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10 Delicious Japanese Buffet Ideas to Satisfy Your Cravings


May 7, 2024

Have you ever been to a Japanese buffet and found that every option you see is a good one? You’re eager to have every choice in the restaurant on the table. And your toughest decision is to decide what to start eating first.

Japanese buffets offer a unique way to enjoy many dishes in one sitting. This dining style embraces the diversity of Japanese cuisine, ensuring there’s something to suit every palate.

Great Plaza Buffet presents 10 Japanese buffet ideas for an unforgettable meal. Enjoy fresh sushi, spicy ramen, and more, perfect for any dining occasion.

1. Sushi Extravaganza

No Japanese buffet experience would be truly complete without the inclusion of sushi – an internationally renowned culinary delight renowned for its diverse array of offerings and meticulous preparation techniques.

At the buffet, sushi enthusiasts are presented with an abundance of captivating sushi selections to explore and indulge in.

From the time-honored elegance of classic salmon nigiri to the innovative and flavor-packed specialty rolls brimming with the freshest seafood, crunchy vegetables, and even occasional tropical fruit accents.

Each sushi morsel showcases the unparalleled artistry and unwavering precision that embodies Japan’s revered sushi-making tradition.

With each bite, one is transported to the heart of Japanese culinary mastery, savoring the exquisite flavors, textures, and craftsmanship that have made sushi a globally celebrated gastronomic phenomenon.

2. Tempura Treats

The tempura section is an absolute must-visit destination at any authentic Japanese buffet, offering a tantalizing array of delectable fried delights that simply cannot be missed.

The ingredients featured in this revered culinary tradition are truly remarkable, showcasing a diverse selection that includes:

  • succulent shrimp
  • sweet and starchy potato
  • earthy mushrooms
  • bell peppers
  • tender squid
  • an array of fresh, flavorful fish

The preparation of these tempura morsels is a true art form, with skilled chefs meticulously dipping each ingredient into a delicate, gossamer-thin batter before submerging them in hot oil to achieve a magnificent golden-brown hue.

The meticulous process not only enhances the natural flavors of the ingredients but also imparts a captivating textural contrast, with a delightfully crisp exterior giving way to a moist, tender interior.

Shrimp tempura stands out as a true highlight of the Japanese buffet experience, with its juicy, supple flesh encased in a shatteringly crisp coating that tantalizes the senses. These golden, perfectly fried treats embody the very essence of Japanese cuisine, seamlessly blending contrasting textures and flavors to create a harmonious and deeply satisfying culinary delight.

3. Teppanyaki Delights

Teppanyaki is a mix of taste and theatrics, featuring chefs who cook your meal on a sizzling hot iron griddle right in front of you. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect:

  • Chefs stand before a sizzling griddle, showcasing their culinary prowess. With practiced movements, they expertly transform ingredients into tantalizing creations before a captivated audience.
    The rhythmic sizzle and aroma fill the air, igniting appreciation for the chefs’ remarkable skills and passion.
  • The menu offers a variety of protein-rich dishes to suit diverse preferences. Patrons can enjoy beef, chicken, pork, and seafood options, including shrimp and scallops. This comprehensive selection ensures all diners can find a satisfying and delicious meal to suit their tastes.
  • Skilled, passionate chefs meticulously prepare each meal element, elevating the culinary experience. With dedication, they expertly marinate, chop, and grill ingredients to perfection, tantalizing the senses.The chefs’ artistry transforms dining into a captivating, mouth-watering experience, where visual appeal matches exceptional flavors. Each plate becomes a masterpiece – a harmonious blend of textures, aromas, and tastes that leaves a lasting impression.

Teppanyaki is a culinary performance that captivates all your senses, making it a must-try at the buffet.

4. Bountiful Bento Boxes

Bento boxes combine multiple dishes in one serving, perfect for those who enjoy sampling a bit of everything. Here’s why bento boxes make a great addition to the buffet spread:

  • It comes in individualized portions. Bento boxes come in different sizes and shapes, accommodating any appetite. Each compartment holds a single serving, allowing complete control over portion sizes and dietary needs.
  • It offers balance. Traditionally, bento boxes include a bed of fluffy white rice, a protein source such as fish, chicken, or tofu, and an assortment of pickled vegetables, offering a well-rounded meal.
  • It is varied and customizable. The beauty of the bento box is in its adaptability. Fill your bento box with your favorite Japanese dishes, from grilled meats to salads.

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5. Flavorful Ramen Stations

At any Japanese buffet, the ramen station is a highlight. You can choose from various noodle types – thin, curly, or thick – and pair them with broths like miso, shoyu, or tonkotsu.

Miso Broth

Chefs meticulously craft the exquisite miso broth, a culinary delight showcasing the depths of flavor. The fermented miso paste, made from soybeans, salt, and koji fungus, imparts a robust, savory essence with captivating umami notes.

The versatile miso broth pairs beautifully with ingredients like corn, butter, bamboo shoots, and ground pork, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors.

Each sip is a sensory journey, where the umami-laden broth serves as the foundation for a remarkable culinary experience.

Shoyu Broth

Shoyu broth, made with umami-rich soy sauce, offers a captivating flavor profile. This broth balances salty, savory notes with subtle sweetness, creating depth and complexity.

Chefs often enhance shoyu broth with complementary ingredients like scallions, nori seaweed, and bamboo shoots. Some variations include protein elements like chicken or fish cakes, resulting in a sumptuous, satisfying dish.

