Updated 20th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.
Let’s cut to the chase.
King Buffet has got to be the restaurant with the cheapest and the most-est breakfast in Metro Vancouver. For quantity, no one comes close at all.
Until now, the places with the best value was Bon’s off Broadway ($2.95 breakfast) and IKEA ($1.00 breakfast).
King Buffet’s breakfast is “better” in that it is all you can eat and has 40 different items … all for $4.95 only.
King Buffet is newly opened. They took over the space left by Hon’s in the Empire Center on No 3 Road. Frankly, I had never bothered to give it a second glance assuming that Chinese buffets can never be good.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they had put up a big sign outside. What caught my interest was the breakfast, not the others. For just $4.95, I was thinking that chowtimes readers would be interested to read about it — whether it is good or not. I mean, who can resist checking out a $5 AYCE.
Think about it … FIVE BUCKS!
Five bucks is like loose change. Even knowing it is no where near gourmet quality, what is there to lose, right?
We walked in with low expectations. We were bowled over by how clean the restaurant is.
Why, they even have chandeliers on the ceiling. And also the table tops were heavy marbles. They also have a wine bar at one end of the restaurant which I am not sure if it is a fake and for show only.
Gosh, we were so impressed. This place looks many times better than when it was Hon’s.
The restaurant is as big as it was but there just a few tables taken. At best it was a third full only.
Service was pretty good. They came by to fill the glasses for us and I saw that they also go around chatting with customers (not with us though). However, they can hardly speak English except for one waitress.
When we went in we only knew it was $5. We did not know what they had, nor do we know how many items there were.
Suanne and I went around and counted the number items. It was 40 items. OMG! It is just 12 cents per item if you were to just have an item each. Here is the breakdown of the items:
- 13 hot Chinese items including congee and condiments
- 15 Chinese and Western salad including cold noodles
- 2 types of Dim Sum items
- 6 types of fruit
- 3 types of jello
- 4 types of cakes
- 4 types of ice-creams
Hey, that is 47 items, not 40.
What do you think? Excited to read more? Here is more …
It was great to discover the dim sum station with the baskets staked high. We opened each one of them and they were all buns. Fat chance there will be siu mai or har gow. LOL!
If there is, taking two baskets will be worth more than $5 already.
There are two types of buns. The bun was soft and fluffy but the filling (red bean paste) is so small. This is like 80% dough and 20% fillings.
I do want to apologize. I do take good pictures and I do photoshop the pictures to make it look more appetizing than it really is.
I am saying this because the food here is best described as EDIBLE.
Just that … edible.
The potato puffs, spring roll and fried rice were pretty tasteless. But the fried vermicelli is OK but kind of too cold. The fried vermicelli has flavour because it was fried with soya sauce.
However the fried thick Shanghai noodle was quite tasteless. The pot stickers cannot be described as good. Let’s leave it at that.
At least they had tea eggs. I love tea eggs. How can anyone go wrong with tea eggs, right?
There were marbling but the egg white is pretty much … well … egg white. This is not tea egg. This is a pretend tea egg.
Real tea egg must look like what you see at the bottom of this post here.
The cold noodles and spicy seaweed really gave me a shudder when I took a bite. It was tough like it was barely cooked. I took a bite and left it aside. Suanne, Nanzaro and Arkensen all did not want to touch it even though I told them if we did not finish all the food, they will charge us for it.
The daikon and carrot pickles were so-so.
They even have congee and some congee condiments like salted peanuts, kimchee and jar choy. The peanuts were soft and flat, the kimchi is so curled up that am not sure how long it had been served.
The jello was colourful … and … yeah, it was colourful.
The fruits were obviously not choice selections. You can see from the flesh of the cantaloupe, honey dew and pineapple. The rest of them were good.
Coffee (not shown) was terrible. I don’t know how anyone could make coffee like that. Suanne thought the cakes, palmier and fried bun were OK.
You know, like they say … “Delicious food not cheap. Cheap food not delicious”.
It wasn’t entirely bad. You just have to keep in mind that it is only $5 and that it is AYCE. Some people who are not fussy eaters would probably love this breakfast.
Maybe Suanne and I had became food snob although we will not admit to it. However, our boys says it was good. LOL! I asked them what was good and they said the potato puffs were good. *roll eyes*
Anyway, here you eat first and then pay after you have finished your meal. We asked the waitress how do they control the charges between breakfast and lunch. We were told that if people come in during breakfast time but leave after lunch is served, they will be charged for lunch price. So you want to time your visit correctly.
The breakfast hours is from 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Lunch starts at 11:00 AM to allow a 30 minutes period to transition from breakfast to lunch.
Please note that King Buffet accepts MC and Visa even for a $5 AYCE!
So … would you try the $4.95 AYCE breakfast at least once just to see what it is like?
This Post Has 26 Comments
I am going to take my friends here just to try it out!
Would you ever go back for lunch or dinner?
Hi DesignGirl: For $16 for dinner, I would probably not go. I can have quite a lot of other choices at that kind of money. Maybe I’ll try the lunch since it is just $11 … hmmm … maybe not. LOL! I look forward to your post if you do decide to go for the lunch or dinner. Ben
I actually went there and tried the breakfast. That was last Friday. The whole time I was there I was the only customer. They had a little bit better selection. They have this salmon bones pieces in some kind of soup. And also a rice noodle soup with shrimps. I ate as much shrimps I can get minus the noodles. Also did that with the fried rice. Took most of the shrimps out of there. I agree on the coffee. It was terrible and it was even served lukewarm. So I had the warm soymilk as my beverage. Well its one of those things that once you tried it then thats it. Been there done that sort of thing.
