Banzai is a Japanese-themed buffet at the By the Bay area of SM Mall of Asia. It's located, rather relevantly if I may say so myself, in between two other famous all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants, La Fiesta and Buffet 101.
First thing I noticed as I stepped through the curtained entrance is the interior design of the place, Japanese paper lanterns, shoji-- the works. Stepping away from those, Banzai's main draw is its teppanyaki "theater." It is an elevated expanse surrounded by long buffet tables located right after the main entrance of the restaurant. Here you will find huge teppanyaki grills manned by several chefs who cook all sorts of teppanyaki right in front of your eyes.
My absolute favorite is the beef (tenderloin?) cubes. Delicately seasoned, not overcooked, and absolutely tender. (No wonder my sister was able to eat this, root canal and all.) I had two servings of beef cube teppanyaki. I still salivate just thinking about it. As if that weren't enough I had a sizable serving of the thinner version of beef yakiniku, too.
They do beef good here, methinks, since I had quite a lot of the roast beef, too. It was cooked to my preferred "done-ness" and I could cut it with a spoon. Plus I liked the gravy that came with it.
Taking advantage of the Banzai birthday promo, we were there for dinner just last 26th to celebrate little sister's birthday. The promo allows a birthday celebrant to eat for free during his or her birthday month when accompanied by at least 3 paying adults. Sister seemed to have enjoyed it, judging by the fact that she ate plate after plate of food despite having two root canal procedures just that morning.
There are several other stations to trawl aside from the teppanyaki station right in front of the theater. There's the okonomiyaki, agemono (where you have your katsu and tempura), gyoza (They have chicken gyoza. Yes!), ramen, carving, roasts, robatayaki, yakitori, takoyaki, cold soba, bread, salad, Mongolian barbecue (cooked as you order also at the teppanyaki grill), and of course, the sushi and sashimi stations. There is even a Filipino and Italian section, if those options aren't enough.
The dessert station offers a number of sweets that are just as delectable. The chocolate balls are awesome. One of those don't knock it until you've tried it kind of things. The lemon meringue tart is a refreshing addition to the dessert spread. It does not joke around with the citrus-- it's lip puckeringly tangy. Also, the brownies are really fudgy.
Included in the buffet fee are drinks. At the drink station, they have Nescafe Alegria coffee (which I personally love), draft beer, blue lemonade, red iced tea, and very nice house blend iced tea.
Lunch rate (Monday-Friday, except public holidays) for eat and drink all you can at Banzai is Php699. Dinner rate is Php899. For saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, lunch and dinner rate is the same, Php1,088. Price for kids is Php499 but children below 3.5 feet eat free. There is a left-over price of Php1,288 to serve as fair warning to those guilty of takaw-tingin.
Banzai! The Great Teppanyaki Theater is located at SM Mall of Asia By the Bay (south end). Visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BanzaiPH.