Tonkotsu Broth

Tonkotsu ramen is a delightful culinary experience. Its iconic broth is made by simmering pork bones for hours, creating a rich, creamy, and intensely flavorful soup. This labor-intensive process is the hallmark of tonkotsu ramen.

Complementing the broth are carefully selected toppings, such as succulent pork belly, earthy mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg, which provide textural contrast and balance.

The tangy notes of pickled ginger cut through the dish’s decadence. Tonkotsu ramen is a true celebration of Japanese cuisine, where every component harmonizes to deliver an extraordinary meal.

6. Tempting Teriyaki Dishes

Ever tried teriyaki dishes at a Japanese buffet? They’re a perfect blend of sweet and savory.

The key is in the teriyaki sauce — a glossy mix that brings together the deep umami of soy sauce with the sweetness of mirin and sugar. Whether it’s chicken, beef, or tofu, each dish gets a generous coating of this sauce.

And it’s not just about the protein; there’s always a side of grilled veggies like zucchini and bell peppers, making each teriyaki dish a filling choice.

7. Fresh Seafood Spread

Seafood holds a place of honor at our buffet, featuring a fresh and varied selection.

What’s more, our chefs carefully select and prepare each piece of seafood using expert techniques to ensure freshness and rich flavor. Our selection includes:

  • Fish: Freshly chosen tuna, salmon, and yellowtail.
  • Shellfish: A variety of shrimp and snow crab legs.

Come visit Great Plaza Buffet to enjoy our selection of fresh seafood!

8. Delectable Dessert Corner

Treat your sweet tooth to the dessert corner; you deserve it! Here are a few options you can indulge in:


Mochi is a Japanese treat made from pounded glutinous rice. Unlike regular rice cakes, mochi has a unique chewy texture that’s both satisfying and fun to eat.

Traditionally filled with a sweet red bean paste called anko, it comes with various fillings like fruit jam, ice cream, and even savory options.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green tea ice cream offers a refreshing and flavorful experience. Unlike regular ice cream flavors, this one is infused with matcha – a finely ground green tea powder. This gives the ice cream a subtle, earthy taste that balances perfectly with its sweetness and creaminess. A perfect treat for those who enjoy a more complex flavor profile in their ice cream.


Originating from Japan’s Edo period, dorayaki allegedly stems from a legend involving a forgetful samurai and a resourceful farmer.

Modern dorayaki features two fluffy castella flour pancakes griddle-marked to a light golden brown, sandwiching a sweet red bean paste known as anko made from azuki beans boiled with sugar.

While anko remains the classic filling, dorayaki offers versatile variations like matcha cream, custard, whipped cream with fruit, and chocolate. It serves as a snack, dessert, or breakfast option, often individually wrapped for convenience.

9. Healthy Salad Bar

Our salad bar offers a fresh, light choice, perfect for a healthy appetizer or a guilt-free end to your meal. Here’s a guide on building the perfect salad:

  1. Base: Start with crisp romaine lettuce, baby spinach, and shredded carrots.
  2. Protein: Add marinated tofu cubes or crunchy edamame pods.
  3. Unique flavors: Mix in wakame or hijiki seaweed for a slight salty taste and interesting texture.
  4. Dressing: Choose from light options like sesame ginger or ponzu sauce.
  5. Finishing touches: Top it off with fresh cucumber slices or cherry tomatoes for extra freshness and a pop of color.

With these diverse and nutritious options, you can create a delicious salad that not only satisfies your taste buds but also supports a healthy lifestyle.

10. Authentic Japanese Drinks

To round out your Japanese buffet experience, it’s time to savor authentic beverages that complement the buffet’s flavors.

  • Sake: This is Japan’s national drink. Sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine, is fermented to achieve a smooth flavor profile. It comes in various styles, from light and crisp to rich and full-bodied, with tastes that range from dry to fruity.
  • Green tea: Who doesn’t love the calming taste of green tea? This healthy beverage is a natural palate cleanser and aids digestion.
  • Ramune: This Japanese soda is known for its unique glass bottle with a marble stopper. Available in many flavors, Ramune offers a sweet, bubbly finish to your meal.

The beverage selection goes beyond these classics. Discover other Japanese favorites like calpis (a yogurt-based drink), barley tea (a roasted grain beverage), and fruit juices.

Experience refined flavors at Great Plaza Buffet.

Which Japanese buffet dish will you try first?

Exploring a Japanese buffet will feel like going on a culinary adventure. With various dishes from sushi to teppanyaki and mouth watering desserts, there’s always something new to try.

At Great Plaza Buffet, you can explore an assortment of fresh sushi, dumplings, and lo mein among over 158 daily items. Seniors 60 and over enjoy a 10% discount, and group rates are available too — just ask our manager. Hosting an event? Our party trays, filled with Japanese favorites, are perfect for any occasion.

Join us for a taste of Japan, always fresh and inviting. Contact us today.


What kind of desserts are served at a Japanese buffet?

Japanese buffets typically feature unique desserts. Mochi (rice cakes with sweet fillings), green tea ice cream, dorayaki (pancake sandwiches with bean paste), and wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) are all popular choices.

Is seafood a major focus at Japanese buffets?

Yes, fresh seafood is often the star of Japanese buffets. You can expect to find sushi, sashimi, shellfish like shrimp and mussels, and possibly cooked fish dishes.

Are there vegetarian or vegan options at a Japanese buffet?

Absolutely! Many buffets offer vegetarian options like tofu dishes, vegetable tempura, and hiyayakko (cold tofu with soy sauce). Vegans might have fewer choices, but there are options like vegetable sushi rolls or edamame.