Has anyone tried the Imperial Buffet that just opened on Eglinton? I'm thinking about bringing my family there for a Sunday lunch and wondered if it's worth it?
Other recommendations would be greatly appreciated ;)
The Imperial Buffet recently opened. There is ample parking. It is very clean. The servers are prompt and friendly. The food was kept at an appropriate temperature (hot food was kept hot, cold food was kept cold) and quickly replenished when empty. The couple of times I have been there just after it opened the restaurant's atmosphere was bright, lively, and very busy which says something since both times I have gone they hadn't obtained their liquor license yet.
The Imperial Buffet is a typical Canadian Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant which features an electic blend of hot and cold Chinese and North American dishes. I realise that a lot of chowhounders would avoid this place like the plague because it is a buffet restaurant or because it is mostly faux chinese food but in comparison with other chinese buffet places I thought the place was worth the money (I went on a weeknight) and if you are bringing younger children they can usually find lots of things to eat.
Personally, I enjoyed their wonton soup (pork wontons in a savory broth), beef with broccoli (beef and broccoli stir fried together with a touch of onions), and breaded shrimp (deep fried shrimp).
Their BBQ spareribs (according to my date) and their chicken balls were overcooked and dry which I find is typical with a lot of buffet places. This could be masked on the chicken balls with a helping of their tangy sweet and sour sauce. I personally did not eat any of their North American food (i.e. french fries, onion rings, garlic bread, bangers) but the children eating in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying it.
There was a wide variety of desserts but I avoided them as per my usual habit at buffet restaurants. I find most buffet restaurants usually don't excel in the dessert department and I am usually disappointed so I have trained myself not to try them. Instead both times I ate there I chose the fresh fruit (i.e. strawberries, watermelon, honeydew melon) which were ripe (yet not over ripe) and pleasant tasting.
Overall, for a buffet restaurant I thought it was respectable (others on the board might disagree). However, if you want really authentic chinese food with no North American influences you shouldn't dine here.