Although familiar with sushi places, we had never been to Sushi 99 before. One side of the restaurant was empty, so we asked to sit there, as it was more protected from the front door, and because we have two kids under six thought it might be quieter for other patrons. However, we were told this wasn't possible, so were seated in the central section. (foreshadowing alert)
We began debating the merits of "all-you-can-eat" versus the a la carte options. We assumed "all-you-can-eat" couldn't be shared, (although there was nothing written about this on any menu) so made up an order from the a la carte menu. Our original sever took this order.
A few minutes later a second server came and asked us if we would like to have the AYCE option as well, and worked out which items my wife would keep on the a la carte order, and which items I would be able to put on the AYCE order sheet. We were confused by this, so questioned her about being able to split AYCE items with the kids, but she said that was fine. Her English was very poor, so it was difficult to clarify anything with her.
The orders began coming out, and most of the items were fine. The edamame was limpid, but the sushi and rolls were what one would expect. However, my wife had a piece of my AYCE - mistake - the first waitress came over and angrily told her she was not to eat from those portions. My wife told her that we had tried to clarify this, but she was unreceptive, and for the next 15 minutes we were treated to suspicious, accusatory glances.
Although I had ordered more items, nothing else was coming. My wife mentioned this to a third server, who smiled and said, "Ok". After waiting a few more minutes, we assumed our orders had been cut off due to our criminal activity, and were feeling pretty unwelcome. We duly paid our bill, and I wrote my concerns on the back of it, and suggested that they make their policy clear on the menu, or train their servers to adequately explain that policy. In any case, we won't be going back to see if they've taken us up on our suggestions.
I will chalk this one up as a "what did you expect from a factory sushi joint?", and spend my money at smaller, more personable restaurants in the future.
Oh, by the way, several patrons were seated where were had asked to be as we left.