Just Jemini

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Review | Kyoto Sushi & Grill Restaurant, Birmingham

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review
Last week, my boyfriend managed to secure his first job before having graduated! Obviously I was his inspiration because he followed my footsteps... joke joke! Before he kills me haha!

Knowing that he had grown an acquired taste to sushi, I decided to take him out to Kyoto Sushi & Grill to celebrate his success. Situated within the bustling Arcadian centre on Hurst Street, Birmingham. Kyoto is a Japanese restaurant that boasts an "All-You-Can-Eat" concept for a fixed price of £19.80 pp plus 10% service charge.

We went there last Wednesday around 7:00pm and the restaurant was half full. The restaurant's interior followed a red and black theme and was decorated really nicely with Japanese decor such as mini cherry blossom trees, chōchin lanterns and shōji-style room dividers. Greeted by the welcoming and friendly waitresses of Kyoto, we were seated almost instantly and were briefed on how to order with their unique concept and menu.

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Interior
Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Interior
Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Menu
Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Menu

How it works:
  1. On your table, there's an order card and a pencil. Each order card has four columns (the columns represent a round).
  2. Each round, each guest is allowed to order up to 5 items from their menu. Fill out the order card and leave it standing on your table for the waitresses to collect.
  3. Keep going round after round until you've grown your own food baby :)
Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review

We started our first round with sushi. My favourites have always been Unagi (eel), Ebi (shrimp) and Tomago (sweet egg), so we ordered those and a selection of Maki Rolls and Temaki Hand Rolls. The restaurant prides itself in bringing freshly-prepared food to their guest's table after every round and if I'm honest, they really did live up to their word. The sushi was all intact and the pieces were really soft unlike sushi I've tried at many places before, where you know it's been on the conveyor belt for too long. It tasted so so good! 

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review

Second round, we had Tempura Ebi (deep fried shrimp), Kohisuji (lamb skewers), Black Pepper Gyu Niku (beef in black pepper sauce), Muslitos (fried crab claws), Yaki Ebi (grilled shrimps), Yaki Tori (chicken skewers) Yaki Udon (fried udon) and Don Katsu (chicken curry with rice). Other than the chicken skewers being a little overcooked, we couldn't fault anything else. Everything was so full of flavour and were cooked to perfection.

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review

After the previous heavy round, we decided to take it easy on our third. So we ordered more sushi (of course) alongside Miso Soup, Corn Soup, Ebi Salad (shrimp salad) and Yaki Mushrooms (fried mushrooms). The two soups were really flavoursome and we really enjoyed it. However, I suspect that they may have added a bit too much MSG (a flavour enhancer commonly used in Asian eateries) to them because we couldn't stop drinking water when we got home. Being raised by parents who owned Chinese takeaways, I knew that those kind of soups are normally flavour-enhanced with MSG, so that's why I suspected it was that. On another note, the shrimp salad was a dish that I truly loved, it was really refreshing and it cleansed my palate really well. If you love Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, then you would love the Ebi Salad.

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review

Before arriving at Kyoto, me and Sat made a vow to get to at least the fourth round to get our money's worth. When it came to it though, he was fully KO'd but I was determined to eat more so I went onto my fourth round by myself and ordered two Yaki Ramu (grilled lamb). I was so full but I'd been saving that dish since the very start, so I wasn't going to call it quits. Boy... I didn't make the wrong decision. The Yaki Ramu was grilled to perfection whereby it melted in the mouth due to its tenderness. It had a sweet-honey type of soy sauce drizzled on top of it, which just tasted absolutely devine. If you do decide to visit Kyoto, do not miss out on the Yaki Ramu!

Kyoto Sushi and Grill Restaurant Birmingham Food Review

So........ our last round! Yes, you read right... our LAST round. It was time for desserts! We were actually ushered to have our last round because we didn't realise it was near their closing time and that we passed our two hour sitting limit (oops). The dessert section on their menu actually had the least selection out of the whole menu but trust me, once you get to desserts after your rounds, you wouldn't give the slightest care in the world on how limited it is. On the menu, they had sweet buns and fruit fritters. Each guest were limited to one scoop of ice cream, so we ordered a vanilla scoop, a strawberry scoop, Tempura Pineapple (pineapple fritters) and Age Banana (banana fritters). It tasted really good together and gave us the perfect sweet ending to our dining experience at Kyoto!

Here are my ratings:

Food: 4/5 ✮✮✮
I've given four stars for the food because the variety, quality and taste was simply amazing. If it wasn't because of the overcooked chicken skewers and the suspected overuse of MSG, I would've given it five stars.

Price: 3/5 ✮✮✮☆☆
I've given three stars for the price. Quoting my partner, "the price is the issue, but when you're there it feels like it's worth that much." We both agreed on that because the price is higher than any other regular buffet out there, especially when you have to pay for drinks and add a 10% service charge on top of everything. However, as Kyoto is not just any 'regular' buffet restaurant, the price seems somewhat reasonable IF you make use of the rounds like we did.

Service: 5/5 ✮✮✮
I've given five stars for the service because the waitresses were really attentive and friendly. They made sure that we understood how their concept worked upon arriving and they were happy to answer any questions we had. Food came reasonably quick too, which is always great!

Atmosphere: 4/5 ✮✮✮☆
I've given four stars for the atmosphere because the restaurant's interior and decor followed a traditional Japanese theme which provided a really nice setting for the diners. I would've given five stars if they played Japanese music in the restaurant to increase the Japanese 'feel' because one of the main things I noticed whilst waiting for my food was that UK chart music were being played in the background, which did draw my attention for a short while.

Overall, would I visit Kyoto Sushi & Grill Restaurant again? Yes, I certainly would! Would I recommend Kyoto to everyone? Yes, of course! If you're a Japanese food lover like me, Kyoto would be your absolute paradise. Just some simple tips to keep in mind though... PREPARE for the buffet, you need to be HUNGRY to get your money's worth. Also, if you're new to Japanese food, or that you're not too adventurous with trying new dishes out, stay on the safe side and choose the dishes that you know you'd eat or can eat. Kyoto has a No Waste Policy, whereby you'd be charged £1 for a piece of sushi or £3 for warm dishes that are left behind. If you follow my tips, I'm sure you'd have an amazing Japanese dining experience like we had, if not better.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. I'm happy to answer any questions on our experience if you have any. Let me know what your experiences are when you do dine there!



  1. Thanks for the review, my friends and I were wondering whether to book or not, we definitely will now!

    1. I'm glad you found this helpful! Hope you enjoy it! :) x

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