Yosemite Vacation: Buffet Breakfast at Curry Village

Back to normal programming …

We had a rough night in those tents in Curry Village. It was so bloody cold. Moreover, me being such a hero, did not bring along even a light jacket for this trip. Suanne insisted everyone bring one but I thought, well, it’s summer … why would I need a jacket right? The blanket was so thin and SHORT … does not help a bit at all. I decided to wake up at 5AM and took a walk to warm myself up.

Everyone else woke up at 7AM. Decided that since this place is so rough, we let the boys go without brushing their teeth for today! I was amazed that Suanne allowed that. Well, considering we had to take a long cold walk to the bear lockers to grab our toiletries and then endure a long wait to use the limited washrooms, I guess it’s quite OK to skip brushing their teeth for once. They were happy.

About the only warm place that morning was the Curry Village Buffet. We did not plan on having another buffet since we had so many already in Las Vegas. It was either this or we take a bus to the Yosemite Lodge.

_MG_6681_edited-1

Service was atrocious even though it was a buffet. The people who worked there are obviously seasonal workers who does not care to give us a fake smile or a fake greeting. No eye contact … mono-syllable communication … in another words, just plain rude, if you ask me. After a rough night, I admit I am quite cranky … but these kind of attitude will not bring these workers far in life. Sorry for being so judgmental! I had already decided then and there … no tip whatsoever for you guys … sorry.

The good part is this place is warm.

_MG_6671_edited-1

There were lots of food though. Count on this as standard American breakfast fare. It was quite good and we enjoyed it.

_MG_6672_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Las Vegas Vacation: Carnival World Buffet at Rio

We got up extra early that last morning in Vegas as we had a long day driving from Vegas to Yosemite. This is one breakfast we know we want to load up on as we have no plans to stop for lunch until we get to Yosemite.

Since Rio is known as an All-Suite hotel, I figure that they would be worth checking out. The Rio hotel is not located along the The Strip but a few blocks west of the South Las Vegas Blvd. Driving down the Strip, one would not miss noticing the red and blue tower.

_MG_6506_edited-1

The Carnival World Buffet is known to be the first buffet in Las Vegas to have multiple action stations and the buffet that introduces high-end buffets to Las Vegas.

Rio’s buffet is quite cheap compared to Bellagio’s. Here is what I gleaned from their website:

  • Breakfast $13.99 plus tax, 7am-11am Mon-Fri, 7:30am – 10:30am Sat-Sun
  • Lunch $16.99 plus tax, 11am-3:30pm Mon-Fri
  • Dinner $23.99 plus tax, 3:30pm-10pm Nightly
  • Saturday & Sunday Champagne Brunch $23.99 plus tax, 10:30am-3:30pm

They have several electronic payment machines, much like an ATM to make your payment. I was very impressed and thought why didn’t the other buffets do this.

_MG_6510_edited-1

We were there early at slightly past 7AM. There were hardly anyone around when we were there.

The buffet tables were the longest we have ever seen. What you see below is just perhaps a quarter of the buffet counters around. They are arranged by themes. The food are more authentic than any we have ever been to.

_MG_6512_edited-1

The fresh carved meats was our favorite station. The meat were just fresh out from the ovens. Don’t you just love it seeing steam rising as they carved the meats? I do.

_MG_6534_edited-1

I know this is breakfast but I just must have the prime roast. I figured this will be the last time we’re gonna have this until we get to Reno … so why not eat to our fill, right?

_MG_6525_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Las Vegas Vacation: Bally’s Big Kitchen Buffet

Updated: 11th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Our original plan was to try that go-just-before-they-change-menu stunt at the Flamingo’s Buffet. I had thought that they operate the the same way as the other buffets which they change their lunch spread to dinner spread at about 4’ish every day. It would have been absolutely awesome as we wanted to be able to watch live flamingos in a lush garden while enjoying our buffet. But … their brunch ends at 2:30PM and then re-opens at 4:30PM for dinner. Shoot! They are closed for two hours in between meal times.

We did not have a Plan B. So, the closest nice place we can think of is Bally’s across the street. From the looks outside and the name itself, it seemed like a nice place for a buffet. We had no idea what this looked like. It was pretty hot that day and we did not feel like hotel hopping to scout for a better buffet. Moreover, our intention is still to pull the 4PM menu-change stunt and we are running out of time. Bally’s it was.

