Had dinner at Yaki Mix SM Mall of Asia last night with a friend. The food was not so great but it was not bad either -BUT for a P500 Japanese/shabu-shabu buffet, it was a quite a delish (as Jamie Oliver would put it) bargain! If you're after quantity and value for money vs. quality, then you can consider Yaki MIx food heaven.
There is a spread of what i prefer to call "pop" makis - tuna salad maki, spicy tuna maki, tempura maki, etc. which are cheap versions of the real makis but the surprisingly fresh salmon sashimi save the maki spread, even if the wasabi is stale and has lost its kick.
There is also a salad station and a soup station. The soup station offers not so hot and sour soup, fish lip soup sans the fish lip and a do-it-yourself sukiyaki soup which I did no try. Yoko kaya mabusog sa soup.
The cooked dishes were filling. The one that made it for me was the cuttlefish with celery. It's a favorite but am still wondering if its real or imitation cuttlefish. I think its imitation but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The raw food for the grill were better than Tong Yang's - not as many choices but the quality is good and includes the ones that matter, at least to me. There are shrimps, salmon, beef, bacon, mushrooms and some stuff that I am not really interested to grill and eat.
Finally, there is a desserts station - macaroon, assorted mini cupcakes, chocolate cake (moist and really choclatey!), assorted really fresh fruits (missed the dragon fruit though), Vanilla ice cream! May ibang flavors din yung ice cream.
Free jasmine tea and "house water" (may ganon?) and P65 for bottomless soda.
Yaki Mix also claims to be a smokeless grill. And it was! They have a special fan under the table sucking the smoke out of the grill. Genius!
I am not a fan of shabu-shabu because you have to cook your food on a grill and on a pot on the spot leaving spots on your cooking hand and arm, you have to finish the very hot off the grill meat, seafood and vegetables or leave them to get cold on my plate or get overcooked on the grill, and most annoyingly, you always leave the restaurant smelling like the kitchen. Even if you don't cook, smoke from the other tables will permeate your clothing, hair (which I fortunately don't have), your skin, wallet shoes and even your underwear (you do have to go to the john at one point during the lengthy meal).
At Yaki Mix, you still get a hint of that smoky kitchen smell. But you also get this dining in 5 star hotels or hot Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street restos.
So will I go back? Definitely! Even if I just stick to salmon sashimi, imitation cuttlefish, assorted mushrooms, spinach with sesame seeds, soup, grilled beef and shrimps, chocolate cake, fresh fruits and vanilla ice cream.
At P500 at eat-all-you-can, san ka pa!