge! A lot of times they give you the small dinky ones on buffets that are tasteless and seem like they were previously frozen, but that was not the case with these little monsters. And of course how could you go wrong with salmon, cream cheese, and bagels with all the accompaniments – loved it!

BlueRibbon_sushiplate

Yes I had one more dish (of all my favorites)…

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And a salad with the traditional ginger dressing…

BlueRibbon_saladAnd I actually also had a brownie, but I {was too embarassed} forgot to take a picture of it. It was quite good, I was surprised by the quality of the baked goods (except for the plain bread), which I did not expect from a Japanese restaurant that’s known for sushi not pastries!

Over all I had a great experience at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya. This was a fun place to go with a big group and just relax, hang out and veg out for a couple hours with tasty food and drinks!

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya | www.blueribbonrestaurants.com | 187 Orchard Street

Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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