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Jan 5, 2009 06:24 PM

Chinese buffets

Anyone have any good Chinese Buffet restaurants in and around Montreal area
(we have tried, Mandarin, Eden in Lasalle, Chows,

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  1. As far as I am concerned, there are no good Chinese buffets in the Montreal area. Unfortunately my favorite Chinese buffet is in Richmond Hill outside T.O. called China Buffet King, so it makes it a long commute so I only go when I visit relatives in Markham area.

    However if you follow some of the threads, there's some good Chinese restaurants for a la carte.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JadeMyst


      I live in Richmond Hill, a mile or so north of China King. Even with all the fantastic regular Asian restos in the area, my Chinese wife take the kids to CBK three or four times a year to pig out. And, given the fact that the crowd is always 60% Asian or more, it's clear a lot of other Chinese people feel the food is pretty good, and a great value at the price.

      Stay away from the soups, though.

      1. re: KevinB

        Just a quick request that you continue this conversation on the Ontario board, rather than discussing Toronto restaurants here. It's great information for Ontario readers, but it won't be discovered here.

    2. Hey Matash,
      Mandarin is pretty much well known. I'm in LaSalle all the time and pass Eden once in a while - seems quite obscure. Chows - you mean on Dorval Ave across from the mall? I think these are more neighborhood joints than full blown buffets.
      'Good' can mean different things to different people. Have you tried the one next to Toys R Us in LaSalle (used to be called Fu Lam, but has since changed name). Good, but depends on day or time, I think. Funny how Jade says only good buffets in Markham (and I drove by China Buffet King last year, only to stop a few blocks away at a mediocre place DOH!) as Chinese tour busses from TO stop in this LaSalle buffet spot. Wonder what those people think?
      Have you tried the Jade buffet in Chinatown (LaGauchetiere 'tween Clark/Urbain). Some people love it others say meh.
      Years ago, while trying to find our way out of Laval, we stopped at a Chinese buffet. We thought it was damn good. For the life of us, we never found it again...

      12 Replies
        1. re: hungryann

          No not Kirin (besides I didn't have my plaid shirt), but somewhere south of the 440, maybe near carrefour laval. Like I say, this was 11 years was an independant...who knows...
          Oh, I don't know if Zen is still operating in the Omni Hotel downtown. Its an a la carte all you can eat. Not your typical buffet but high end pricey. Would need a few people to taste many items, interesting though (haven't been in many years as well).
          There's also a few chinese fondue places. Not quite buffet either, but all-u-can-eat.

          1. re: porker

            Zen is closed I believe.

            I really like the idea of a Chinese buffet, as I love having tonnes of choice. But there is always a compromise in flavour and freshness. There is no chance for wok hai, for example. But once in a while, I go for it anyways.

            Has anyone tried the buffets out on Sources?

            1. re: moh

              Some places offer the wok as well, like the place next to Toys R Us (I think Kirin does it as well). You choose the meat and veggies, pick a style, and hand over the ingredients to the cook. Can't say I've tried it, so I don't know how effective it is.

              1. re: porker

                I've done that at Fu Lam and it can be very good to mediocre. It really depends who is manning the wok. Actuaaly, Fu Lam is pretty decent as far as chinese buffets. I go about once a year when visiting family from abroad come and the buffet is their idea of adventurous. I usually go to the wok station and the sushi; the salmon sashimi is always fresh and some of the rolls are quite acceptable. Again, it depends on your expectations.

                1. re: hungryann

                  I like their 'dim sum'. sui mai (passable), har gow (OK to meh), chive dumplings (good), steamed spareribs black bean (quite good). OK, not nearly as good as from a cart, but nice to start with at a buffet with hot sauce.
                  They used to have rock crab (maybe brown crab?) with ginger and shallot which was very good. Replaced it with insipid queen crab.

                  1. re: hungryann

                    I recently went to Fu Lam and had great wok hai in my stir-fry of veggies, shrimp and noodles. I couldn't believe how good it was and how lucky I got. The wok operator really knew what he was doing.

            2. re: porker

              No have not tried Jade but will be going shortly. Now you got me going with the Laval one
              Maybe it will come back one day.. Just let me know

              Thanks for input

              1. re: porker

                I think it may have been Fu Lam. It is still there.

