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.
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?