Affordable fare for the family
By The BaldOne
Far up the road in Salem that leads to points south sits a small strip mall known as 400 Highland Place. To many this spot is an afterthought, easily missed on the way to Wal-Mart. In this little retail space there are three places to get some eats.
Today we deal with the East Sakura Sushi & Chinese Buffet (once the Manadarin Buffet) which is situated in the corner of the L-shaped complex.
As you walk in you may be quite surprised by the size of the space. The buffet area is quite large with multiple rows of counters holding a vast array of selections including soups, salads, basic noodle dishes, a variety of meat, fish, shell fish, and even sushi. There is even a carving station featuring some American style meats.
The large dining room sits to the right of the buffet stations. At the front of the room, to the left of the door is a fully stocked bar of fifteen or so seats and a smaller dining room complete with large screen TV's.
If a buffet is not your thing there is a full menu available with table service which includes freshly prepared sushi created at the bar.
We, the indomitable Julia From Lynn and yours truly decided the buffet was our target. We each ordered a tall Sapporo Beer and plotted our attack.
We followed the one tried and true rule of buffet eating. If something looks like it's been out too long, stay away from it. Dried edges on anything, or serving utensils caked with product should always be avoided. We really didn't see any of that and noticed that they were swapping some trays out the whole time we were there. Cleanliness seems to be the rule.
We started with some sushi and were pleasantly surprised. Sushi rolls and maki were both available on the buffet line. Freshness was not an issue as we waded into rolls of shrimp, eel, and tuna. Even without the fancy plating provided at the bar we found the offerings to be worth our while.
The main run throughout the buffet took a few minutes due to the amount of choices. I returned with a heaping plate of noodles, veggies, meat and fish to include clams in the shell. Julia came back with eclectic fare that included seaweed salad, yang chow fried rice, mapo tofu, and wonton soup.
Being who I am I couldn't resist a second run through the buffet. The time I went with some of the basics like egg foo yung, peking ravioli, and the chicken wings.
Let me be succinct, for the price, which varies from weekday lunches at $8.99 to Sunday dinners at $15.99 there is nor better deal in Salem. Children's pricing is an even better deal and there are some time frames where the youngest ones can eat free.
The Salem Food Digest formally declares the East Sakura the best family deal in Salem.
400 Highland Ave.,
Salem, MA 01970