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Oct 14, 2009 09:54 PM

Best BUFFET restaurant in Hong Kong?

Would appreciate recommendations on the top buffet restaurants in Hong Kong, with following stipulations...

1). Ideally a place with eclectic mix of food, such as fusion, Chinese, Western... although I'm open to any buffet as long as it's good.

2). Would have to be near either MTR Tsuen Wan Line (TST to Prince Edward) or near MTR Island Line (Sheung Wan to North Point).

I've heard wonderful things about Cafe Too. Is Cafe Too pretty much the best, or are there better ones? Is Cafe Too very expensive?

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  1. Okay no responses, so far.

    Anyways I've done some research and it seems the best choices are:
    - Cafe Too (Island Shangri-la)
    - Cafe Kool (Kowloon Shangri-la)
    - Window Cafe (Kowloon Hotel)

    Anyone knows how expensive these places are? And which is better... Cafe Too or Cafe Kool?

    9 Replies
    1. re: chowmouse

      The buffet at the Conrad IMO is one of the best!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        for me it's always a toss up between conrad and sabatini. if you want the complete deal from sushi & sashimi, indian curries to grilled meats then conrad is for you. if you are someone like me who believes desserts are much more important than the mains, then go for sabatini.

        1. re: Charles Yu

          I would not pick Window Cafe as one of the best, Cafe Too & Cafe Kool are above average. It really depends on what you are looking for in buffet IMO. Cafe Too, Cafe Kool & the Harbourside @ InterCon is to awe you with the sheer amount of food / seafood selection. If you want a wide variety of food, the above would be your pick. However, if you are looking for the environment as well as the quality of food, Conrad, JW Marriott or perhaps Kitchen @ W Hotel would be a nice pick as well. And if you are looking for something more unique as in on-demand items ordering, give Yamm @ the Mira a try. All of the above are about the same price range which is HKD 480 - 580 perhaps. As Jin mentioned below, different buffet offer a different style of buffet, hard to say which is the best. Also, better check before hand and ask if there are any special items not being served.

          Mainstream Buffet (with the complete deal)
          - Kitchen @ W Hotel
          - Cafe Too
          - Cafe Kool
          - Harbourside @ InterCon
          - Conrad
          - JW Marriott

          Slightly Unique
          - Yamm @ the Mira
          - Sabatini
          - The Grill @ Grand Hyatt (meatttttt)
          - Sheraton (for its Sunday brunch @ the Oysters and Wine Bar) - my favorite for now! don't expect a huge selection of food, it is for the relaxing experience over free flowing wine / champagne while overlooking the Victoria harbor and enjoying oysters at 2pm Sunday afternoon.

          These are some of the more memorable ones I have been to and I personally prefer the slightly unique category because the mainstream one I found myself often in the middle of a battle because somehow people would fight you over food as if that's the last meal!

          1. re: jason.bonvivant

            The above is a very good list. The other slightly unique one that I would add is the one at the Spoon where you get buffet appetizers and desserts. It was really good at one time and my top choice for a lazy Sunday brunch with spectacular view of the HK harbour. Sadly, I have heard the selection now is not as good as before so I haven't find a reason to go back for some time.

            1. re: HKTraveler

              Yes! I agree with Spoon. It was absolutely great when I last dined there a year ago. So many choices and an amazing dessert table inside the kitchen. . However, my son and wife told me it had gone done hill with greatly reduced appertizers. Need fellow chowhounders to confirm whether they are back on track?!

            2. re: jason.bonvivant

              Great list, Jason. But are they rated in order of your preference, or in no particular order?

              1. re: jason.bonvivant

                I want to try something really unique. I have 6 and 7 years old tiny gals w/ me & they don't eat much. We simply want good tasting food, not just regular food. So, Yamm is a good choice?

              2. re: Charles Yu

                I've been reading with interest the recommendations for lunch buffet and want to try the Conrad. Would I be correct in thinking that the recommendation is for Nicholinis rather than the one in the Garden Cafe ? I'm liking the sound of freshly shucked oysters and unlimited fizz for a lazy Sunday afternoon!!

                1. re: wobblybits

                  Absolutely correct!

                  Nicholini's has been my favourite buffet ever since the first time I went there back in 99/00!

            3. Wow, thanks for the detailed info!
              Looks like I have a lot of places to choose from, and sounds like I can't go wrong at any of those places. Thanks again!!!

              1. Well, we ended up only trying Cafe Too (lunch) and Cafe Kool (breakfast). I wanted to try the place in Conrad which a lot of you mentioned. But the people I was with didn't want to do Conrad since we found out that it was quite a bit more expensive than Cafe Too/Kool.

                I think the lunch buffet was like HKD300 or so at Cafe Too. All in all, pretty good buffet and we will not hesitate to go back the next time we're in HKG. There were many stations. The sushi/sashimi station had a rather small variety of sushi's (less than what you'd get at a place like Todai in the US) but they also had a bunch of raw fish behind the counter that you can request as sashimi's. There was a seafood area with crab claws and shrimp and oysters; did not try any of those. No lobsters. The Chinese station had several different dim sum dumplings, as well as a few other items... nothing to write home about. The noodle station was good, although a bit difficult to figure out at first. There was also an Indian station... again nothing special. I really enjoyed the salad bar... the most perfect, freshest, cleanest spring mix I've ever seen. Lots of different toppings and delicious dressings available. The dessert station had a pretty extensive selection, with a lot of rich refined-tasting little cakes and tarts and mousse; several different flavours of ice cream including green tea and sesame; chocolate fountain with both white and dark chocolate.

                But i definitely enjoyed Cafe Kool's breakfast buffet more. Only HKD220. It's not quite as spacious as Cafe Too, and it doesn't have the nice view like Cafe Too (which offers the view of HK Park's greenery). But I guess I just enjoyed the offerings more. Again, they had the noodle/congee station, a small dim sum selection. They had the section for your typical western stuff (bacon, sausage, eggs, pancake), as well as cooked-to-order omelettes. A pastry/bread section... pastries and croissants were nothing special. Nice selection of cereals. Most of all, I really loved the fruit section... amazing pineapples, fresh raspberries, macadamian nuts. The salad bar was pretty minimal for breakfast, but they had this type of greens that I'd never seen before but thoroughly enjoyed. There was also a small Japanese breakfast section, with miso soup, Japanese pickles and one kind of sushi which didn't look all that great. The dessert selection was rather meager... some pound cakes, muffins and one coffeecake type thing... definitely didn't compare with Cafe Too's lunch desserts. But given the much lower price, I think Cafe Kool's breakfast was more value for money. We really enjoyed it.

                All in all, these HKG buffets are on a different levels than the buffets I've been to in Las Vegas, including the one at Bellagio's. Everything was so fresh. At both Cafe Kool and Too, the quality of dim sum items was a bit subpar, but they were still enjoyable. The concept of create-your-own noodle soup is fantastic.

                7 Replies
                1. re: chowmouse

                  Sorry, chowmouse, when you said "Everything was so fresh", were you referring to the HKG buffets or Bellagio's? I take it you meant Bellagio's since I stayed there last month, and we absolutely loved everything there.

                  1. re: M_Gomez

                    Sorry I think my post was a bit confusing. I meant to say that everything at Cafe Too and Cafe Kool was very fresh and I was pretty much blown away esp by the breakfast buffet at Cafe Kool (considering it was only HKD220).

                    Only thing was that I wish both Cafe Too and Cafe Kool had better dim sum selections and quality, although again they were very fresh. For breakfast buffet, Cafe Kool had char siu so, lotus pastry, steamed char siu bun, vegetarian dumplings, turnip cake, shrimp/pork shiumai. The steamed items were tastier, but still average. The baked stuff was mediocre. But I guess it's hard to expect extensive high-quality dim sum selection, even in these great HKG buffets. If anyone can comment on the quality/selection of dim sum items at the buffets in Conrad or JW Marriott, that'd be great.

                    Btw, I think Bellagio's weekend brunch buffet is the best I've been to in N.America... although I admit I haven't been to many buffets outside of Vegas, Boston and California. I do think everything is very fresh at Bellagio. And Bellagio definitely has more of Western items than HKG buffets. But Bellagio certainly doesn't serve up cut-to-order sashimi or has the quality of desserts that Cafe Too has for their lunch buffet. And you should see the greens at Cafe Too's salad station... the most impeccably fresh, clean and crisp mixed greens I've seen anywhere. At Bellagio or any other buffets in Vegas, if you picked up 5 pieces of cut-up pineapples, you're likely to run into at least one piece that contains the hard core or has some sort of blemishes. At Cafe Too and Cafe Kool, every single piece would be perfect.

                    1. re: chowmouse

                      The Harbourside buffet has such variety and all you can handle Foie Gras, Sharks Fin, etc which in my book beats the US places. I'm going to try Conrad on our next trip.

                      If you travel to San Francisco, be sure to try Ritz Carlton Navio Half Moon Bay Sunday Brunch. Expensive, decent selection, but high quality items. Better quality than Wynn or Bellagio buffets.. See my pics:

                      1. re: Foodnut8

                        I've seriously considered going to Navio many times, but each time I keep balking. It is so expensive. Do you remember what kind of dim sum items they have there?

                        Has anyone been to Angelini's buffet? Talking about the one inside Kowloon Shangri-la. Supposed to have great antipasto and great desserts. Not sure what else the buffet includes.

                        1. re: chowmouse

                          Dim sum items at Navio are pretty basic and tasted average. Don't go there for dim sum, the American food items are solid and high quality.

                          1. re: Foodnut8

                            We ate at the Conrad Nicolini's Sunday Brunch Buffet in Hong Kong a couple weeks ago.

                            Tops anything I have tried in the US. I think it is superior to Harbourside buffet in HK too. A nice change from all the Cantonese food we had.

