Sumo Japanese Steakhouse: all-you-can-eat sushi heaven
Sumo Japanese Steakhouse is located at 1801 S. Broadway in Edmond (map). They are open from 11 to 10 Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday they are open from 11 to 11 and Sundays from 11:30 to 10. You can reach them by phone at 405.340.3398.
PLEASE NOTE: since this article was published, the price for the all-you-can-eat sushi option has increased. The most recently-reported price is $26.
Hailing from Los Angeles, I’ve been to my fair share of all-you-can eat sushi restaurants. Chain restaurants like Todai have certainly brought a bad name to all-you-can-eat sushi, and I avoid them like the plague. At the same time, it’s imperative that my friends and I get a sushi fix at least once a month. So, it was with great pleasure that I heard from a co-worker about Sumo, an all-you-can-eat sushi place in Edmond offering heavenly bliss for just $19.99. Most places I know have either stopped the all-you-can-eat option (because of sushi gluttons like myself) or have started charging $30 or more. I had to find out for myself if Sumo would truly be able to satisfy my insatiable appetite for raw fish!
There’s nothing too extravagant about the exterior beyond the signage outside. Inside is a rather large interior divided into two sections: regular dine-in / bar / sushi bar and the hibachi/dance floor areas. The restaurant is certainly big enough to host a wedding reception or dance party for those interested. I like the fact that this restaurant can satisfy those Americans who like the whole hibachi / teppanyaki show, yet also caters to purist sushi eaters like myself. If you’re after sushi like me, ask the host to seat you in the sushi area.
Now this is important — you won’t find the all-you-can-eat sushi special on the menu. You need to ask for it. When you do, your waiter should bring you the all-you-can-eat order form and a pencil. Everything on the front and back of the list is fair game with the exception of the “Special Rolls.” These rolls should be crossed out on the list indicating you can’t order them in the all-you-can-eat special. That’s fine by me since I’d be happy consuming a slab of raw salmon with wasabi, soy sauce and ginger. You’ll also notice some handwritten notes on the bottom saying “$0.25 rice and $0.50 sushi roll pc.” This is outlining how much you’ll be charged for any leftover balls of rice or pieces of sushi rolls if you went in over your head and ordered too much food. My suggestion: don’t order all your food at once. Instead, order in phases. I usually order a whole bunch of nigiri (fish pieces on top of balls of sushi rice) and a few rolls like the spicy tuna rolls and salmon skin rolls (which are both excellent).
EDITOR’S NOTE: One of our readers, Andrea, sent us a scan of the All-You-Can-Eat menu as of April 26, 2009. Thanks, Andrea. Click here to view the menu for yourself.
Included with the meal is a small salad (iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato) topped with ginger dressing and a bowl of miso soup. The soup was a little bland and definitely not as good as the one offered by Tokyo, but hey, for $20 all-you-can-eat sushi, I can cut them a little slack in that department.
There are usually two sushi chefs preparing food and it took about 20 minutes to get our first batch. Our initial order amounted to about $65 in value from my quick calculations. Most subsequent orders took no more than ten minutes because we only ordered about $20-$30 worth. Remember to pace yourself and don’t leave any leftovers!
The salmon, scallops, red clam and tuna nigiri are excellent. I thought that the yellowtail tasted a day too old. I really wish they offered toro, which is the belly of the yellowtail and one of the tenderest cuts of fish, but it’s more expensive and not cost-effective for all-you-can-eat. The octopus seemed a little overcooked and the eel selections were a little too fishy for my taste. Overall, the quality was very good, but I must say that some of the rolls really start to taste the same after a few pieces, especially the ones that have the fish, cucumber and avocado in them. It would be nice to be able to order some of the special rolls since they offer a little more variety of flavors, but I guess I can’t get everything my way, right? Another thing I like is that Sumo doesn’t pad the sushi with excess rice to fill you up faster like many other all-you-can eat establishments try to do. In fact, the salmon nigiri I had took me extra time to chew because the cut was enormous and could have easily been a little thinner.
Sumo’s wait staff is prompt, friendly and, oddly enough, they seem very eager to make sure that the customer gets the most out of the all-you-can-eat special. By the end of the night, the job was done. The two of us easily consumed $100 worth of sushi for $40. You just can’t find a deal like that anywhere else, especially with the quality of sushi that Sumo has to offer. I usually like to end a meal like this with some hot green tea to cleanse the palate and aid in the enormous digestion that’s about to take place. I skip on the dessert since a well executed all-you-can-eat sushi night places full emphasis on fish and not filler. Plus, I’m usually too full to consume anything else.
If you’re a true sushi lover like me and have that insatiable appetite for fish, Sumo is the only place to go in OKC. They regularly offer 20% discounts for UCO students and they also have coupons for regular menu items in Entertainment Book if you decide to forego the all-you-can eat menu. But why would you, when all-you-can-eat sushi is so heavenly?
Let us know what you think of Sumo in the comments.