_MG_6474_edited-1

We’ve been spoilt. I can’t help but comparing the Bally’s Big Kitchen Buffet to Paris’ and Bellagio’s. For one, they don’t have long queues. When we walked in just before 4PM, there were no one at the cashier’s and only a few tables were taken.

_MG_6493_edited-1

The buffet tables had a very simple layout. It’s located in a corner section of the dining room. Price wise, it was $64 for the four of us.

_MG_6475_edited-1

They were pretty generous with the Prime Roast and sliced a thick piece even without us asking for a extra thick one. Needless to say, Arkensen and I had several of this.

_MG_6477_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Las Vegas Vacation: Breakfast AND Lunch at Le Village Buffet

We decided to go to Paris for another buffet in the morning. To me, Paris is one of the classiest hotels on The Strip. Its very well planned and especially for one who had been to Paris recently, I could related to many of the designs in this hotel, in particular the Eiffel Tower, the Arc du Triomphe, the Fountain and Louvre.

_MG_6227_edited-1

The interior is designed like you’re walking down a cobbled Paris street in an evening. I love that feeling especially in the front entrance and the casino area where it does not feel overwhelmingly casino-ey.

_MG_6229_edited-1

The Le Village Buffet came highly recommended from a lot of friends as being the best buffet. It is one of the expensive ones, like Bellagio.

MammaViv told us that once they went to Le Village at 10:30AM and ended up having both breakfast and lunch at the same time. This is because Le Village changes their breakfast spread to lunch at 11:00AM. So, we decided to give that tactic a try to land a larger choices of buffet items for a lower breakfast price.

I thought I had timed it well. Well, I thought if I had gotten to Le Village by 10:15AM, I would have been OK to be able to get in by 10:30AM. To my surprise, the buffet line was already long at that time when we got there! Comparing this line with Bellagio’s, I estimated that it will take 30 minutes or even longer to get in. Fortunately, the line went faster than I anticipated and left us time to sample their breakfast spread.

_MG_6230_edited-1

The bill was $64 for the 4 of us. It’s more expensive for lunch but don’t have the numbers. I think it’s really cheap after what we had spent for Bellagio’s dinner buffet.

_MG_6233_edited-1

Everyone would love how Le Village is setup. It is designed like a French village square. You get a choice of sitting “out” in the courtyard or in one of the “buildings” along the sides. We were shown the “outdoor” table — just what we wanted.

Even though we learned that the buffet tables were organized by provincial cooking style in France, I did not even pay attention to it at all.

_MG_6236_edited-1

I like that they came by with a flask of coffee just as we sat down even without us asking for it. Suanne and I need our coffee every morning.

Oh, I expected to be greeted in French … well, at least a Bon Jour. The only frenchy thing about the waitress was her uniform.

_MG_6238_edited-1

You know what disappointed me the most? They don’t serve baguette! I was so looking forward to trying good old French baguette here and was pretty sure they would have it — but no, none at all. I guess behind the facade, this is also very much an American breakfast.

_MG_6243_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Las Vegas Vacation: Lucky 7’s Buffet at Plaza Casino

Updated: 11th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Really, this is unplanned for! Although we had planned for buffets in Las Vegas we had just wanted to get a small(er) meal for dinner. Well, walking down Fremont Street we can’t help but notice a sign that said $7.77 All Day Every Day Buffet. After spending almost $30 per head the previous two days, this is a bargain we can’t resist. No harm right? At the very least, we could just go in and check it out.

This was at the Plaza Hotel Casino and the Buffet is called the Lucky 7’s Buffet.

_MG_6339_edited-1

Bad move … first we see a long queue into the buffet which means one thing … that this is popular. And then checking what they served, oh boy, this is exactly what we like. Lots of meat and some comfort food. The boys love these no frills buffet … i.e. they enjoy sushi, burgers, fries, beef over crabs, seafood, and such.

One cannot compare this buffet in any form with The Buffet at Bellagio — not in any stretch of imagination. It’s just a simple buffet … why, even the buffet we had at Ole Country Buffet is posh compared to this. 🙂 Still, they have more food choices than I would care to try everything.

_MG_6320_edited-1

Arkensen and I loves meat … particularly roast prime beef … and only medium rare. This is really juicy and had the perfect amount of fat.

