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Is there decent buffet/AYCE in Toronto/GTA?

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avec9 May 28, 2007 07:37 AM

I have never been to a buffet that I thought was great - but I would be willing to have decent.

I am going to dinner this weekend with my family - and it is always difficult to find a restaurant that works for everyone. We are looking for something that works for meat eaters, vegetarians, and my grandmother who is obsessed with chinese buffet (her ideal is Mandarin - argh).

We have tried the one at Warden and Eglinton (dont recall the name - it was that unmemorable), we have also tried Town & Country - and as expected our grandmother was not happy (either were us vegetarians - the pasta dishes were as expected - mushy and bland).

I would like to try to appease everyone - and appreciate your advice!

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  1. thought_for_food RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 08:01 AM

    How do you feel about Indian food?

    1. JamieK RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 08:29 AM

      I'm thinking along the same line as 'thought for food'. If you're okay with Indian food, the buffet at Chef of India, 33 Eglinton East, is wonderful. Ideal for meat eaters or vegetarians, spice lovers or not. It's received excellet reviews in the Toronto Star and CBC MetroMorning.
      http://www.chefofindia.net/

      9 Replies
      1. re: JamieK
        d
        downtown RE: JamieK May 28, 2007 08:44 AM

        Website only mentions a lunch buffet, do you know if they offer it at dinner as well?

        1. re: downtown
          a
          avec9 RE: downtown May 28, 2007 08:52 AM

          Indian is ok as long as it is NOT halal - Chef of India is halal.

          This is why we stay away from many Indian buffets at family gatherings. I do go to Brar - veg buffet - but my meat eating family is not fond of anything without meat.

          Any other ideas? Any decent Chinese buffet?

          1. re: avec9
            thought_for_food RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 09:20 AM

            Just curious: why NOT halal? Something to do with the meat used?

            Siddhartha on Gerrard has a perfectly pleasant buffet; not sure if it's halal.

            1. re: thought_for_food
              a
              avec9 RE: thought_for_food May 28, 2007 09:38 AM

              yes - it is the meat used.

              1. re: thought_for_food
                vorpal RE: thought_for_food May 28, 2007 09:41 AM

                Beware: I got take out from them a month ago or so, and the meat was tough and unappealing, which surprised me because I've always loved them in the past. I thought it was just a fluke, but two nights ago I again got take out from them and the chicken was horribly overcooked, and the lamb was so riddled with fat as to be inedible. It seems they may be letting their quality slide.

                1. re: vorpal
                  thought_for_food RE: vorpal May 28, 2007 09:47 AM

                  Sorry to hear that. I've only ever eaten the vegetarian selections, and they've been consistently good.

                  1. re: thought_for_food
                    Davwud RE: thought_for_food May 28, 2007 12:55 PM

                    I read a review in the Star that said the only time to go there is for the lunch buffet. The regular menu stuff is not nearly as good.

                    DT

            2. re: downtown
              JamieK RE: downtown May 28, 2007 12:03 PM

              Buffet served only at lunch. Dinner is table service. I've only had take-out and it's always been good.

              1. re: JamieK
                a
                avec9 RE: JamieK May 28, 2007 02:07 PM

                Seeing as Chef of India is NOT an option - any other ideas? Not Indian...

                Thank you for your suggestions!

          2. v
            Vinnie Vidimangi RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 04:53 PM

            Try Tuckers Marketpalce on the QEW but ONLY this location. It is quite alright in an "English" (i.e mangiacake) way , for about $20 for dinner, $11 lunch. I am Polish and went with an Iraqui Mexican there for lunch and both of thought that it was was quite OK. You can avoid the meat. they make pasta dishes to order.

            Alternately go to Great Mongolian at Kenendy and Steeles where you can make you own stirfry. I add peanuts from another station to mine. Th eChinese food buffet must be authentic, but I find it unpalatable.

