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Great, inexpensive Oriental Buffet in T.O.

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  • Tabuda Jul 27, 2003 05:44 PM
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Last night, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting a new Oriental buffet in the central north part of T.O. It's called "Empress Cuisine" and it's on Vic Park, 1 block north of McNicoll on the west side.

If you like authentic Oriental cuisine, this is the place to go. You're not going to find the usual stuff like at Mandarin and the price is great! On Saturday night, we paid only $11.95 -- that's approximately 1/2 the price of Manadarin. (This isn't the senior's price!)

If you're going for sushi or sashimi, it's not recommended as the selection is small and a server gives you 3-4 small pieces of salmon per visit to the sushi part. However, the other food was amazing and the service is great.

They have a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean food. I loved the Korean sweet & sour chicken so much that i didn't even touch the lemon chicken (which is my favourite dish).

If you go, arrive before 7 to get seated right away. When we left around 8, there was a small crowd in the lobby.

I'd give Empress Cuisine an 8 out of 10.

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  1. Actually, Empress occupies the old digs of "Oriental Feast"

    I've been to Empress and I'm fairly sure the food hasn't changed much.....same with the decor.....I'm pretty sure it's just a name change.

    I will concur with the original poster that, for the money, Empress is the best deal in Asian buffets in the city. They offer sushi, dim sum (limited), crispy chicken, and lots of ice cream choices.

    early Sunday afternoons are PACKED. Get in after 2pm on those days.

    1. Thanks for the tip. It sounds like a place worth checking out!

      Just a quick thing. Rugs are Oriental, people are Asian. Restaurants are Asian, too. As a Chinese Canadian, I'm surprised that some "Chinese" restaurants call themselves Oriental restaurants - that term is archaic and slightly offensive (it harkens back to that Romantic Orientalism thing from the 19th century, when Westerners took a fancy to the exotic and inscrutable "Orientals").

      Thanks for letting me vent. Now, back to the chow!

      1. Do you think the Empress serves better food than China Buffet King? I'm a big fan of Buffet King. The food is decent and the atmosphere is very relaxed.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cardamom

          I would suggest not generalizing on Buffet King as a chain. I thought the one north of Highway 7 was pretty good, but the one south of 401 (around Warden) was terrible.

          Of course, this was last summer ...

          1. re: divirtual

            The one in Richmond Hill is better, but I recently went for lunch at the Scarborough location and it has improved significantly.

            A year or so ago....yes it was the WORST!

            1. re: Goober

              i went to the one in stratsford, ontario. it was one of the best buffets ever compared to the $8.00 CDN price tag