Shop 1, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney City
You know you're in trouble when you attempt 2 or more buffet meals in one day. We had a (wonderful) buffet breakfast at The Corn Exchange and were yet again tempted by the all you can eat buffet lunch when we walked past Shinara.
I have a few feeble points of defense. I should remind you that we were trying to kill time at this point and I thought a buffet would be a good means of achieving that. Secondly, the lunch time buffet price, per head, was less that what we would have expected pay ala carte at another establishment. Finally, I liked the decor. I thought it was cute.
Now that our craziness is slightly justified, I can move onto the food.
At Shinara, I believe the more formal restaurant section is upstairs, though I didn't venture to have a look. We were seated downstairs and there were a number of tables with the food dispersed around the inside wall of the restaurant. I managed to snatch an awesome booth seat facing the street. Nothing beats people watching when you're away from home.
As soon as I started viewing the food, I was disappointed. The selection at Shinara is sparse and reminds me of a low quality Asian take-away, or the kind you find at a shopping center.
Hien's plate, with an assortment of weird things
The cuisine is supposed to be a mix of Japanese and Korean. What was actually there included eggy bread, spam fried in egg and so on. There was something that reminded me of sukiyaki beef and something that looked like stir-fried potato noodle.
It wasn't a complete disaster. I actually liked the sukiyaki beef and I got a bit crazy about the candied sweet potato. That was very, very good.
We had originally spotted drawings of sushi when we walked in but couldn't find any. Finally, upon a more thorough search, I located some sushi. No salmon or even tuna here. These were seafood stick sushis. Meh.
Sushi was poor but soup was passable
I tried some of the soup too - namely a spicy, miso one. I guess it was Korean-inspired? I liked the soup too. It had clean flavors, despite being red and spicy.
In all honesty, we both regretted the hasty decision to step into Shinara. After we finished, we ventured down into Chinatown and saw so many places that seemed more promising. If Shinara was in Brisbane, it'd be something to talk about... I mean, it is extremely cheap for a buffet. However, Sydney has much more to offer.