Sango at PJ's Crystal Crown Hotel offers an a la carte buffet for dinner at RM68++, but having food cooked to order can sometimes fuel frustration.
Things kick off fairly promisingly: simple salads and sesame-glazed chicken wings are served to each customer once seated. But not everyone might want these, especially since food wastage is charged at RM10 per 100 grams.
Boiled spinach and pickled radish, supplying much-welcome fiber.
Sashimi, far from sensational, but satisfactory for an all-you-can-eat deal.
Jellyfish is also available, but alas, the baby octopus we ordered never came.
Nankotsu alert! Chicken cartilage is available fried ...
... as well as grilled on skewers. Munch munch, crunch crunch.
Also a crisp delight: tiny butter-fried shrimp. Rather oily, but so addictive.
Yakitori plays a prominent role in the buffet _ not bad, though the salt content is substantial. Have some chicken gizzard and heart...
... or chicken fillets with leeks ...
... or bishop's nose, fatty and savory.
Here's where we'll start whining: at a certain point, the food started taking too long to prepare, even though the restaurant was far from full.
Chicken stew with lotus root and konnyaku jelly. Many of these dishes only arrived an hour after ordering, compelling us to cancel several of our orders in the end.
Eggplant topped with minced meat. Discouragingly, customers who ordered from the regular non-buffet menu seemed to be prioritized, as they received their food faster.
Grilled pike mackerel. And to cap off this rant, the service team was cold and distant, offering what felt like insincere promises that they'd check on our food.
Shishamo. The key to a successful dinner here might be to order everything at the start, instead of requesting six to eight items at a time. But it's tricky to gauge how much food we'd need.
Grilled sweet potato with butter. It's a shame that the slow pace marred what could have been a meal we'd recommend, since the price seemed reasonable.
Mixed tempura. In the end, we couldn't order a second round of sashimi, since the staff claimed the kitchen was swamped.
Charcoal and green tea ice cream. In another scenario, we'd call this a sweetly satisfying finish.
Warm red bean soup with mochi, also adequately tasty.
A free flow of green tea is provided, but it's worth getting a glass of umeshu plum wine to buoy one's spirits while waiting for the food.
Sango Japanese Restaurant,
Crystal Crown Hotel, Off Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya.