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All-you-can-eat sushi, hibachi at new Saika Sushi in Depew

Word of a new, all-you-can-eat sushi and hibachi restaurant will catch people's attention.

Saika Sushi opened Aug. 23 in the Dick-Urban Plaza, officially at 576 Dick Road, Suite 30, Depew. Owner Hong Zheng, inspired to move from New York City to Buffalo after visiting his cousins, plans to draw customers with attractive sushi and hibachi deals.

For $13.95 for lunch and $19.95 for dinner, Saika customers can order multiple items off the respective menus – lunch options are more limited than dinner – and order as much of each as they want. There is a surcharge for leftover food, however, which encourages diners to not be wasteful and to order plate by plate.

The menu is vast, with more than 15 varieties of special rolls and nearly 20 different classic rolls, 12 hibachi-style entrees, standard appetizers (crab rangoon, edamame, gyoza, tempura, harumaki) and even a limited kids menu, with chicken nuggets, corn dogs and french fries.

Zheng mentioned the Monkey Roll, No. 52 on the menu, as a specialty not commonly found at other sushi stops, his customers have told him. Fried banana is mixed with tempura flakes for a smooth-and-crunchy contrast inside the roll, while it's topped with crab meat, the chef's sauce and mayo for a maelstrom of textures and flavors, both sweet and with a kick.

Saika has a license for beer (10-12 domestic bottles, Sapporo and Kirin), sake and wine.

The decorations inside Saika Sushi. (Photo courtesy of Philip Borden)

Although he was born in China and only stayed there through elementary school, Zheng became immersed in Japanese culture through a love for anime and sushi. The costly nature of the hand-rolled delicacies inspired his first restaurant venture in Buffalo.

"I remember eating out once with my father, but [we] ordered only two pieces of salmon sushi, because it was pricey for us at that time," wrote Zheng in a message.

"Then coming into adulthood and working for other sushi restaurants, there was a time I saw a father bring his son into the restaurant. The son wanted to order more, but the father said it was very expensive and too much for us. That kind of reminded me of my younger self ... so I wanted to make sushi more affordable and still keep the same quality so more kids that wish to eat sushi can have the opportunity."

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INFO: Saika Sushi, 576 Dick Road, Suite 30, Depew. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., then 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

*Related: Read about Waves, which offers a similar setup to Saika.

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