So I posed a question the other day.
I was telling you all in this post saying that:
Anyway, Suanne and I had plans already for an AYCE (all you can eat) place for lunch today. It’s a place where it costs nothing and no, this is not an invited media event. They don’t know us and you can get the same deal as us. This is exciting for us and we can’t wait to break the news to you all! Any one smart enough to know where this place is?
I got a few answers … very good answers. Before I go ahead and tell you where we went, I like to ask you where is your best and most memorable AYCE (all you can eat) or Buffet place?
In Vancouver, I seriously can’t think of any place that is good. Perhaps the closest to a good place is Ninkazu Japanese restaurant (post here).
The other place I like is the Eagles Buffet inside the Tulalip Casino near the Seattle Premium Outlets.
Some of our other more memorable ones are the ones above. You can click on the pictures above and it will bring you to the post.
But the best buffets are the ones we had in Asia (picture above is clickable to the post). The buffets in Asia have a wider variety of choices by far.
So back home, Suanne and I decided to do a little experiment. We had been debating between us about this place we had been visiting a long time already. I am sure many of you had been there before.
We go shopping in Costco quite a bit. Each time we go to Washington state, we always stop in Costco to buy groceries on the way home.
I wanted to go to Costco because I was telling Suanne that each time I go there I end up feeling full. It is because of all the samples they have.
Suanne said it is just in my mind. There is nothing much that will make one full. So I need to quantify this. I need to prove it once and for all.
We both had just a toast and coffee that morning. We made our way to the Costco in Richmond at 1:30 PM on a Saturday afternoon. We thought that would be the best time to go because they have the most customers and my theory says that they have the most free sample stalls opened up.
I had a game plan. First and foremost in my mind is to avoid detection. I don’t want Costco’s security to find out that I am taking pictures. Who knows they might have issue with that and then ban me for life from their warehouse store. So naturally, I can’t use the SLR. I had to use the iPhone.
Gosh, I felt like a thief. I had to get samples, then go to a quiet and bright enough corner to take pictures of the food. Yeah, some people were looking at me funny wondering what I was doing. I just flash a grin at them nosey customers.
We had to pretend to be shopping. We did not need to get anything since Suanne had done her shopping already a couple of days ago. So we just got two bottle of milk. The chocolate ones for the boys and the 1% ones, well, are to make Purin. Our boys loves the chocolate milk and can finish the bottle in two days if not for Suanne’s nagging that they finish it too fast.
You know, the milk from Costco is much cheaper especially the chocolate milk is about 60 cents cheaper than Real Canadian Superstore, Safeway or Save On Food.
Anyway … Wow, it seems like it is quite a balanced meal too. Look at what we had.
We started with bread with strawberry jam.
Then we had two servings of yogurt. One strawberry and another with granola.
The mains were really good too. There is:
- Gourmet Chicken Burger
- Bradwurst sausage
- Baked Butternut Squash
- Egg Rolls
It was hard work. One has to be patient with the buffet here. Since this is free, you can’t complain. We wanted to try the Instant Noodles. Rather it was I who wanted to try it. Suanne thinks I am crazy to wait by the book section for 15 minutes for the Kimchee noodle stand to open for business. The things she put up with marrying me.
Yeah, I do actually feel like a beggar. I was pretending to browse the books while observing from the distance. I don’t want the security people notice us behaving suspiciously. I can’t be thrown out before I accomplish my mission.
All we got for waiting 15 minutes was this small serving. The good thing is that you can go multiple rounds. However, if you choose to go multiple rounds, there are a few ground rules you must observe. Firstly don’t ever let them know you are there for seconds and thirds. Try not to make eye contact. Don’t ask questions. Quickly grab it and go.
Preferably take off your jacket or something the next time round so they cannot recognize you. If you do not have jacket, no problem. Just go to the jacket section and borrow one.
Bringing along sunglasses is a good idea — once with sunglassess, once without. If you do not have sunglasses, you can also go borrow one from the shelves somewhere.
We rounded up our meal with some cookies and choc bar.
That was our 11 course buffet. Absolutely free. I swear that the Costco buffet have a bigger spread last time we were there. I remember I had so much food there that I had to skip lunch. Maybe it was in the Costsco in Bellingham. Maybe it was the American version of Costco that had more food to sample.
I still have room in my tummy.
There was a long queue at the Costco concession. Since I could eat more, I decided to get something there while Suanne wait in line to pay for the two bottles of milk.
I always like Costco’s fries. It is extra crisp and bigger and longer. One thing I find is that the American Costcos does not have fries. Only the Canadian ones does. Yeah, I learned about this the hard way. I used to queue to order fries in the Costco in Washington state and even in Atlanta and was told they don’t have fries.
One other thing I like about Costco’s fries is that they have big paper cups that is able to hold lots of ketchup. I like lots of ketchup with fries.
Even the fries was not enough. We had time. I suggested that we visit another FREE All You Can Eat place I know of.
No. I strongly do NOT recommend the Free AYCE in T&T. Not only are the choices too few, the portions are stingily small too. There was nothing substantial to the food there. Maybe for a light breakfast but certainly not for lunch or dinner.
“Happy now?” Suanne asked.
“Yeah”, I said.
“Can we get real food?”
So we headed up stairs to the food court. We were surprised to see more stores opened since the last we came.
Although we wanted to also try the other stalls, we decided to just stick to our old favourite — O’Tray. We used to blog about O’Tray in this post. You gotta read it.
We got the Spicy Lamb Noodle from O”Tray.
It was creamy and nutty. Really nice.
This just proves that the buffets in Vancouver is not any good.