Yuan Izakaya Restaurant – Steamboat & BBQ Buffet review

I decided to visit this restaurant after reading a near perfect review from one of the popular Penang food blogger, CK Lam as the restaurant was doing a promotion in conjunction of their opening for buffet dinner at RM31++ till 20th. The price had been increased to RM45++ as of now. Since I had got her permission to use her photos here, I will show you guys some comparison and the experience I had at the restaurant.

No, I am not blaming her for the bad service and dishes I had, but I would blame the owner. I believe some owners(NOT ALL) does create these kind of publicity and then invite bloggers to have a dinner there which in turn cheats the readers into going to their place. I know I am going to get some hate mails for this but I stand by my opinion.

The dreaded stairs which helps you exercise before your meal. Handicapped and elderly unfriendly I would say as CK Lam had also noticed.

The decorations was good and conducive as I would say. Anyone care for a stroll between their dishes?

The normal table seating with chairs.

Tatami tables!! But as the crowd comes in, it's going to be as noisy as any other steamboat restaurant in Penang. It's best if you go early or as late as 8.30pm but the food would be limited by then.

The menu. Yes you are only allowed 2 hours to have your buffet.

Their style was different from what we normally have in other buffet restaurant as you order what you want and they would bring it to you. I would say this is not the first restaurant to do so as Vistana Hotel had the same concept some time ago in KL and Penang. I would say there are pros and cons to this. I will talk about it later in this post.

What was different was that the BBQ stove and the soup base were separated.

"Miso fish head tofu pot" when I actually ordered "Kunbu Original pot" but I ain't complaining as it seriously taste good there.

First thing I did while waiting for the other dishes was to have a bowl of the soup.

The first dish came... The scallops... Now compare with the picture below.

Saw the difference? Actually I took the picture as it is on the table without moving it a little. The presentation of the food alone was different. Anyway I had had fresher ones before. Off to the next dishes.

Abalone slices and in the other picture, shashimi which I waited for like over 45 minutes for it to arrive.

If you haven't notice, it's the food presentation. Mine actually looked like the chef woke up on the wrong side of the bed and splat the whole junk on the plate just to have it served.

I started off my BBQ on the slow charcoal fire.

The idako(Octopus) was good but I find it too big for a bite size.

The shrimps

The Taiwanese sausages and shrimps. If you compare the portions, The Taiwanese sausages are at least 3 times the portion of the shrimps. This is the pro and cons of ordering your food style in a buffet. You get stuffy food at large size.

Halfway through this thing came. I know I didn't order this as I hadn't touch the "Fried" area of the ordering chit but I gave it a try just like the Miso fish head tofu soup thinking I might end up in a surprise too. Heck I was wrong. I asked the guy who served me that what did he just served me and he told me it's some kind of nugget... Bad choice here. I didn't really like the taste. Anyway what I would caution if you were to visit this restaurant is just say no to whatever you have not ordered. I actually force feed myself to finish this.

I don't think I need to mention again about presentation but this is the pork fillet.

Unagi and it was good

Smoked duck breast which I felt is not too fresh on that day.

After the BBQ. The roll in front was the pork fillet. The darker meat was spicy ostrich. Yes they do serve that. One good thing about the meats is that they are marinaded to perfection. The prawns were boiled. Then I asked about the teriyaki salmon and hand rolled sushi I had ordered and was told they were not available. Say if I didn't ask, the staff wouldn't tell me they are unavailable leaving me waiting for my dishes.

BBQ lamb and smoked duck breast.

I was searching for the desert where CK actually mentioned cake. They were nowhere to be found there. Only ice cream were available. From the distinctive taste of it, it was definitely King's ice cream which was to my likings actually. My friend whom I saw at another table said she felt guilty for forcing herself to gulp down some when I told her it was actually King's ice cream.

-Meat served was nicely marinated.
-The BBQ doesn't cause a smoky environment despite it being indoors.
-Some staff were quite helpful - one by the name of Patricia actually was quite attentive.
-Environment was conducive if you are not an elderly or disabled and like a rowdy environment.
-Large variety of food

-You get served food you didn't order and they don't tell you if the dish you ordered was unavailable. Portion size might differ depending on price of the dishes(recommended to go in a group). Some weren't that fresh but edible.
-They don't refill the drinks and you are going to be stuck with the choice of lemon juice and ice lemon tea or coffee(for dinner seriously?) when orange and the others run out.
-Some staff will just ask you to wait when you tell them your soup base pot is getting all dried up. The funny thing is the staff who helped me with the soup pot asked me to hold his charcoal pot while he attend to the pot while some of the guys who passed by just watched.

I think it's a little below par for what I am paying here but it's still worth it but at the current price of RM45++, I did rather prefer to go to Sakae sushi anytime for a buffet. At a rating of 1-9 with 1 being the lowest, I think I would rate this place a 4.5

Note: Those pictures with the "what2seeonline.com" watermark belongs to another blogger, CK Lam and I had used her pictures as a comparison WITH permission. You can go visit her blog for more HERE.


Anonymous said…
Hi, actually my frens n i have visited it last friday...the price is 39++(dinner), and alto they state dining time is 2 hours, but we had our dinner for 3 hours there, no surcharge...Besides, alto the food is not served in the way they showed in photos, but the taste was really nice(just the drinks were too sweet and the hot chocolate after 9pm became not concentrated as b4...but overall i think is quite good and worth to go again in the future.
Kellaw said…
Hmm... They must have reduced the price.. Taste was never an issue. Just the freshness and the way customers are served. Drinks was at times tasteless too. For 39++, I did prefer to have a decent meal elsewhere.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to tell you that we in a group of friends have the worst service over there and we will not be there again due to the bad services by the waiter & waitresses. The foods are terrible too and some of my friends are having food poisoning. Can I get refund :(
Kellaw said…
lolz... Ask the manager for a refund. I am not the manager nor do I actually encourage others to eat there... I am really sorry to hear about your experience there...
Anonymous said…
jus can say :not good at all...n worth to go agian in the future n future...
Kellaw said…
@anon - really sorry to hear about your experience... actually i never did went back.
Anonymous said…
The plates and glasses are very dirty. I still can see some vege left on the glasses and they didnt apologies when i passed over the dirty glass to them. The waiter brought us leftover soybean (Edamame)as we can see the teeth marks. We told the mgr or owner (not sure) but they claim that it is new and refuse to change for us.
The service are bad. The waitress just show us the bill before we asked for it and without saying a word. It is so rude. I wonder how the owner educate and train the employee..
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