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Aug 20, 2003 10:25 PM

What's your favourite buffet?

  • l

I only know a couple of them, and I'm looking for more. I went to Empress Cuisine (former Oriental Feast) last night, and was pretty impressed both by the selection and the price. I'm also in love with Skylark (Indian on Gerrard) because of their wonderful naan. I'm sure that there are many other wonderful buffets in this city, but I haven't found them. What are your favourites? Any food type, really.

While my friends and I were at Empress last night we hypothesized our perfect buffet: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Ethiopean main dishes, perfect french onion soup, naan, and Greek desserts. Preferably situated in a bookstore.

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  1. I'm not a big fan of buffets; however, the Sunday morning Jewish-style Buffet brunch at Free Times Cafe on College in between Bathust and Spadina is great.

    Bombay Palace on Adelaide/Jarvis ain't bad for lunch. If you are in Scarborough though, do not try Imperial Chinese Buffet (yuck) or Tucker's (cheesy) both located at Warden/Eg.



    4 Replies
    1. re: airsy

      I don't like Bombay Palace for several reasons:

      1. Chain restaurant;
      2. They've been around for years (god knows why), and it shows in the tired decor;
      3. Skimpy buffet selection at lunch.

      I'm not a fan of buffets, but I have been forced to go to several Indian buffets with work colleagues, and I'd say the least annoying are Kama and Dhaba (both on King St. W.).....

      1. re: Heather

        Coco Peanut's cook-to-order Thai buffet. It is probably one of the only reasonably priced
        cook-to-order buffets remaining in Toronto. Every dish is cooked to order - including soups; vegetable selection is fresh and seasonal, traditional Thai quick stir-fry styled cooking. Food is average, but consistent.

        Unassuming small dining room, okay decor, licensed, adequate service. In the "rainbow town" area of Toronto (many other restaurant choices there) - on Church just south of Wellesley, west side.

      2. re: airsy

        What is a "Jewish-style Buffet brunch"?

        Jewish cuisine spans the globe. You have Sephardic cuisine (which can be divided into Italian, Spanish, Maghreb, Levantine, etc.) and Ashkenazi cuisine, and all sorts of others.

        When you mention brunch, I tend to think of the standard bagels, lox, knishes and such, but that may be stereotyping on my part. I assume the Free Times is not kosher?

        1. re: B. Bellamy

          They have pretty traditional stuff for their Sunday Jewish Buffet Brunch. Traditional as in what you could find in the area when it was a predominantly Central & Eastern European/Ashkenazi neighbourhood. As their website says its food like "Potato latkes, blintzes, lox eggs & onions, challah french toast, sour cream, apple sauce, bagels, lox & cream, salmon patties, gefilte fish, cheese, salads galore, fresh fruit, cheeses, cakes, sweets, tea, coffee, and much more!!"

          They also have Middle Eastern stuff available on their regular menu. There's lots of Klezmer and other traditionally inspired live musicians playing during the brunches.


      3. Where is the Empress again?

        My likes in the Indian category are Sangam in Mississauga (Hurontario & Dundas - definitely not the one at Bay & College), Dhaba, Babur and Little India (Queen West - meatiest tandoori chicken).

        A couple in Little India (Skylark, the one beside it whose name I forget but the staff seem to remember me) are good for a cheap dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: James

          Empress is north of Finch on Victoria Park, in a little strip mall.

        2. If up in Markham (after you ask yourself why) there is a Chinese buffet in the plaza at Warden and Hwy 7. In the corner next to Loblaws. Never mind the name. It's changed hands and identity a couple of times since I've known about it. BUT the food is good as far as buffets go. That is, it's neither typically greasy or salty while having some minimal retention of real flavour.

          And I've not ever had to line up and there are not the hoards of people who shovel food onto their plates. Maybe that's why it's changed ownership as much as it has.

          Does anyone else know about this place?

          The new incarnation of Oriental Feast on Vic Park and McNicol (?) is a bad scene.

          I'd like to try Poonan Delight on the Danforth.

          1. I recently went to the new Biryani House on Wellesley (@ Yonge) for lunch. I was hoping for table service since the presentation is above average there.

            To my surprise, the buffet was good. The serving dishes all have their own lids to keep dishes warm and moist and there was a good selection of dishes, relishes and garnishes.