This place is Big, with a capital B. When you enter, the entire space is filled with islands of food -- eight islands to be exact. Add to that a hibachi-to-order in the back, handmade sushi on the side and an ice cream dispenser, and you’ve got Hibachi Grill Buffet in Warner Robins.
If you’ve been to one of these gigantic, all-you-can-eat establishments, you know the basics of Hibachi Grill: pay one price and graze until you burst. The things that make it unique also make it better than the usual AYCE fare. There are at least 10 types of sushi and six sashimi across the back left counter, giving a sushi novice a great opportunity to try everything and find a favorite. I suspect sushi purists would frown at not seeing the sushi chef creating it, but a sign nearby does assure guests that sushi is out for no more than four hours before it is thrown away.
The place to get the fresh food is in the back right corner at the hibachi counter. Much like Ginger Stir-Fry & Grill in downtown Macon, guests choose their veggies, proteins and starches and then decide between three sauces to cook them in. The hibachi chef tosses it all together and about five minutes later you have your creation.
The downsides: there only four or five each of vegetables and proteins to choose from and your group may be finished eating their buffets before you sit down with your hibachi. The upside: it’s all included.
Of the items you would expect at an Asian buffet, I recommend the ginger chicken, the barbecue ribs and the honey chicken. The General Tso’s chicken is mostly dark meat and chewy, fried beyond recognition. The standard vegetables, like green beans and carrots, were okay but certainly nothing special. The eight islands have at least 15 dishes each on them, so -- even at one bite of each -- there were several items I did not try.
Some of the more unusual items on the buffet were frogs legs (labeled “apple pie” by some jokester), baby clams with pasta, and fresh oysters and mussels. We didn’t see crab legs the evening we visited, but there were deviled crabs, whole “sea crabs,” and “crab” wrapped in bacon. They also have whole crawfish and several types of shrimp.
The salad and dessert islands were pretty dismal but the four soups on offer were as good as anywhere. The ice cream machine funnels out chocolate and vanilla soft serve but toppings are not available.
If buffets are your thing, you will probably enjoy Hibachi Buffet. The service is fast and friendly, the price is certainly right and the food is filling. If you leave here hungry, it’s your own fault.
Hibachi Grill Buffet
Address: 4025 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $6.49 lunch, $8.99 dinner
Rating: 2.5 stars