After the rise of Yakimix Smokeless Grill, Sambo Kojin also a yakiniku smokeless grill followed suit and became an instant hit to buffet lovers. Boasting Korean-Japanese food fare, the smokeless grill buffet's first branch in Eastwood, Libis slowly but surely attracted a crowd.
I remember when it was still a little new, weekend dinner doesn't need a reservation as you can surely start pigging out at their buffet without the wait. However, as Sambo Kojin realized its title "Kitchen God" -- Sambo stands for God, and Kojin for kitchen, reservations for weekend dinner became a must.
|Tuna and Salmon sashimi and assorted maki|
A few weeks ago, we dared to enter the Kitchen God's lair without reservation on a Saturday night. And as expected, the waiting area was packed. We were 9th on the list and it took over half an hour before we were called up.
As usual, I started my dinner with a plate of Tuna and Salmon sashimi, along with assorted makis. Their sashimis tasted fresh. And although they have quite limited variety in their maki selection than Yakimix', everything I've tried in their sushi and maki offerings were good.
|Ika Sushi, Alaska Beauty Roll, Dragon Roll, Tuna and Salmon Sashimi|
|Another plate of Salmon sashimi, sushi and maki|
After quite a while of digging on their sashimi, sushi and maki section, I tried their Miso Soup. The soup sits on a large pot, with the tofu and the wakame seaweed on separate serving bowls. The soup has rich miso taste without being too fishy. And I just love how soft and smooth the tofu is, in contrast to the slightly chewy wakame seaweeds.
|My Miso Soup with generous amount of tofu and wakame seaweeds|
Both my date and I proceeded to the cooked food's section after the hearty Japanese start. We were able to sample some Cordon Bleau, Tonkatsu, Yakisoba and Korean Beef Stew among others. Even though Sambo Kojin has quite a few variety in their cooked food's section, all of the entrees we've tried, although not the best in town, tasted good for its price range.
We also got some Ebi Tempura, Tofu Steak and Pork Gyoza, all of which tasted good.
After sampling the cooked food's selection, we proceeded to the most exciting part of dining at the Kitchen God's yakiniku smokeless grill -- the DIY grilling! We got some of my favorite Enoki Mushrooms rolled in Pork, and some marbled beef. I just love the slight crunch from the Enoki Mushrooms and the tenderness of the pork. The marbled beef, especially the one marinated and dipped in Sambo Kojin sauce, is one savory meat fest in my mouth! Among all of the food selection I've tried in the Kitchen God's lair, this is definitely my most favorite.
We then got another round of food for grilling, a second round of their Sambo Kojin sauce-marinated beef and Enoki Mushrooms and Sprouts rolled in Pork, along with some vegetables, squid and prawns
|Our food for grilling|
|Mushrooms & Sprouts rolled in Pork, marbled beef, some mushrooms and veggies on the grill|
And to end our grilling adventure, we had some desserts. We were able to try some of their cakes -- all of which are so-so, some fresh fruits and mocha ice cream with chocolate fondue topped with mini marshmallows.
With the success of Sambo Kojin, we understand why we had to wait for a while before given a table. Anyway, the wait was well worth it because of the exemplary service the staff provides, and the good and satisfying food offerings of the Kitchen God. From the fresh and delicious eat-all-you-can sashimi, sushi and maki selection, you can already get your money's worth. Cooked food lovers will also be left satisfied with their entrees and noodles as they are of good quality as compared to other buffets in the similar price range. And, the grilling experience which is actually Sambo Kojin's selling point, will definitely keep you coming back.
However, in my case, there is a different reason for visiting this Godly Kitchen -- the Sambo Kojin sauce-marinated beef.
Aside from these, Sambo Kojin made another feat to attract old and new diners alike. They installed chillers to keep their raw seafood and meat offerings fresh. This is definitely a Godly Kitchen characteristic I'd like to see.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5
Weekday Lunch - P495
Weekday Dinner - P595
Weekend Lunch & Dinner - P595
Children 4ft. & below - P295
(Add P100 to price for left-over rate)
Sambo Kojin, Eastwood
Eastwood City Walk, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 421-0145 to 46