Fusion Buffet: decent lo mein, better sushi
Fusion Buffet, a new Asian fusion restaurant in Skowhegan, features traditional Chinese-American food alongside an exciting sushi buffet. I had the pleasure of eating at this establishment with 11 other Colby students who also enjoy Asian cuisine.
Fusion Buffet offers the usual spread of Chinese-American food, including such favorites as crab rangoons and fried rice, served buffet-style on steam trays in one corner of the dining room. The buffet food is fairly standard for Chinese-American fare, as the dishes were somewhat expected in both quality and presentation and were not especially outstanding. The most notable part of the restaurant is the sushi bar, where diners can watch the chef prepare their sushi at an open counter in the dining room. Chef Jacky Tang wears a traditional Japanese printed top and bandana as he makes everything by hand.
The restaurant offers a variety of sushi and sashimi, including classic rolls, salmon and tuna. Pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce are all available for diners’ individual preferences. In general, the sushi was incredibly fresh with a good-quality taste.
In terms of the restaurant’s atmosphere, Fusion Buffet makes excellent use of their limited space by incorporating their buffet area into the dining room. This creates a separation between the food-serving areas without compromising the aesthetics of the room. The décor is typical for a Chinese restaurant, with large lit Asian landscapes on the wall and gold accents around the room.
The staff, while busy, was always courteous and prompt in serving diners, and the restaurant as a whole was very clean and well-kept. The food in the buffet was replaced at regular intervals to ensure freshness, though this was hardly necessary in our time there, as diners were eager to order dishes not long after they came out. This was especially true at the sushi bar, where Tang’s new creations were snapped up as he completed them.
The price of the buffet with a beverage was very reasonable and matched the quality of the food and service. The lunch and dinner buffets (not including drinks) cost $6.99 and $9.99, respectively, for adults, while children and seniors received even lower rates.
Our group enjoyed our experience at Fusion Buffet, but we agreed on one major inconvenience: the restaurant’s distance from campus. While conveniently located on Madison Avenue, near the center of Skowhegan, this is still a long trip for students. By car it takes approximately 25 minutes to get to Skowhegan from the Hill.
For many students, especially those without vehicles of their own, this is too long of a drive to be a regular dinner destination, especially considering the number of Asian restaurants closer to home, in Waterville.
While it may not be close enough to become a student favorite, I would give Fusion Buffet a grade of “B” in terms of their offerings, service and atmosphere, and it is certainly worth checking out.