Sima Korean and Japanese Restaurant brings another take on finer Asian cuisine to the Kettering neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio. If you live in the area, you’ve no doubt been attracted by the giant signs advertising the restaurant’s defining specials: a lunch sushi buffet and an Asian barbecue treatment which has been outstanding. If you’ve never set foot in the place, you’d be amazed at how sleek and attractive the interior is; it definitely feels like fine dining. If you like sushi then this is a place you’ll definitely want to try. It’s a great showing for the concept.
So when you hear “sushi buffet” you imagine some very simple or unimpressive sushi in order to stay cost effective. You’d be wrong. What’s best, you can have as many of each roll as you prefer, all they ask is that you not waste any sushi. The sushi bar warns of a hefty fee for wasting sushi. I don’t know how serious it is, but it’s pretty reasonable.
- Sushi: This restaurant prepares about a dozen varieties of sushi, with widely varying ingredients. It’s pretty good. The basic California roll is the building block for several good sushi combinations. There is a good smoked salmon roll, a great shrimp tempura roll with some very crunchy shrimp, and a very interesting roll that seems to have some kind of barbecue sauce and fried sweet potato garnish. I also really like the spicy crab roll. Probably a menu favorite is the tempura roll which has been individually fried and topped with a spicy mayo.
- Beef bulgogi: A thick stewed beef with a red sauce, gochujang, and stir fried veggies. A little heat on it!
- Wings: These have a nice teriyaki-based sauce on them, extra thick and with lots of crunch on them. Great to balance with sushi!
- Tempura: Fried vegetables and green beans, actually, they really work! Good as an appetizer.
There are a number of other items to try, whether you go for the lunch sushi or the evening barbecue. They serve a number of seafood options and some classic Asian cuisine, some great dumplings, nice fried rice, and some noodles. There are a few oddities sprinkled in there too, there are chicken wings and ravioli on that menu in case you’re not in the mood for sushi. I did have two minor problems with the buffet though. When I showed up for lunch none of the foods were labeled, so I didn’t always know what I was eating. Second, the food wasn’t heated very well, which affected its quality. I can’t know if that’s an everyday thing, though. Altogether, though, Sima was a good place to get lunch, and I would say it merits at least one visit. There is a lot of food to sample along Woodman Drive and in Kettering, but Sima holds its own very well.
- The lunch and dinner buffets are great, and really worth at least one visit.
- Just a warning when you go: there’s a note posted that you’ll face a $20 fine if you take a bunch of food and don’t eat it. It sounds sort of draconian, but I think it’s reasonable given the quality of the food here.
- There are a lot of other things on the menu other than the buffet; a number of menu items and beer and wine if you’re interested.