148 Middle Neck Rd, Great Neck, NY | Directions 1102140.790872 -73.731400
Neighborhoods: Long Island, Great Neck
All You Can Eat Sushi on Long Island – I heard about this place from a friend of a friend, they had nice things to say about it so I decided to give it a go with a few friends.
The restaurant is located in Great Neck, north of Northern Blvd. It is not a detached restaurant so you need to have your eyes open when looking for it as it blends in fairly well with the other stores to which it is attached (it is not part of a strip mall but rather at the end of a string of retail shops and restaurants along the west side of Middle Neck Road). Parking is available in the back or you can hunt for street parking on Middle Neck if you have quarters for the meters.
The interior decor is modern, Asian-fusion, somewhat dimly lit. The place was packed with families and couples which made for a lively, if somewhat loud, environment.
We were seated at a large booth, which was nice in that our entire party of 8 fit with plenty of room to spare. However, the wooden benches we sat upon became uncomfortable after a bit (and there was no back to the portion that faced the restaurant so you couldn't lean back) and the thin pillows they offered for seating provided little respite from the hardwood seat.
The traditional buffet concept is not what this restaurant offers but rather table service with an all-you-can-eat formula. It is a bit confusing at the beginning, especially if you are like us and are unfamiliar with how to order. You are given 2 paper checklists - one for the sushi and one for the "kitchen" (for everything non-sushi related) and tick off the number of each plate you want (the plates are on the smaller side). Organizing the desires of 8 people was a little difficult at first but keep this in mind when you first sit down - it is all-you-can-eat so if you don't get what you want the first time around just place another order. We made the mistake of trying to get what everyone wanted the first time around, which wasted a good amount of time in the beginning, and when the platter came out we honestly could not tell if any particular item we ordered was missing. So, if you go in knowing that you have all night to get a taste of what you want you will save time and angst in trying to decide what to order.
The menu consists of perhaps a dozen different hand rolls with another dozen different types of sushi and sashimi, as well as various hot dishes such as grilled octopus, broiled tuna, edamame, grilled eel, dumplings, soup, etc.. all traditional Japanese (with some Chinese) fare albeit in an abbreviated menu. Our soup and appetizers came out fairly quickly and were nice (hot & sour and miso, edamame, grilled eel and octopus); the sushi came out in one huge platter and was both good and appeared to be freshly made (though some pieces appeared to be at room temperature, not sure if this is how it should be...). The restaurant was crowded during my visit so service for refills of drinks was a bit slow but understandable, and we were never left unattended for long periods of time.
The price was $21.95 pp for dinner on a weekend evening, much less than what a competitor (Minado) charges (but then Minado offer much, much more in terms of selection). If you are going to satisfy a sushi craving and aren't demanding an all-encompassing menu and desire a more intimate atmosphere (not a bad place for a date, if you don't mind them seeing your inner glutton!) then Sushi Palace is a good choice for you.
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