Since the writing of this post, It’All no longer offers the all you can eat Japanese buffet. They now offer only a Korean buffet and Korean cuisine.
I will make the prediction right now that It’ All will be the talk of the town once word gets out. There’s something about the phrase “all you can eat” that piques people’s interest. Throw in the fact that It’ All is serving up both Korean and Japanese dishes (that means BBQ meats and sushi folks!) and suddenly Edmonton’s culinary scene feels like it’s grown tenfold, much like your waistline after you pay the buffet a visit. The old Won Jung Gak (Chinatown location, may you RIP) space was revamped pretty quickly, half of the area now housing two full rows of buffet tables. What you see in the above picture is actually only half of the buffet area and the wide sushi counter in the back is not shown. A very nice transformation if you ask me. Izakaya-style booths are also set up alongside the windows to balance out the Korean-centric buffet, although truth be told, It’ All ownership is Korean. A part of a family and friends group (includes Spruce Grove’s It’ Sushi and Old Strathcona’s It’ Dog), you can now go to It’ All to, well… have it all. For $36.99 (dinner), the all you can eat menu looked pretty good! Our table of four quickly got in our orders before heading to the cold and hot buffet tables. I know what questions you’re dying to ask, so read on for a quick recap of all the items we tried that night! The gyoza (2pc, unpictured) was nicely pan-fried although nothing outstanding. I’d save some room for some takoyaki balls instead, a Japanese snack with pieces of octopus coated in a wheat-flour based batter and served with a mayo-teriyaki sauce.
Of all the Korean BBQ items (our table ordered all except the Sirloin Steak Teriyaki), the boneless short rib was a standout and worth ordering again for the second round.Moving on to the Japanese portion of the menu: the holy sashimi. If you can eat your 20 piece allowance (5 pieces for lunch), then you are well on your way to making the all you can eat price point worth while. The sashimi cuts are of decent size, if not a tad thinner, and quality of the fish (we tried salmon, tuna, and mackerel) were good.
Highly advise that you maximize your sashimi allowance before moving on to the unlimited sushi pieces. Nobody wants to fill up on rice! Same goes for the udon selection, as Joe made the mistake of eating a kimchi udon too early into the meal and getting full! Loved that the udon bowl was a small enough portion for me to sample though (if I had ordered my own) and that other plates, like the shrimp or kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) tempura, also come in individualized portions. If it weren’t for the great selection at the buffet tables, I would have eaten way more menu items!As the dishes we ordered were being prepped and delivered, we made our way to the buffet tables. Welcome to banchan heaven. That’s small Korean side plates for those who are new to Korean cuisine. It’ All is actually perfect for those who are taking their baby steps into Korean food! Grab a little bit of everything, from the common kimchi (cabbage) or radish kimchi and work your way down to dishes like marinated zucchini, assorted pickles, and braised lotus roots. Although banchan is usually unlimited anyways when you dine Korean, there’s something about having control of how much you can take that makes people happy. Power. I love having the power to control what goes on my plate! My personal Korean favourites: the kimchi radish, soybean sprouts, stir fried glass noodles (japchae), Korean-style egg roll, and wakame salad. Yuuuuummy!
Making its way from It’ Dog’s kitchens, the fried chicken (available as spicy or soy garlic) was a table favourite. I filled up on spicy rice cakes, one of my absolute must-eat Korean street food, with a good helping of a variety of bulgogi meats (beef, lamb, pork). Love that there’s a sign for every section of the buffet table, identifying all the dishes!
Dessert was a learning curve for all of us but interesting nonetheless. Chestnut pastries, a variety of mochi (glutinous rice cakes), and mousse cakes were available for the taking.Our table turned into a juvenile bunch when we all saw the cooler filled with Korean popsicles. The whole night was actually about how the four of us would try six different flavours of icecream when technically (!) there’s a limit of one per person. Our server shrugged at our dismay as to which flavours were worth trying right away and gave us the wink wink. Flavours include (left to right, top to bottom): chestnut, watermelon, red bean, coffee/chocolate, melon, and strawberry. I had the coffee/chocolate, decadent and smooth. The strawberry was our server’s childhood favourite, the stick acting as a storing unit for some pieces of gum. Genius, why don’t all popsicle sticks have candy in them?! Watermelon had that artificial fruit flavour (not a bad thing!) and the melon (or honeydew), a classic for a reason! I know exactly what you’re thinking. Was it worth $36.99 per person? Did I eat enough to cover the cost? To be honest with you, any all you can eat-style meals or buffets is only worth it if you eat enough. For myself, it’s never worth it. But that’s not the point of all you can eat for me, I’m paying the price to have a wide variety of options, try different dishes that I might not generally order a full portion of and to enjoy it with a group of friends who might all have differing preferences! The combination of Korean and Japanese dishes at It’ All is worth visiting for me, two of my favourite cuisines. Throw in some friends who might not necessarily dabble to much in raw fish but love BBQ meats or vice versa and you’ve got a winner for where to eat as a group. Is it the best sushi/sashimi or the best Korean BBQ? No. Would I return? Most definitely. One of the biggest selections I’ve seen for an AYCE restaurant in Edmonton and a welcome addition to Chinatown! Check out It’ All and let me know what you think in the comments below! It’ All
10023 – 107 Avenue