Hi Ben and Crsispy
Atlleast it looks like value for money,am currently in the Philippines and have to tell you nothing is heavier then a traditional philippine breakfast.Anyway will try it when i am back.Ben I added Dagang Bukid Adobo style to my Buckets list of tried once and never more.I deliberate did not translate for your more sensitive readers.happy holidays
Hi Pinoy Gourmet. On my first read, I thought u wrote “dalagang bukid” which is a type of fish. Dagang bukid is a rice field rat. Hmmmm I dont think I will have that in my food bucket list. LOL
Anyway, Merry Christmas to you. I wish I was in the Philippines too celebrating Christmas there. I havent been back home for a long long time.
do they have bacon, sausages, or scrambled eggs for breakfast? that’s all i really need.
Hi Buddhaboy, no they dont have those stuff. Its more of a Chinese style breakfast. Lots of fillers such as fried rice, different types of fried noodles and very little meat dishes. The only eggs they have are the tea eggs.
BTW, if you want AYCE breakfast buffet with eggs bacons and others, you can try American Grille in Richmond.
Here is what they offer:
All Canadian Buffet $17.95
The Deluxe Good Start: Chef’s egg of the day, chicken and pork sausage, hickory smoked bacon, country style red skin potatoes, Belgium waffles, baked French
Toast, hot oatmeal, omelettes made to order and pan-fried eggs cooked to your liking
Hi Pinoy Gourmet: Rats huh? Take some pictures and share with us. Tell us more. Are the rats caught or are they raised? How much it is? Ben
Came here for lunch closer to when they first opened. There was definitely a bigger selection, I got my fill of ha gow and sui mai, and there were other item such as sushi/rolls, fried chicken, ss-pork, etc. Problem is, I couldn’t finish my food and not because I was full. Its probably good to try once, just to say you did, but I wouldn’t return for lunch or dinner. But 5$ breakfast, I might just have to make one more trip.
Hi Ben, do you want to meet there for lunch next week? I think you’re still off work next week arent you? I’m free mon or wed. Its best to go there early so that the food hasnt sat there for a while. Anybody else want to join us?
After this review, I don’t think I even want to go there. I like places with lots of dim sum selection. 🙂
OT: Does anyone know where is a good AYCE dim sum? My 7 y/o was wailing for it, “I want all you can eat dim sum”.
Lissa, they have more dimsum selections at lunch time. I dont know of any dimsum restaurant serving AYCE dimsum. I’d recommend going to Gala Seafoods in Richmond during the weekday morning and have their 2 dollar per order dimsums. You can order a lot and pay almost the same as an AYCE place. I’ve been there a few times and their dimsum is alright. Not high end but still good. Here’s Ben’s post on Gala dimsum.
Hi Crispy: Monday or Wednesday is fine by us. Given a choice I won’t want to go back to King Buffet. It’s not that I don’t like it but I just wanted to try new places. Are you OK with that? How about New Town in Chinatown. I want to check out their Amy Yip style buns. We can go together in my car. If that is not OK with you, I have a few other ideas … or we can go with your suggestion. Ben
Hi Ben. I just thought you’d want to try their lunch. I’ve already been there for lunch and although they have more selections (and dimsums) its still subpar food. Basically its you get what you paid for AKA, Good food not cheap, cheap food not good.
Anyway, as for Newtown, I wonder if they have that buns in their Richmond branch. Another suggestion would be the Filipino fast food place near Excelsior. Its Cucina Manila. fmed and the other Chowhounds went there for lunch and they liked it. Here’s their post.
Crispy and Lissa There is a AYCE dimsum at the Corner of Joyce and Kingsway beside Vancity<i forgot the name But its about 35 items AYCE for about 11$
OK its Fantastic Restaurant at 3309 Kingsway,Not Great Dimsum OK but edibile 3 out of 5 stars according to most reviews
Hi PinoyGourmet, wow you’re still up. Its already past 4 am there. Anyway, I checked Fantastic in Urbanspoon and it says the restaurant is closed.
Hi PinoyGourmet and Lisa: The Fantastic Restaurant is no longer there. That location had been taken over by the Spicy Legend Hot Pot Restaurant. Yeah, I remember that they had AYCE dim sum. Ben
Ben Natural Organic Rice Field Rats living in the ricefields ,Tasted like Cuy or Rabbit with lots of small bones,I tried it at a drinking session,Yes Alcohol does cloud your judgement and make you things you normally wouldnt. try,Recipe Follows 1 kilo field mice 2 tablespoons oil 4 table spoons chopped Garlic 6 tablespoons chopped onions 1 cup water 5 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 tablespoon whole peppercorn 1 tablespoon chili peppers diced.Clean mice removing all internal organs,head skin,tail,feet heat oil saute garlic add cleaned mice saute until meat is tender,Pour in water with soy sauce and remaining spices.simmer till tender afterwards let out a big miaowww with your pet cat.Yes I am a Cat person
Ben Thanks for the heads up on Fantastic Dimsum,i guess It wasnt fantastic enough to survive LOL.Lisa I will keep my eye for AYCE Dimsum when I get back
“I don’t think you need to ask if they accept credit card
or not.” And the answer is, they do accept credit cards.
Hi Mark: Thanks for verifying this. We had updated the post. We confirmed too that they do accept credit cards even for a $5 AYCE! We stand corrected and had updated the post! Ben
Awesome $5 AYCE breakfast. Load up your plate so you can skip lunch & possibly dinner also. That works out to be $2 per meal for the whole day. How can you beat such a deal? It’s the best no-brainer value meal in town.
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