Last Update
Nov 11th, 2019

Na-Bu Japanese Buffet

3485 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33306
(954) 568-2208
Overall Rating
2.0
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
11/08/2019

Details

Hours: Lunch M-F 11:30-3p, SatSun 12pm-3pmDinner M-Th 5pm-9:30pm, FriSat 5pm-10pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: None
Entree Prices: $12.95 Lunch, $19.95 Dinner +$2.50 beverage
Outdoor: No
Reservations: No
Delivery: No

Pros

Buffet with unlimited sushi
Comfortable Restaurant

Cons

Poor Selection, no salad bar
Sub Par Hot Food
Sub Par Sushi

Critic's Review

I hadn't been to a buffet in a while. My last visit here was right after ownership changed. I thought I'd try it again. I stopped by here a week ago, but it was 2:30 and this place closes at 3p. Never go to a buffet when they're close to closing time.

Today I got here at 1:45; later than I wanted but early enough. The place was fairly dead.

I soon found out why. I like to start with a salad, but they didn't have any lettuce or ingredients to make a salad. All they had was an almost empty "waldorf" salad, because Waldorf salad is very Asian. Why ruin a salad with nuts and raisins? Put the nuts and raisins on the side in a buffet.

Okra on the salad bar. Who wants mustard sauce with Waldorf salad and jello? Makes no sense.

I settled for a bit of the salad and some hot and sour soup.

Sort of like a caesar salad with raisins. Eating around the raisins can be challenging. The lemon was for the iced tea, of course.

The soup was neither hot nor sour. It looked right but missed the point of hot and sour soup.

Time for some food. There's only 1 row of hot food here, and it's quite disappointing.

Basil Chicken, Kung Pao chicken, Sesame chicken. Virtually no beef at all. Chicken is cheaper than beef. At least the broccoli was properly cooked so I could still load up on protein and veggies.

The deep fried section was all junk. Check out the enormous bowl with the potsickers dipping sauce.

My first plate of food: Sesame Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, basil chicken and broccoli.

Nothing here I would order if I had to choose. The Kung Pao wasn't bad but also wasn't spicy, which is the entire point of Kung Pao. If nothing else this soothed my hunger.

The potstickers were flavorless stuff stuffed in a folded wonton. Not worth the calories or blood sugar spike.

At 2:15 the place was dead. 3 singles and a pair of cretins; one of whom was ranting that you "Can't Review a restaurant when it's only been open a week". I really wanted to chime in with my opinion on that, but I held back.

Time for some more food. I pondered the hot food. "Lamb Stew" featuring not braised enough lamb with okra; awful looking clams and mushrooms. I really don't expect to see okra at an Asian buffet. They must have gotten a deal on it.

I settled for sushi. I usually do 2 plates of hot food but there wasn't enough here. They had the standard nigiri and some weak looking rolls.

I made a plate along with a couple of the obligatory "peel and eat" shrimp.

I also grabbed one of their "chicken tacos". Lots of chicken here. I'm not sure what was in it, but it wasn't very tasty. The sushi was OK, but the rolls were garbage. When they fall apart before you can even pick them up, you need a new sushi guy.

Needless to say I was still hungry after this plate. I tried more Kung Pao and lo mein hoping to get a modicum of spice. But alas, there is no spice at Na-Bu.

To add insult to injury, no red bean ice cream. I settled for chocolate. I had to get some taste before I left today.

$12.95 plus $2.50 for a tea. No wonder the place was empty.

Conclusion

Chinese food is cheap, so Asian buffets have traditionally been a good deal. $12.95 isn't bad if they have good food, but not when the food is dumbed down and there isn't anything interesting to eat. Would it kill them to drop some Sichuan pepper into the Kung Pao, or enough vinegar and white pepper to make the hot and sour halfway decent?

This place doesn't know how to run a buffet for Americans; there's a lot of waste in the buffet business; putting out bad food doesn't save money, it just keeps people from coming back. Price up $1 and the quality of food even worse than last time.

Review 9/9/2016

Formerly the Kyojin Buffet, this place changed ownership a few months ago; so I wanted to see what changed.

From the outside everything is the same with different signage. Definitely more colorful than Kyojin.

Even though it was after 2pm, I wasn't offered one of the open booths, which cost them $1 in tip. It doesn't matter too much in a buffet. One change is that they have more comfortable chairs in the dining room, and there are some extra tables so they're closer together.

Ordered an Iced Tea and hit the buffet.

I'm low-carbing it so I was going to avoid the Lo-Mein and Fried Rice which usually aren't very good at buffets since they're steamed instead of fried. Everything looked overcooked; I just got some meat and vegetables to start. And of course a plate of lemons for the iced tea.

Mushy meat and overcooked broccoli. The beans weren't bad. Back to see if they put something else out.

A lot of bad looking hot food. They had some beef but it had bones in it; some sort of shank or something. I didn't feel like dealing with bones.

They had a bamboo steamer that was empty since my first run. They kept promising that dumplings were coming. Hot and Sour soup looked good.

A better version than I'd had the day before at Coco Asian Bistro. Still not peppery enough. It's never hot or sour enough. If Hot and Sour soup doesn't make you cry then it's NO GOOD. Some black pepper made it better.

Back again. Still no dumplings. One thing VERY annoying is that the owner and an employee watched you like a hawk as you loaded your plate. Probably making sure you don't take pictures to show the old, overcooked food. Nothing hot looked good so I went for the sushi.

Also not so hot looking.

The roll selection was weak; too many items with cream cheese. I don't want cream cheese and fish. I went for the sushi to sashimi conversion.

The escolar wasn't fresh as all. The sushi wasn't very good at all. One more try on the dumplings.

Finally they put out some dumplings! Finally something fresh and hot. They had some unlabeled skewered meat and shrimp with lobster sauce

They still hadn't cleared my plates when I returned to the table.

The dumplings were very good. Not too doughy. I couldn't identify the skewered meat. Maybe pork? Shrimp with lobster sauce needs rice, but I cheated enough with the dumplings. Time for dessert.

A nice addition is that Nabu had Red Bean Ice cream. Red Bean and Chocolate is a good way to finish a buffet lunch.

This is another place where the "service" is a negative; they should just replace these people with a beverage station.

Some comedy with the receipt. First, they call themselves an "American Fusion" Buffet. Really? Its the same food as every other so-called Japanese buffet. More comedy is the suggested tips.

Who is going to leave 20-25% tip for a buffet?

Conclusion

Na-Bu is just a re-treading of Kyojin with some things better and some not as good. The food isn't as good as my last visit to Kyojin, which should be the most important thing. In a town where you're paying $12 for a bad greek salad, It's hard to say that an all you can eat buffet isn't worth $15 with beverage. But I didn't have anything here that I'll be craving anytime soon.

Note that this place closes at 3p and re-opens at 5p, so you don't want to get here after 1:30 for lunch. The places that are open continuously keep the food coming out; but places that close at 3 aren't going to be putting out fresh food after 2.

Comment Policy Add Comment

Next: Apropo Crepes and Baquettes