By Evan Pike, December 11 2017 —
Calgary’s all-you-can-eat (AYCE) sushi scene doesn’t hold a candle to Toronto or Vancouver, where local and chain restaurants are easy to find in most areas. In comparison, Calgary has fewer than 10 AYCE sushi restaurants, ranging from the ones that have been around for over a decade to more modern establishments that use iPads to improve ordering and reduce the embarrassment of handing your third-round order to the waitstaff.
A+ Buffet & Sushi Bar, located at Macleod Trail and Glenmore Trail, is one of the newer establishments, though it’s been around long enough that it’s past the growing pains stage. Although it’s technically AYCE sushi, a feature of A+ that sets it apart from the other sushi feast restaurants in Calgary is that rather than ordering food and having it delivered to your table, this restaurant is buffet-style. There are roughly nine stations, each with a different focus — soups, salads, sushi and sashimi, fried foods, hot foods, fresh seafood on ice, rice, a candy bar and desserts.
The space has modern decor and is well-lit with large tables. The ample amount of room means that groups, couples and families can co-exist in the restaurant without being in each other’s way, making for a comfortable experience.
Buffet restaurants can run the risk of having unappetizing food that appears to have sat out for far too long, but A+ isn’t one of them. The vegetables, salads and fruits are fresh and there is a huge array of options to choose from at all stations, including three different types of hot soup. Since A+ is primarily a sushi restaurant, close attention is paid to the execution of this portion of the buffet. The sashimi and sushi are replenished on a visibly regular basis, with the sushi chefs working directly behind the station. The cuts of sashimi are an appropriate temperature on par with table-service quality.
With most AYCE sushi, it can be easy to over-order, followed by forcing down just a few too many bites to avoid “wastage” charges. A+ Buffet & Sushi Bar doesn’t have this additional cost risk. Further, perks of the buffet style include the fact that it’s easier to take only the amount you want.
Another stand-out component of A+ is their service. The waitstaff are friendly, cheerful and incredibly efficient. Despite not needing to collect orders, they checked in multiple times to ask how our food was.
All restaurants have their downsides and A+ is no exception, but the negatives are minimal. Some food stations were somewhat sparse and picked over. Similarly, their sushi selection was adequate but not approaching the selection of most table-order AYCE sushi spots.
Overall, A+ Buffet & Sushi Bar is worth trying out, particularly if you’re with a large group of people who want an array of options and a spacious, friendly venue. Focus on the sashimi, sushi and raw seafood bar. Check out the salads and soups on offer and save room for their delicious homemade cheesecake.