Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AYCE Sushi And Korean At The Kimko Buffet

Kyle tried the Korean sushi lunch buffet at Kimko after reading Min's report on the all-you-can-eat option.  That was part of a two-post discussion of Korean joints along Rte 40 in Ellicott City.  Kyle hit Kimko, and he was impressed.
My other Korean sushi buffet place is Gah Rham in Beltsville. They're both similar and worth doing, but I appreciated the Kimko spread better.  I think I was the only non-Korean there but they seemed to take a little better care of me. I was asked several times if everything was ok or if I needed anything. My main server was raised in HoCo.
Korean sushi buffets seem to follow the same layout. The previous Korean Howchow post did a good job of explaining the Korean food part of the kimko buffet. But how do you eat fried rice with chopsticks? This is not the kind of place you ask for a fork, though I'm pretty sure they would of given me one.  This day's buffet was light on noodle dishes. The only one was a salad noodle combo that was very good. The spicy food was not very spicy except for the killer raw green hot pepper half in one of the dishes.
The sushi component consisted of four different trays of raw fish on rice at the top level and over a dozen and a half sliced rolls  on shelves below.   There were vegetarian, raw fish, and cooked fish rolls. Several were in the fancy category with or without a tempura component. They were all labeled, but the fancy rolls were just labeled special. You have to guess at the contents. You use tongs supplied in a container at the beginning to select individual slices. The variety is overwhelming.  It's fun to watch how many slices a person  can stack on one plate. Personally I go lighter on the sushi (one layer not touching) and heavy on Korean food (it can touch).  This isn't Sushi King or Sushi Sono, but it's decent.  
I'm not a good person to judge quality. I don't even know the names of this stuff but I did like everything. The Korean food was not labeled.  I'll go back again and I'll keep recommending the buffet. 

Kimko's buffet is $11.95 and runs 11-3 weekdays.   Kimko's is on Rte 40 at Bethany Lane.  It used to be called Bethany Seafood.


dzoey said...

On recommendations from this board, I tried the buffet last week and enjoyed it. The servers are very nice and helpful and I felt welcomed. The food was good as well and I appreciated that the rolls were regular sized instead of the really compact ones found at other sushi buffets. They were good quality for AYCE sushi.

The real treat for me was the opportunity to try the hot dishes. There were appetizers (the day I was there had a good tuna-in-hot-pepper thing and some dumplings) and side dishes (kimchi etc.), as well as a really good pork in red sauce (not as spicy as I feared), a beef & onion dish, a sweet and sour chicken dish (without the red food coloring. Yeah!), smoked fish, and soba noodles (cold as expected). I don't know much about Korean food and I really enjoyed finding what I liked and what I didn't.

They bring miso soup to the table, and you can serve yourself more if you want - it's decent and not too salty - but you can also serve yourself a bowl of rice porridge with abalone flavor that I hadn't seen anywhere else before. It had a smoky-slightly-fishy taste that added flavor to the blandness of the porridge.

This was well worth the money and I will return.

Anonymous said...

This is funny: "But how do you eat fried rice with chopsticks?"

Fried rice is a popular dish throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands. Many people eat fried rice with chopsticks all the time.

Anonymous said...

Rice in a bowl is eaten with chopsticks. But in parts of South East Asia, rice on a plate is eaten with a fork and a spoon. The fork is used to push the rice onto the spoon which is then brought to the mouth. Using chopsticks to eat rice on a plate is 'hard' even for some Asians. So the question isn't really that funny.

BeerGuy said...

I'll have to put this on my list, sounds fun and I had no idea given the pretty much all Korean lettering exterior what to expect inside until now. Thanks HowChow + Kyle.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one could have said the question about chopsticks with fried rise is almost offensive.

Anonymous said...

oops, rice. ;-)

HowChow said...

Seriously? A guy has trouble eating rice with chopsticks and asks how it's done . . . and that's offensive?

Kyle wrote today about all the new Korean food he tried on this buffet. He has posted a bunch of other times about exploring Turkish food, etc. There is no racism. There is no offensiveness. There is a guy learning about other cultures and then volunteering to write about it so that other people can check it out.

pekkle said...

Just had the lunch buffet today. Overall, it was pretty good. They had more Korean items than Niko, but their sushi selection was a bit less than Niko. My only complaint was that the sushi rice had too much vinegar. Other items like the fried whole fish, spicy pork, bulgogi, were nice add-ons!