With school ending last week in the middle of the day, and a bit teary eyed, the girls said goodbye to their classmates until fall. It was a very emotional moment for the girls, who leave their good friends until September and their great teachers to move on to a higher grade.
I had promised them that we would celebrate the end of the school year by checking out a new place. When I told them that I was thinking about taking them to a place where you can eat all the sushi and dessert you want (among other things), Little Sous Chef’s eyes went wide: “Do you mean all the California rolls I want? Really?” She was very insistent on trying this place where she assured me she would eat 800 California Rolls 😳. So after getting their grades and saying goodbye to their friends, I recruited my friend Jenn and her five-year old and we headed towards Koreatown on the F train to IchiUmi. The subway ride from Brooklyn to Midtown was not too painful, especially because the subway was not excessively crowded and they had one of their girlfriends with them.
IchiUmi is a huge space that is a New York City block wide, with its main entrance on East 32 Street and goes all the way to East 31 Street. They have different pricing for adults and kids. Children pricing depends on their height, which I found it to be very amusing (if they only knew how much Little Sous Chef can pack in that little frame, they would probably charge her adult price times two). They have a very cute measuring tape at the door where they measure children before going in and the girls had a kick out of it. The place is really ample and it looks like they could totally park strollers if one decided to come in with one. It also seems to be very used to kids, as the measuring tape (with its pricing) and the multiple high chairs indicate.
We were quickly sat and asked if we wanted any drinks. As we came in a bit late, they were out of a couple of beers (both Jenn and I were looking forward to having an iced cold Hite, but had to make do with an Asahi instead). After taking our drink order, we all walked to the buffet area, which is on the left hand side and divided in three sub-areas: the sushi buffet along with cold food and salads is closer to the entrance; following, the hot food station with a variety of fish, meats and Asian dishes; and opposite the hot food station, a soup station and the girls’ favorite: the fruit and dessert station.
They don’t have a kids menu, but that didn’t seem to be a problem for the girls. They were in awe with the display of food: La Petite Wasabi loved the dessert station (who wouldn’t?), Little Sous Chef ate California rolls to her heart’s content and their little friend joined the dessert extravaganza. Jenn and I enjoyed our sushi (with some not-so-common combos such as a bacon and avocado roll). To be honest, the sushi was not the best I have had, but it is decent for the price range and the amount. If one adds to it the entertainment factor, with our three children enjoying the whole process of walking to the buffet line, choosing and picking their own food, it can be said that it is totally worth it. Of course, the three of them took a number of trips to the dessert station and as gracious as my friend Jenn is, she must have most probably been cursing me under her breath after the sugar rush the girls had. I can say the one beer I had helped diffuse my perception of the sugar (and midtown) rush .
The restrooms are on the right hand side, the gents’ closer to the entrance and the ladies’ past the dessert station. The ladies’ room is very ample and decently clean, with 4 stalls, a changing station and 3 sinks that are placed at a kid friendly height.
And even though the food is not anything to lose sleep over, given the price (especially the weekday lunch) and the whole experience, I think we might go back if we are in the area. At least, that is what Little Sous Chef has been talking about all week.
6 East 32 Street
New York, NY 10016
Monday – Sunday: 11:45am – 3:00pm
Monday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm