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Great Quality and Value
Price: 1200 yen
Near Beppu Station, on the third floor of Kamenoi Hotel, is Shidaka Viking Restaurant. For 1200 yen (including tax) per adult at lunchtime, the all you can eat restaurant includes drink bar, similar to what you can find in Skylark company restaurants (espresso drinks, hot water for tea, soft drinks, etc.).
We couldn't figure out why it was so quiet in the restaurant. It isn't a busy season and was a rainy day, but other than a few older couples, there weren't so many customers. We guessed the Kamenoi bus company or hotel costs cover any losses if the restaurant is usually not busy. The hotel also has it's own Joyfull location downstairs, but for probably the same price and better quality, the Buffet restaurant makes more sense. Quality was really good and a good value for the price. Nice instrumental versions of 80s pop songs (think U2) were in the background.
Dishes were common Japanese foods like zaru soba and curry rice, salad, kinpira renkon, pickles and kimchi. The surprising dish in that section was chirashi-zushi which had small shrimp, clams, and salmon roe. Hot foods included several Chinese and Italian foods, like shu-mai, pizza, and meatballs with gnocchi. The dessert bar had some mini daifuku (red bean mochi), kinako mochi, mini cream puffs, tiny cakes, fruit, and jelly. There was also a soft serve machine with a seasonal flavor – maron! It could be mixed with the other side, vanilla.
We ate a lot, but without that overstuffed feeling we normally get from eating heavy and oily foods common at buffet restaurants. We went for lunch but didn't feel hungry again until later the next morning. Too bad this isn't closer to home.