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Feb 24, 2004 08:19 PM

Where is the best Asian buffet...really?

  • c

I've been skimming the buffet threads and found conflicting reviews. I had thought Imperial Buffet was deemed the best deal around, but it didn't get good ratings from some people. I'd like go out to a buffet this weekend. What, IYHO, is the best in terms of quality and value? Thanks.

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  1. China Buffet King on Metroplitan Rd (Warden Ave at 401) is our choice. As stated before, lots of Asian and Chinese clientele. Good Peking duck and decent sushi bar. I think price on weekends for dinner is $18 or $19. There are cheaper buffets but you generally get what you pay for. I suggest going between 6 and 8/8:30 pm as the food turns over quickly whereas if you go later, some of the food gets steamed and they can run out of a few popular items.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dial

      I like China Buffet King as well.

      Another one that I find quite decent is the Mandarin on Woodbine between Steeles and Hwy.7 (on the west side). I work around there, so the lunch during weekday is quite economical at $7.99. Not all Mandarins are equal - but this one is pretty good. Weekend dinner prices bust through the roof at something like $24.99 - and for that price - I'd rather eat elsewhere.


      1. re: dial

        Hmmm.... Maybe times have changed. I went to the China Buffet King at Warden/401 probably in summer 2002, taking my family for lunch, and it was really memorable as being disappointing. It was so bad that I was directing people away from the place for months.

        My father had taken us all to the Richmond Hill branch of China Buffet King a while back, and I remember the food as fine (although I didn't especially like eating Chinese food is such a large barn). When I got to out for a Chinese buffet, I have to say that I lower my expectations considerably. I love Indian buffets -- the stews improve with slow cooking -- but most Chinese food that I eat is usually cooked in smaller batches and served quickly.

        P.S. Our family is ethnic Chinese, so we get more than our share of Chinese cooking.

      2. I second the comments on China Buffet King espcially the one at Warden and 401. I found that one is better than the other ones. You could also try Star Wok at the Silver Star Blvd (close to Steeles, just behind Staples). Price is more or less the same as China Buffet King and also offers quite a large variety of food. On weekends, it has fried Vancouver cabe with green onion and giner. I like the satay as the meat is tender but of course, buffet is buffet, you cant compare it with a la carte. Ask them about the menu when you make reservations as it changes.

        1. On the north side of Steeles, just east of Woodbine/404. I've only been there for lunch during the week and I find the food of a reasonable variety and quality...unlike the bland Mandarin up Woodbine. By the numbers of Chinese diners, as well as the people who must work close by - who should also be well versed with chinese food considering the neighborhood - I would say eating here would not be a mistake.

          Also been to the restaurant in the corner of the plaza at Warden and hwy 7 many, many times. However, I would have a plan B the next time I go as they have gone thru management/ownership changes a few times which closed the place. But the food is the same whenever it opened again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: neighborguy

            I don't think that I've been to this buffet since it was Ho Shim Buffet, and I walked up to a locked door. (This is one or two years ago, and maybe two to three years before that, the location with a Town & Country Buffet).

            I've always liked Ho Shim in the First Canadian Place (downtown) for its korean beef (in particular galbi ribs). Ho Shim Buffet was good for lunch, although the beef wasn't a good as served fresh. They used to have good turnover on the Korean pancakes. One annoying thing was that they would only serve sushi to people two pieces at time, and they would go off shift for 20 minutes.

            The other thing that I found a bit off about mixed Asian buffets is that -- in my mouth -- I find that the different cuisines clash. In particular, I find it jarring to switch from Japanese soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman) to Chinese soy sauce (e.g. Pearl River Bridge). I've learned to stay on one side or the other of that strait that separates the countries. (On the other hand, I like sushi from Korean restaurants better than Japanese restaurants, and find no issue in having a sushi appetizer followed by Korean beef).

            Is Buffet City now a Chinese buffet, or is it mixed Asian cuisines? Which cultures predominate?

            1. re: divirtual

              This place has a bit of everything so any sort of context does not apply here. There's a sushi counter, and a small but decent sim sum selection - but you can also get kimchee next to egg foo yong. The next aisle has roast beef, and there's a counter of deserts.

              Myself, I go for the dim sum, sushi, and stir-fry, which seem to be made with some Chinese soul - the stuff actualy has flavour, unlike the steam-tabled blandness at the friendly Mandarin up Woodbine. I have tried to train my co-workers but I still have to throw an evil eye when some of them go for the french fries. There should also be something said for a place that has multiple couldrons of soups.

          2. I like Star Walk International Buffet on Silver Star Blvd. A block away east from Pacific Mall on Steeles. I've only been there for lunch, which was $9 Mon-Fri and $10.50 Sat-Sun, everything was pretty good, and they have the good quality dim sum dishes (the basics like siu mai, har gow, etc.) and a few maki rolls also (salmon, tuna, cali, etc.). I still haven't tried out their dinner buffet, but it looks awesome. they have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Western foods. Included sushi, sashimi, thailand satay, peiking duck, steak, etc. I believe it's $16 on weekdays, and $19 on weekends for the dinner.