For the first time in my life, I went to a buffet restaurant alone, at night, with tears streaming down my face; okay no, I didn’t cry. I wasn’t depressed, I just didn’t want my Banzai GC to go to waste so off I went. Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Center is a Japanese buffet along SM By the Bay, passed the MOA Eye. I went there a little ashamed that I wouldn’t pay extra because that 1k worth of GC is enough to cover me, and I didn’t have company. Thankfully, there was no trace of judgment in the eyes of the staff when I said I’m using my GC.
A male staff led me to a two-seater table. If the staff kept their judgment to themselves, the other customers didn’t. I could have sworn I read a speech bubble on top of a woman’s head that says, “She’s dating herself? What a loser?!” Okay, maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I took my seat and moments later, got up to inspect the place. Banzai is serious about being Japanese, there are Japanese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, picture frames of some Japanese paintings on the wall, Japanese masks, Japanese flowers, a small figure of some Japanese dude on the table, and other Japanese whatnots. Yes, I just wrote Japanese seven times for emphasis.
Some food on the bar are ready for the taking, the others have to be cooked first. Worry not because the stations are manned with chefs to cook your food on the spot. I’m not going to be too specific about the food that I tried, all I can say is I went for three rounds and they were good. I liked the grilled and cooked variety (barbecue et. al ) more than the raw kind (e.g. sushi, sashimi).
I was stuffed by the time I left the place. But of course, as always, I wasn’t able to taste all of the food, which means I have a reason to come back.
If you are keen on Japanese cuisine, Banzai may just be the place for you. and I swear you can eat alone, the way I always do. But if you got someone to come with you, all the better.
Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater
Bldg J, By The bay Leisure Park
Seaside Blvd., Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Telephone nos: 552-7368 / 0917-7067328
Business Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.