                            Bottomless champagne, excellent seared and terrine of Foie Gras, top notch pasta cooked to order, very good prime rib, even newspapers.

                            They have a menu you can order from with some higher quality items. Need to order them early on, else you'll be too full to bother.

                            A bunch of pictures and 2 videos:

                            1. re: Foodnut8

                              I agree - Nicholini's Sunday brunch is in a class of its own. A definite HK dining experience that one needs to do at least once. Go with a big appetite. I made a mistake of going there last year, a mere 2 hours after getting off a long flight from San Francisco - couldn't do justice to the wondrous buffet line, nor the excellent champagne.

                2. Angelini

                  I am an expat who has lived in HK for 15 years and my experience at Angelini was less than satisfactory and I think it is time that someone gave an honest appraisal of this establishment

                  To start off, the restaurant itself is very small and the seats are quite close together so it does get very noisy towards the end of the night (I went on a Wednesday and it was 60% capacity but still incredible loud at some points in the night).

                  The waiter served us a complimentary pre-appetizer; just put it down on the table and said, “this is your pre-appetizer” – no explanation of what it was or anything. When I asked further all I could get was “beef”. Didn’t matter that my wife does not eat beef mind you!!

                  The bread did not arrive at all until the soup came and then I asked for it! Many apologies later, I started on my tomato soup was not impressed. It looked and tasted like cheap tomato puree with chopped up onions.

                  For the main course we both ordered their signature lobster pasta. The head waitress said she had to check something with the kitchen, then came back and said, “Sorry but we do not have the normal lobster in. So we are going to have to use a more high quality lobster. The price will be $400 instead of $230” – haha!?! What does that mean?? Are they normally serving up terribly low quality lobster for $230??? I replied that was fine as my heart was set on lobster that evening.

                  So on to the main course, the lobster was fresh and tasty but the rest of the food was just mediocre. I had porcini mushrooms with Foie gras as well and it was nothing special. The worse thing though is that the service is so terrible!! When the bread did arrive they just put it down with their “pesto” dipping sauce which isn’t as great as it sounds. They didn’t offer any alternatives and you have to constantly ask for anything extra, “Excuse me can I have bread, Excuse me can I have olive oil and balsamic vinegar’

                  The manager was scolding the waitress constantly. He stopped by my table for 2 mins and said, Hope your having a nice evening” so fast I could barely catch what he was saying. Then he moved to the next table and repeated the exact same sentence!!! HA!

                  I guess what am trying to say is that for $1000+ I expect a certain level of service and Angelini just doesn’t have it. That would be fine if the food was incredible but the truth is that it is over priced and just average at best. I certainly won’t be going again.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mrbigballs111

                    That's pretty classless of them to make you pay almost twice as much when the problem was with the restaurant for not having stocked up properly.

                    Has anyone been to Angelini's antipasti / dessert buffet?

                    1. re: chowmouse

                      recently been to the sunday brunch at whisk and i was pretty impressed! excellent suckling pig (spanish style), iberico ham, cavier and good selection of cheeses. their main courses were less impressive (small portions so you can order everything on the menu) but we were so stuffed with the other earlier choices, it didn't really matter. the laksa main course was surprisingly good but more importantly, service was excellent. it's 550 all inclusive of champagne and any other beverages, no hidden charges.

                      1. re: muttley

                        Hi - got to agree with this. The Spanish style suckling pig, salmon tartare and cheese selection were especially good. I also liked the hot plates being served fresh so that there was no stewing in trays. The cocktails were also a nice touch. Roederer champagne is a good NV choice, and fresh watermelon juice ticks the teetotal box.

                  2. Resurrecting this thread, since we're returning to HKG after >1 year hiatus.

                    This time, we're looking for good breakfast buffet places within walking distance (<10min walk) from either Sheraton TST or Lagham Place Mongkok, and <$250HK per adult. We need a place that has extensive selection including dim sum (at least har gau), good selection of cereal/muesli, nice fruits (including berries) and noodle station. We're staying at both Sheraton and Langham Place and, with a bunch of kids, it's not feasible anymore to go for breakfast anywhere that's beyond walking distance from the hotel.

                    So far, we have:
                    - Cafe Kool (Shangrila): we love Cafe Kool, and they barely fall within our price range. So we'll trek over there from Sheraton.
                    - Window Cafe (Kowloon Hotel): dissed by others previously, so not going there unless someone tells me they've improved over the past couple years.
                    - Yamm (Mira): seems like a place that wouldn't work well with small kids who need hargaus, noodles and berries the minute they enter the restaurant.
                    - Harbourside (Intercontinental): seems like a great place. How much is their breakfast buffet?
                    - Cafe (Sheraton): The breakfast buffet is $235. But do they have everything we're looking for? Is this place like a zoo? Is the food good?
                    - The Place (Langham Place): Is this place any good, and do they have what we're looking for?

                    Also, is there an afternoon tea buffet that you guys highly recommend (and where kids are welcome)?