            These places are better to go to for lunch. Your meal is a command performance, not dining entertainment . Lunch is cheaper.
            Check if these places are in the Entertainment book this year.
            VVM

            1. t
              torontogal RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 05:09 PM

              The only good buffet I have ever been to (I agree, none of them are fantastic) is Sister's Restaurant on Kingston Road http://www.sistersbuffet.com/ . I've been there a few times with family and have always found items that were enjoyable, even better than just decent! If you like desserts, they present quite a delicious selection, not your normal, run-of-the-mill offerings of places like T & C, or Tuckers. Dinner on the wknd is $19, wknd brunch $15.. On Sunday they serve a full turkey (along with the regular buffet meal) incl. stuffing and such.

              5 Replies
              1. re: torontogal
                v
                Vinnie Vidimangi RE: torontogal May 28, 2007 05:22 PM

                Its been agood number of years since I've been to Sisters, but some things are eternal. The food was plainly prepared, overcooked and the not bad ingredients were ruined. Great if you are from the Maritimes.

                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                  a
                  avec9 RE: Vinnie Vidimangi May 28, 2007 06:17 PM

                  Ok - I have asked a few coworkers and Tuckers and Sisters seem to be a lot like Town & Country in terms of genre of offering (not enthnic enough). They are a bit bland for our taste.

                  I don't know anyone who has tried Great Mongolian - is it good for vegetarians too? What does the buffet have? Stations?

                  1. re: avec9
                    v
                    Vinnie Vidimangi RE: avec9 May 28, 2007 07:42 PM

                    Let me be gentle. At the Great Mongolian its thye stirfry or nothing. I suppose you can make a vegetarian stirfry, but it will be expensive foe what you get.

                    On reflection, try Thai restaurant. I suggest Thai Plate at 3434 Bathurst. Tell them what you want; thay will look after your. They are practising Budhists and observe a 10 day period in which they do not eat meat.
                    How many of you will there be?

                    1. re: avec9
                      jennjen18 RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 08:43 AM

                      I'm taking my boyfriend (who's a picky meat eater, somewhat like a vegetarian) to Great Mongolian tonight. I'll tell you how he likes it.

                      1. re: jennjen18
                        jennjen18 RE: jennjen18 May 29, 2007 09:09 PM

                        So he likes it! He prefers it more to the Mandarin .. and he felt that there was enough options for him. It was funny how he picked out all his greens, and then put the sauce on, and then thought it was supposed to be a salad until he got to the big grill. But he experimented with different greens, different noodles, different sauces ... so its a good go for vegetarians at the Mongolian grill.

                2. h
                  Higgette RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 05:50 AM

                  There's a great Sunday brunch buffet at the Hot House on Front Street at Church if you feel like venturing downtown. I like their Wednesday night Italian buffet too. The pasta in never mushy there. The food is pedestrian but not boring and the quality is pretty good for the money. Only thing is, in summer they are over run with tourists so go soon, if at all or wait until the fall.

                  1. sweetie RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 09:32 AM

                    I don't think there is any such thing as a great buffet. Even the pricy buffets I have been to have dud items But I think that you can get value for your money. I like to go to Imperial Buffet. I like the shrimp because they are already peeled, the crab legs are cold, but I like them that way. They have very decent roast beef/rib roast. Best of all is the chocolate fountain (not at all locations). There are gems among the french fries and pizza. The sushi is good (no raw items).

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sweetie
                      a
                      avec9 RE: sweetie May 29, 2007 10:05 AM

                      Somebody just told me about Thee Asian - anyone tried it?

                      1. re: avec9
                        d
                        downtown RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 10:23 AM

                        Its called Thee Asian Kitchen on Steeles Avenue East (north side, just east of the 404). I haven't tried it but there are a few comments, both for and against, in other threads.

                        1. re: avec9
                          Teep RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 02:07 PM

                          Do a search on this site and you'll find previous posts. It's not a "buffet", you have to order from a menu.

                          Another one I've been to is the Old Mill Inn buffet. They have a big spread of salads, vegetarians will find much choices. Their few hot entrees are disappointing, though.

                          1. re: avec9
                            sweetie RE: avec9 May 29, 2007 02:32 PM

                            read this... re Thee Asian Kitchen have not been myself
                            http://tongueandcheek.ca/2007/03/17/a...

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