              2. Hi Matash.. sure I can share that recipe... you mean the buttercup squash braised in fermented black bean sauce with thin slices of pork or beef or do you meant my gingerbread-pumpkin cheesecake recipe in which I substitute buttercup squash for pumpkin and either bake as a regular cheesecake or in a rectangular baking pan as cheesecake bars?

                The braised recipe is simple. Take a buttercup squash or as second choice butternut squash and shave off peel and cut up into thick wedges then from the wedges, slice into thick wafers about 1 cm thick. Slice some pork or beef using the 30 minute freezer technique to get good thin slices. Saute the meat in oil with some garlic to med-rare then set aside. Using large pot with high sides, heat some oil, toss in garlic to taste ( I use usually 2-4 cloves depending on how much squash is involved), some pounded rehydrated fermented black beans ( about 1 tbls before rehydration or use Lee Kum Kee's black bean sauce), 2 tsp brown bean sauce, about 3 cm ginger root sliced into thin matchsticks and cook till mix is fragrant, then add squash wafers and toss around in the oily mix till well-coated and stir-fry about a minute or two then add about half of a dried chinese manadarin peel and add enough chicken stock (about 2 cups) and water to come up to surface level and bring to simmer on high and lower heat till pot is only at a simmer, cover and cook about 15-20 minutes or till squash is soft but not crumbling. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a cornstarch or tapioca starch slurry & bring back up to boil to thicken and add meat & stir meat into broth and serve on your favorite type of rice.

                I haven't eaten in the Jade Garden in years, I didn't like it the several times I tried it nor the Buffet in Lasalle across from Place Angrigon in the strip mall near the Royal Bank. My caucasian friend likes the Lasalle buffet and drags me there sometimes and since she's the driver...I'm stuck with going where she wants sometimes :(

                5 Replies
                1. re: JadeMyst

                  Tks Jade for recipe. where does one buy mandarin peel

                  1. re: Matash

                    Sorry, I forgot that I also add 1 or 2 hot dried Asian chiles and a dash of light soy sauce and about 5-6 dried shrimp. The chiles are available at most Asian or Chinese grocery stores and the dried shrimp and dried mandarin orange peels can be bought from a Chinese Dry Goods store. You'll see tubs of dried seafood in those stores. The mandarin orange peels I usually make myself by carefully peeling Chinese mandarin oranges available just before Xmas in supermarkets and then letting the peels dry over several days on trays in my kitchen (it's cheaper than buying them in the dry goods stores). The mandarin orange peels give a slightly different taste than regular orange peel but you can substitute a clemantine though it's not quite the same and you'd need a whole clemantine's peel rather than half if using fresh peel.

                    Once again, sorry for the ingredient omissions.

                  2. re: JadeMyst

                    Went to Jade Garden in Chinatown Tuesday night.
                    Found most of the food bland and uninspiring.
                    Fountain drinks, tea & coffee included in the buffet, though.

                    1. re: RomanW

                      Eh, their take-out items are pretty good but I agree the buffet is nothing special.

                      1. re: RomanW

                        Yup agree - finally went too and did not enjoy jade garden that much

                        there was a little place below sherbrooke on cavendish -forget the name - small but when it was busy at lunch the food turned over but at night it was slow

                        the chicken soo guy breading was great - light and crispy - oooh how I wish I could find a good pineapple chicken or soo guy breading right now...yum...

                    2. Was in St-Leonard on jean-talon near galerie d'anjou an there's a La STENZA buffet there. They have a big banner with the mention that they serve chinese food at their buffet now.

                      With all the frozen stuff that you get in chinese places how bad can it be? let us now adventurers!

                      1. I second the vote for Buffet Palace Oriental (the place in Lasalle).

                        Honorable mention to Ka Lo Hin on Stanley. Particularly for the handmade sushi, the dumplings with peanut sauce, and the fried sweet potatoes. i could make my meal entirlely on those items. And you can get a takeout container of as much buffet as you can pack into it. Downside: last time I was there, I got screamed at for not leaving a tip. haven't darkened their door since then.

                        I miss Bill Wong's, especially the Sherbrooke Street location.