Last Update
Feb 10th, 2019

Shinju Japanese Buffet

3305 University Dr
Davie FL, 33328
(954) 472-3666
Overall Rating
3.0
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
02/06/2019

Details

Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Beer & Wine Only
Entree Prices: 12.95 (lunch) 18.95 (Dinner)
Outdoor: No
Reservations: Yes
Delivery: No

Pros

Nice, Comfortable restaurant
Food is kept Fresh

Cons

Weak Hot Food Selection
Poorly Constructed Rolls
No Tuna Sushi

Critic's Review

There's only 1 Asian buffet in Fort Lauderdale and with all of the traffic these days; it takes me just as long to get there as to drive up to Davie. This place is a bit nicer also; and I hadn't been here in 6 years. I was surprised how dead the place was at 2:15pm. I usually like to get to buffets earlier, because some of them won't put out fresh food if it dies out late.

The hostess person tried to seat me in the middle of the room with booths available, so I pointed to a booth and moved myself in; it's not like they're going to get a big crowd at 2:30.

The buffet consists of 3 sections; salads and desserts on the right, sushi on the left, and hot food in the back. This is the nicest looking restaurant of all of the buffet joints.

There's a limited selection of hot food, mainly Chinese; if you're looking for your favorite dish here you can just about forget it. They don't even have Mongolian beef anymore. Stay away for the rice and noodles and you have a low-carber's paradise.

The dumplings look just as bad as they did in 2012. All dried out; they probably put them out at 11a. The egg rolls look like they're mostly dough so no need to waste calories on those.

Part of the first run is to fetch lemon for the iced tea; my first plate looked like this:

While the selection is lacking, they keep the hot food relatively fresh. The garlic green beens weren't hot but they were properly cooked; also I got some generic beef in a brown sauce and basil chicken, some straw mushrooms and I picked some broccoli out of a vegetable offering. The chicken wing was also very good; if I could only get wings like this with hot sauce at a sports bar.

Not a bad start; everything was pretty good. Usually my second pass is stuff that wouldn't fit on the plate the first pass, but there wasn't much else I wanted here. I usually do sushi on the 3rd plate but I wasn't loading up on Lo Mein just for the heck of it. Protein is the way to go.

The fried shrimp would have been good but the cocktail sauce was so bad they were ruined. A couple more wings and a spattering of sushi; the rolls were junk; I stripped off the paper thin slices of fish and left the rice. The sushi selection was poor; they didn't have any tuna out at all; just escolar and salmon. The escolar was better than usually encountered on a buffet (it's probably not actual escolar at some places).

Pining for some more food, I would have broken the low carb trend with a decent wonton; but alas this soup was tasteless. I dug out the wonton filling and it was a tasteless ball of nothing.

Too bad, because the soup "looked" so good. This is usually when I hit the ice cream bar, but I'm trying to be good. Back for some more food.

Protein and veggies. The only things new here were a couple of shrimp and some "bourbon chicken", which was terrible. Bourbon chicken isn't Chinese food.

I saw my server as I sat down so I asked for the check; fearing that she'd disappear into the back for her 3p break.

I'm amused by the suggested tips. Who is going to tip 20% when you have to fetch your own food? No refill offered for my tea. I left $18.

Conclusion

While I can't complain about the amount of food I had for $18, I found myself disappointed by the selection. Can I get a slice of tuna at a sushi buffet please? Some General Tso's? Scallion pancakes? A decent egg roll or dumpling? Fried rice that's actually fried?

I do commend them for continuing to put out food when there were less than 10 people in the restaurant. A nervous looking lady was walking around and she couldn't be happy with the crowd. When you start cutting back on the sushi you're going to lose customers.

Review 10/11/12

One thing missing from Long Island were good buffets, and they have plenty of them down here; unfortunately most of them aren't in Fort Lauderdale. Kyojin buffet is decent, but it's not as good as Shinju. There's a Shinju in Boca Raton, and also here in Davie.

It's a pretty nice place, with 3 long buffets in the center.

There's one long "bar" dedicated to sushi and rolls, a dessert bar, a long buffet with hot food along the rear wall, and there's also a hibachi station around the corner.

If you've never been to one of these places, they have "servers" who bring you your drinks and clear your plates, and you just go and fetch as much food as you want. They don't have splenda on the tables, but they'll bring you a bowl of packets if you ask for them.

The tea was very weak, no big deal but worthy of mention. There's also lemon wedges by the peel and eat shrimp if you like extra.

My first trip was to the hot buffet, where about 2/3 of the stuff looked pretty good.

The spring roll wasn't very good, and the pork dumplings were wrinkled and overdone. But the garlic green beans were great, and the mongolian beef was well seasoned if not lacking in scallions. I'd grabbed some shrimp and broccoli from a shrimp and vegetables plate that featured carrots and zucchini that I didn't want; a benefit of the buffet. Also, the chicken wing was good; well done and not quite the colonel quality, but tasty nonetheless.

Time for some sushi.

I'm not big on sushi. I stripped the rice and converted this to sashimi; salmon, white tuna, spicy tuna roll and a tuna avacado roll. Also some calamari salad and seaweed salad. All pretty good quality; certainly not fishy. But frankly, I prefer shrimp.

The peel and eat shrimp came with a not spicy enough cocktail sauce that I kicked up with a squirt of the sriracha chili sauce. All fresh and good; smallish shrimp, but hey, it's a buffet.

My last pass was to gather some stuff I hadn't tried yet that looked good. I'm avoiding starches, but I had a taste of the rice and the lo mein; neither was worth raising my blood sugar for. The "teriyaki" chicken didn't taste much like teriyaki, but it was tender and good as chicken strips go. The popcorn shrimp were a bit overbreaded, if popcorn shrimp can be overbreaded, but they worked with the cocktail srirachi sauce. The black pepper button mushroom tasted like sauteed mushrooms; nothing particular peppery about them.

Time for dessert.

They have chocolate mousse and cream puffs, but I went straight for the ice cream. Green Tea and Red Bean ice cream is the best part of a Japanese meal to me. They had about 12 different kinds of ice cream; more than most buffets. The green teas tasted a lot like plain vanilla; I like the red bean better, although I don't really care for the red beans.

The Shinju Buffet is $11.95 for lunch and $18.95 for Dinner; they have some extra food like crabs legs at dinner. They have some decent stuff, and you're guaranteed not to go home hungry.

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