_MG_6321_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Las Vegas Vacation: The Buffet at Bellagio

Las Vegas is not only about casinos … it is also known as the buffet capital of the world. There must be dozens of buffets all over the city in various types. There are buffets that costs under $10 and there are those that costs up to $40.

We decided to try The Buffet at Bellagio because they claim to be the best (and one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive) in Las Vegas. Whatever it is, two words describes Bellagio best — High Elegance.

_MG_6182_edited-1

The Buffet at Bellagio serves American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Seafood cuisine. The attraction is their Alaska King Crabs and Kobe Beef. We had never tried Kobe Beef before but only found out that they only serve Kobe Beef on weekends.

_MG_6123_edited-1

We were at The Buffet at about 5:00pm which we thought is early before the queue starts. We were wrong. Even at 5pm there was a line which stretches out to the entrance. The wait was supposed to be about 45 minutes from where we were.

_MG_6127_edited-1

After waiting for about 20 minutes, someone gave us their Line Pass which allows us to get on the shorter line. We got in in just 3 minutes in the shorter line. We were pretty pleased with it. He he he … we felt pretty important too.

_MG_6124_edited-1

Here are the rates for The Buffet:

  • Breakfast 7am-11am: $14.95
  • Lunch 11am-4pm: $19.95
  • Dinner 4pm-10pm: $27.95
  • Sat & Sun Champagne Brunch 7am-4pm:
  • without champagne: $23.95
  • with champagne: $28.95
  • Fri & Sat Gourmet Dinner 4pm-10pm: $35.95

There are no discount rates for children at The Buffet. All kids pay full price!! Obviously they deliberately do this to discourage families eating here.

_MG_6125_edited-1

The buffet islands and counters were bright and clean. We had a first visual sweep of the entire area and had a tough time deciding where to start. For sure, there are no way we could try everything that is available as much as we try to get only bite size servings as much as we can.

_MG_6135_edited-1

At the dining area, the seating, tables and lightings were comfortable, not plush. However, the table settings were good … no paper napkins, silverware and such. Oh well, we are here more for the food.

Service was prompt and they kept our glasses filled and took our plates away as soon as we’re done.

_MG_6161_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading

Old Country Buffet in Bellingham

With the strong Canadian Dollar these days, everything in the US seems like a bargain. Just a couple of weeks ago, we found cheap airfares from Bellingham to Las Vegas (and Reno). We tried booking tickets from the website but to our dismay, they wanted to charge something like $60 in total for convenience fees. However, if we were to buy the tickets from the ticketing counter in the Bellingham airport, we will save the $60 bucks. So, being so stingy that we are, we decided to take a short drive down Bellingham to get the tickets and at the same time pop by our favourite buffet … the Old Country Buffet at the Bellis Fair Mall.

_MG_5752_edited-2

We had eaten here countless times the past few years. We like this place a lot. It’s clean, efficient and the food is quite OK. Arkensen and Nanzaro loves this place because they can eat all the fries, fried chicken and spaghetti they want. I know … they still haven’t gotten the idea of going for the right stuff yet.

If I recall correctly, it was much cheaper the last few times we were here. Now, they have what they call “Saturday and Sunday, Dinner Whole Day”. That means that they charge the full dinner price no matter what time you’re there. Arkensen and Nanzaro has to pay full adult price … and that adds up to almost CAD$50 including tips.

Here are some of the stuff Suanne and I had between the two of us …

_MG_5719_edited-1

Suanne and I always try to grab a plate from different stations and share between the two of us. That way, we get to try a smaller bit of everything.

From the “Meat” station, we had the carved roast beef which was really tender and succulent. There is also ham, baked chicken, corn beef hash and fried fish cutlet.

_MG_5720_edited-1

From the “Entree” station, we had the fried chicken. We love their fried chicken — they were large, and very crispy. We also had some baked fish.

_MG_5721_edited-1

From the “Vegetables” station, we tried some spaghetti, fried shrimp, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and some cheesy spinach.

_MG_5723_edited-2 (more…)

Continue Reading

KL Series: Coffee Terrace Buffet in Genting Highlands

I brought Nanzaro and his two cousins, Zhen Yiong and Shen Ern, to the mountain resort of Genting Highlands. I am surprised that Nanzaro had got on so well with his two cousins because the last he saw them was when he was only four.

