Kyojin Seafood Buffet: Wasted Potential

Written By Caroline in Reviews

Exterior of Kyojin Seafood Buffet by Caroline Wik

Kyojin is large, easy to get to and has a nice big parking lot out front.

Kyojin Seafood Buffet

Symmes Township
12140 Royal Point Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45249

Rating: 1 out of 5 Plates
Hours: Lunch:
Mon-Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Mon-Thurs: 4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Sun: 12:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Price Range: Lunch w/ Sushi: $10 – $14
Lunch w/o Sushi: $8 – $10
Dinner w/ Sushi: $16 – $18
Dinner w/o Sushi: $12 – $13
Note: Price is higher on Sat & Sun. Additionally, the price is lowered for children under 11-years-old.


Kyojin Japanese Buffet on Urbanspoon

The types of restaurants you expect in the suburbs are mostly American-style joints with a few other popular cuisines mixed in. It’s generally expected to be more expensive and family-friendly place with very broadly-appealing tastes.

Now, Cincinnati’s suburbs are unlike most others, there’s a lot of amazing, authentic cuisine from around the world that can be found in Greater Cincinnati and should definitely not be overlooked.

I think we found the one that can, though.

Kyojin takes the worst of the suburbs and popular cuisines and then smashes them together in a buffet of hot mess.

To be honest, we really wanted to like Kyojin. It’s a HUGE mixed-cuisine Asian buffet located conveniently right off I-71 on Fields Ertle Road. The concept is solid too – a mixed Asian cuisine buffet that focuses primarily on sushi and seafood. It’s a well-traveled road and perhaps that is how they’ve stayed in business for so long.

When you walk into Kyojin you are first in a small foyer with the menu posted. You have few options for the buffet such as with or without sushi, all of which seemed borderline okay for the price.

The sushi bar sits in the center of the restaurant and serves pre-made sushi as well as made-to-order sushi. For lunch time the place was fairly empty aside from a couple other tables. We tried a few of the rolls however they were bland, small and didn’t taste fresh at all – which was primarily why we were hesitant to have much.

Behind the sushi bar sat three small buffet counters: one was an appetizer counter serving odd things like shrimp with cocktail sauce and salad, the second was Americanized Chinese food, the third was odd desserts like pudding, pie and jell-o. On the back wall was more desserts like ice cream and cakes, as well as two large pots of soup.

Buffet at  Kyojin Seafood Buffet by Caroline Wik

The Chinese buffet section of Kyojin offers a lot but none of it worth while.

I have nothing against Americanized Chinese food – I’m a fan of egg rolls, sesame chicken and “Chinese” donuts – although I admit I’m more of a fan of the authentic stuff, particularly after having spent time there. But this, this was just a mess.

Nearly everything was in an excessively sugary sauce and even worse there really was no flavor to anything other than sugar. Completely bland food that makes you regret having even tasted it – that’s an incredible feat.

I hesitantly tried a couple of the desserts – primarily the cake based stuff. They weren’t very sweet, oddly enough, but still were pretty bland. How can someone make something so bland?

I hate giving a place a bad review, but Kyojin just isn’t worth the money or the calories. We try to update our reviews every so often to keep on top of how restaurants are doing, and it may take us a while, but we’ll come back to Kyojin eventually – assuming they are still around – and hopefully things will have gotten better.

Food plate at  Kyojin Seafood Buffet by Caroline Wik

Adam piled his plate high with various foods from the buffet – we were initially excited but let down when we actually dug in.

Food plate at  Kyojin Seafood Buffet by Caroline Wik

One of our plates, packed with pepper fried steak, an egg roll, crab wontons, sesame chicken and some other items.

Have you been to Kyojin? How was it? Where’s your favorite Asian restaurant?

Verdict: We’re Disappointed

Kyojin has a great space and location – but the food is overpriced, bland and disappointing. It’s called an “Asian” buffet but it is really just a combination of Americanized-Chinese entrees, sushi and random appetizers and desserts.

There’s a lot of potential to be a good restaurant and a great addition to the Greater Cincinnati food scene, but as it is now Kyojin just doesn’t make the cut.

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  • Kyojin fan

    Wow, this review was way too harsh. It also seems that this reviewing find everything bland which pretty amazing considering there was some pretty spicy stuff served there. (Comparing any American-Chinese food to authentic food made and served in China is really not a point of comparison for readers with American taste buds.)

    I enjoyed the sushi each time I was at Kyojin. Whenever sushi sat on the buffet too long, they swapped it out, so it was freshly made. The opposite end of the sushi bar also had a seaweed salad with and without tofu, that were very tasty. For dinner they also put out sashimi on the sushi buffet/bar and better choices on the “Chinese” food bar. They’d also grill shrimp on skewers with some spices (which my young son loved) almost to order.

    It’s a shame Kyojin has closed what looks like for good. I just hope this miserable and misrepresentative review did not contribute to the restaurant closing.