My Asian buffet adventures in the States have been well-documented on this blog. The variety and sheer massive amount of food are rarely duplicated in Canada. Call it operating costs and more likely consumer demands that dictate the lack of such establishments locally. However, there is one new spot out in Langley that tries to emulate that type of buffet offering a mix of Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Nikita and Bluebeard, who live nearby, were curious about the place, so we met up along with Herbie the Lovebug and Lana Banana.
Considering the cost of $27.99 per adult (on weekends), there was not a lot of selection in terms of food.I tackled the hot food section first and it was a mish mash of Asian food with such items as Bulgogi, Spring Rolls, Chicken Karaage, Tempura, Short Ribs, Dungeness Crab and Broccoli Beef. The temperature of the food was the one thing that was quite troubling from the start - everything was stone cold. Despite being set in chaffing trays, the food must've been sitting there for who knows how long. For the record, we were there at 5:00pm. As surprised as I was to see dungeness crab, I wasn't shocked to find out it was really dead/frozen crab as the meat was mush. At least the fried items were not half bad.
The real draw here is the serve-yourself Sushi Bar and it was more or less acceptable given the venue. There was an okay selection of rolls, nigiri sushi and sashimi. Naturally, the rice was not exactly great, but it was alright with a slight chew albeit dry and somewhat mild tasting. The fish wasn't the best quality, but at the very least, it looked okay. I did find the salmon a bit too soft for my tastes while the tai was really chewy. One thing I liked was the saran wrap atop all of the sushi and sashimi as it kept things from drying out (despite the fact it made it hard to pick up items). Unlike the hot food section, the sushi was adequately stocked each time I went up. For example, they only had 5 pieces of prawn tempura available at anytime and that lasted all of 10 seconds.
Tucked at the back, there was a quasi "Salad" section with a few random desserts (including cubed Costco cheesecake). Back to the salads, there Banchan, Japchae, Kimbap, Sunomono, Spinach Gomae, Salad Roll and some strange Smoked Oyster appie. Nothing particularly exciting about this section but at the very least, everything was edible. However, the Kimbap had this weird cheese sauce on it that made it taste funny. Off to the right of the desserts, there was a beverage station that included various soft drinks and surprisingly a Sun Rype juice dispenser. Yet for $27.99, one would expect drinks to be included. Now this brings everything back to what is perceived value. For us, that was far too expensive for the variety and quality of food. I do realize it is impossible for a Canadian buffet to even come close to an American version. However, if this is the only attempt we've seen so far up here, then I'm much rather make a quick trip across the border.
- Only one of its kind at the moment as the rest have come and gone
- Okay service
- Clean and modern
- Hot food was cold
- Lack of selection for the price
- Mediocre eats