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Price of Sushi / Salmon Sashimi - Why are buffets so much cheaper?

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I absolutely love Japanese food, sushi and sashimi in particular and Bangkok is a great place to enjoy these foods at reasonable prices. But I've always wondered, why are buffets so much cheaper than a-la-carte? Anywhere I go, be it a slightly higher end restaurant, a sushi place at a street market or a home delivery, the bill always goes up to 600-800 baht. It's also more expensive to buy these from a supermarket counter like Tops. This is eating pretty regular stuff, salmon sushi, maki rolls and sashimi etc. (not some purple fin dolphin foie gras nigiri or whatever, you get the idea). I do eat much bigger portions than the average person though, but it doesn't seem to be the same case with other types of food. 


You can find excellent sushi buffets ranging from 400-600 baht in Bangkok. I might eat almost 1/2kg of sashimi in one go, along with all the other stuff that would cost me closer to 1500 baht if I ate at any a la carte. So I just wondered, why is it so much cheaper to eat sushi at a buffet? I asked my GF and she told me it's because "you can't eat a lot of raw food at once".. Well, I once went with a Thai friend and he ordered 50 portions of sashimi for himself o_O. 

Buffets are great but I always end up over eating. Are there any places a la carte where you could get a decent amount of stuff for 400 baht? Perhaps somewhere were the local Japanese eat themselves.. 

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For every time I go to the Sushi buffet to pig out, there's probably half a dozen times I go because it's fast, and I can eat exactly what I want, and choose my own portions.  And on those days, they make money on me.

 

My favorite place in all of BKK was the industrial grade sushi buffet in the basement at Fortune Town.  It had crept up from 349 to 399 baht while I lived there, unlike other Oishi affiliated buffets that start at 579 baht.   It may be more now since I haven't been to BKK in 6 months or so.  The best thing was there was almost never a line to get in like there is at many of the mall sushi buffets. 

 

I call it "industrial grade" because the sushi isn't artfully presented, and it's not carefully crafted by an artisan with a Ginsu knife.  But it tastes great to my unsophisticated palate, and I can be in and out in 15 minutes in a pinch.

 

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Greetings, 

Just remember that majority of the buffet restaurants use farmed fishes instead of wild fishes!  Farm raised fishes are not too healthy to consumed due to over usage of antibiotics and steroids I their feeds!

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The salmon and mackeral are great for a diet. The fish isnt top quality though.

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1 hour ago, bkkbudddy said:

Greetings, 

Just remember that majority of the buffet restaurants use farmed fishes instead of wild fishes!  Farm raised fishes are not too healthy to consumed due to over usage of antibiotics and steroids I their feeds!


That's a good point, however I would imagine those lower end small corner sushi places run by Thais would be also using such cheaper quality fish. 

With buffets by the way, I meant those all you can eat "a-la-carte" places (freshly cooked to order), not those where sushi goes on a belt or where you pick up the stuff yourself. Some of them have both, a-la-carte and all you can eat options actually. Was I to take each portion one by one, the cost would be +1500 baht! 

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Did you know that the direct japanese translation of 'sushi buffet' is more precisely 'yesterdays sushi' 😉

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I don’t understand how any reasonable person can eat at these places. The lack of’ quality and hygiene is abominable ! 

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Eat some quality wild fish at a proper sushi restraunt and you will understand the difference. 

 

Even the quality of the rice and it's preparation and ingredients will be significantly different. 

 

If you are happy with low grade soy, powdered Wasabi and farmed fish of questionable freshness then by all means save some money. 

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Farmed fish, for use in Sushi, is not in and of itself a bad thing. There are very reputable farmers/suppliers, and restaurants using them. Benefits include sustainability, seasonal price control, reliable supply.

 

Most of the best omakase joints here are a lot more expensive than the OP might be looking at? Maybe 1,800 - 7,000 depending on lunch or dinner (seatings) and the number of dishes: 10-20.

 

Conveyor belt sushi is fine for what it is, beats BTS sushi fer sure. 

 

 

 

 

https://today.line.me/th/pc/article/10+ร้านซูชิ+Omakase+ขั้นเทพ+นักกินตัวจริงห้ามพลาด-ZEq1jP

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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