Genting Highlands is about an hour drive away from KL. Since I do not have a car to get around, we decided we take a bus and cable car to the resort. Genting Highlands is famous for its casino. As a matter of fact Genting Highlands existed purely from the casino. However, it is also here that the biggest theme park is located.

The cable car ride (called the Genting SkyWay) was spectacular with breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain and thick rainforest. On a clear day, one can even see KL from the gondolas.

IMG_9642

Genting Highlands had the largest hotel in the world with over 6000 rooms (bigger than the MGM in Las Vegas). The two colourful hotel blocks is known as the First World Hotel. We were there primarily for the theme park and, of course, the food.

IMG_9663

There are basically two theme parks — simply called the Outdoor Theme Park and the Indoor Theme Park. We bought passes to both theme parks. Nanzaro enjoyed himself and was the leader for the day, dictating to his older cousins what they are going to ride next.

IMG_9650

The Indoor Theme Park was impressive and much bigger than I thought. There is even an indoor roller coaster there — it was the boys favourite as they went on the same roller coaster a few times. The lines were not too bad with waits of about 10 minutes (I remember some of Disneyland’s wait times were 60 minutes!).

IMG_9665

There were also a lot of very nice food outlets throughout the resort. Why, there were five buffet outlets too. I decided to go for the grandest of the five buffet at the Coffee Terrace. Adults costs about RM42 (less than CAD$15) each with kids under 12 at 50% discount.

_MG_9678

The ambiance in the restaurant was nice and the place spacious and clean. It was certainly worth the price they charged. The buffet is not one of those places with a table spread. Rather, they had sections specializing in certain types of food with cooks/chefs preparing them on order.

IMG_9688

I did not know where to start and just went to the closest counter and took some from the Western counter.

IMG_9681 (more…)

Continue Reading

Tasty Sweets and Restaurant in Surrey

Updated: 28th Jan 2015; This restaurant has changed name to Taj Sweets & Restaurant.

There was a four-page spread on the newspaper the other day on lunch for under $10. We love these type of articles. It’s because we always try to find new places to eat out every week. Sometimes, we just plain run out of ideas.

Since it was a long weekend last week, we decided to travel a bit further for food. We ended up in Surrey’s Tasty Sweets and Restaurant, located on 12047, 80th Avenue. It’s one of those Indian restaurants that has a side counter where they sell all kinds of traditional Indian sweets.

_MG_6404

We went for the Buffet Lunch which costs $8.99 per person. The spread was not a lot but it most certainly made up for the lack of quantity with quality. The main items on the buffet are:

  • Butter Chicken
  • Chicken Tandoori
  • Chilli Paneer
  • Palak Paneer
  • Channa Masala
  • Goat Masala

Not a lot right? But the quality certainly did not disappoint us at all. They use the best of spices and meat.

_MG_6395 (more…)

Continue Reading

Quilon Restaurant in Richmond

Quilon was closed for the Canada Line Project.

Zee treated me to lunch yesterday to celebrate my belated birthday. She has been an awfully sweet and generous person. I am so glad to have a neighbor like Zee — she treats me like her own sister and I feel so honoured! Zee likes to take a walk at the South Arm Park and has often invited me along. People like Zee are a rarity these days. So, Zee, this entry is dedicated to you.

Zee bought me lunch at the Quilon Restaurant. Quilon has repeatedly been voted as the No 1 Indian Cuisine restaurant in Richmond. It is located on No 3 Rd and Westminster Highway.

Quilon is the old name for Kollam, a city in the Kerala state in south India.

IMG_5025_edited-1

We had the buffet which costs $8.95 each. Oh dear, another buffet again! I mean, I like food but ends up regretting stuffing myself too full. I know it but yet I do that again and again!

Well, the buffet spread wasn’t big but made up by the quality. I love the crispy Papadums (lentil crackers) as an appetizer. This one is good because it’s not oily like the ones that I used to eat in Malaysia.

IMG_5013_edited-1

The main selection of the buffet is the ever popular Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken. They were awesome. The butter chicken is made in tomato and cream sauce — rich and creamy. The tandoori is chicken marinated in yogurt and spices for 24 hours before they are baked in a traditional clay oven. Zee swears that Quilon has the bestest Tandoori chicken in Vancouver.

IMG_5014_edited-1 (more…)

Continue Reading
Close Menu