Monday, May 07, 2007


So after supposedly not celebrating my birthday previous on Friday at Saha or on Saturday at Bar Lourinha, my dad says to me on Sunday, "So where do you want to go to eat tonight to celebrate your birthday." Never one to disrepect my parents or miss out on a meal, I suggested Yamagata Japanese buffet which we hadn't gone back to in a while.

Yamagata Japanese Teppanyaki is located in Doncaster. It also has buffet for $33 on Fridays and Sundays. The restaurant interior is fairly looking but you go for the unlimited sushi, sashimi and other Japanese dishes. The service here is shocking, but was actually quite good that night. Usually they forget your orders or it takes a while for things to arrive. You order the dishes by filling out a form which you then give to the waitress. I've been here so many times that I've mastered the art. Basically once you sit down, you quickly fill out the form and put in the largest order of the night. This way when the food trickles in (on this night, it positively flooded in) you are eating throughout the night. Then you order more throughout the night as required.

Here are the "skinnies" of my family, dad and my sister Tu.

Contrast that to the "fatties" of our household, mum and myself, who happen to be shown eating by coincidence.

The food at Yamagata is quite good. The variety of sushi and sashimi is large and the quality of the fish is good. In fact, its better than a lot of restaurants that charge a lot more, with Sakura immediately coming to mind. The sushi and sashimi arrive very quickly.

My other favourites such as the raw beef and seaweed salad also come very quickly. This place has some of the best seaweed salad I've eaten at any Japanese restaurant. At Sakura for instance, they charge about $8 for a tiny bowl of crappy seaweed salad. Here, I ate three bowls of seaweed salad by myself and two plates of raw beef, totally satisfying my seaweed and raw beef fetish.

They also have a lot of other hot dishes, some of which you can sort of see in the photo with mum and I. I like their wagyu beef, tempura prawns and vegetables, grilled mackerel, Japanese fish, pippies, fried tofu, fried rice, teriyaki beef, fried chicken and fried pork.

Overall its good value for money I think. Nothing is exceptional but its good for buffet as everything is quite nice and edible. You can eat one particular thing that you like and fill up on that, such as how I love to eat raw beef, seaweed salad, sushi and sashimi.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Food is good. Service is terrible so order quickly and a lot when you first sit down to ensure you get your food throughout the night.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.


  1. Thanks for this post.

    I always know there is this all you can eat jap place somewhere in Doncaster but I am usually not a big fan.

    However after reading your post, I have booked to take my family there for dinner this Friday :)

  2. Hi Jenny, I definitely recommend you get there on time and order immediately. They have a 2 hour order time limit so put in a huge order at the start so you will definitely have enough to eat. Otherwise, enjoy the food and I highly recommend the seaweed salad, raw beef, wagyu beef, sushi, sashimi and tempura prawns.

  3. Happy Birthday. Sounds like you had some fantastic celebrations.

  4. Thanks Truffle, it was lots of fun indeed.

  5. Oishi! Oishi! You look somewhat like your mom.

  6. Oishi! Oishi! You look somewhat like your mom.

  7. Choo, it was oishi. People do say I look like my mum more than my dad. I don't see the resemblance myself but I guess its hard to judge when you're subjective.

  8. Hi,

    I've actually been here once and yes, the service was quite bad! Since then I never returned. Which day and session did you go? We were there on a Friday and the later session, so maybe perhaps they were too busy.

    When we ordered, only half of what we ordered came! Since you're a pro, when you order say sashimi, do you just order one or how many portions you wanted? We had 8 people, they only gave one plate. Ordered more, but it took forever to arrive. Ah well.

    Might give them a try again based on your good reviews. :)


  9. Hi Jess, I was there on Sunday in the earlier session. I find that it does get quite busy in the later sessions.

    When I order sashimi, we're talking serious numbers. I tend to order 20 sashimi of each type per person. I think from going many times I have deduced that 4 portions equates to one slice. So for example, last time a group of 5 of us went, we ordered about 100 salmon, 100 blue eye, 10 salmon sushi, 10 tuna sushi, 10 blue eye sushi etc. Like I said, the trick is to put the largest order in first. Then constantly harass them to chase up your food for you. You can't be polite and let things just go at their own pace. The service is just shocking and you wont get what you want.

    Hope that helps you next time Jess.

  10. I would like to take the family for some fun teppanyaki. Is the teppanyaki at Yamagata any good?

  11. erjobektiana, I haven't tried the teppanyaki there so can't say if its good. It definitely looks like fun though, with the chef throwing eggs, bowls of rice, beef and many other items at the patrons. It gets lots of laughter and the whole restaurant ends up watching.

  12. Look at the 2nd photo.

    Mr. Do looks like he's never eaten any food before.

    Which is a lie....

  13. Is the raw beef really 'wagyu' beef?
    I really wanted to have a wagyu buffet... :p
    Is there any dessert served?
    What happened if we can't finish the food since we have to order a whole lot of it in the beginning? ^^

  14. Live2Eat, I don't think the beef is Wagyu. It's been a while since I've gone there but I don't think they claim that it is Wagyu. It's still very nice. If you really want Wagyu, I'd suggest you go to a good restaurant and try good Wagyu as that's when you'll really notice the beautiful flavour. Rockpool or Lygon Charcoal Grill do good Wagyu grade 7 or grade 9+ steaks.

    The desserts are basically ice cream. I like the green tea ice cream.

    You don't have to order too much at the start, but just that service can be quite slow. You can keep ordering throughout the night. They say on the menu that you will be charged for excessive left over food, but usually if you have some things remaining, it's ok.

    Hope that helps. I'd recommend the place, as I like most of the items and think it's good value.

  15. Thx for the explanation. Well, I've decided to go to Takumi to try wagyu. Have you gone there before?