I came out of the eye clinic opposite ready for a bit of lunch and didnt want to walk far with the eye drops still making it painful in sunlight due to iris dilation. Mr Wing next door was our first choice, but doesn't open for lunch midweek. So opposite was this place. Ive been there once before when it was a rather dire buffet restaurant, then it was closed down, apparently following a raid by immigration, and now its back under a new name and hopefully under new management,
Premises looked OK, so we took a bit of a gamble and waltzed in. It's rather canteen like and cavernous with lots of noise reflected from the hard floor and ceiling surfaces. The place was pretty empty when we first arrived, but we were politely shown to a table next to a family with 3 screaming and very effevescent kids. Actually noisy kids seemed to be de rigeur in this eatery, as the place filled up with more and more young families and mums with gran and toddlers. Behind the seating area was the food buffet area. Two central serving areas had starters in one along two sides, and the other had mains, also along two sides. An ice cream fridge was to the right, and a dessert buffet was to the left.
Across the back was a "Teppanyaki" station, where they also had roast duck and char siu hanging up ready for chopping. I like to see duck hanging in a chinese restaurant, its usually a good sign. I suspect this area was at extra charge as I didnt see anyone trying it.
The deal is a buffet lunch for £7.50. You can help yourself to whatever you like and you get a glass of fizzy drink thrown in. Actually it wasn't thrown in, it was genteely served. Usually I dont expect much from chinese service, but this was an exception.Iin fact I left a tip.
The food was a good stab at Chinese variety, but with a good eye on the costs. For example there was dim sum - three varieties. The steamed prawn/pork dumpling was delicious, the char siu pau not so good, and containing lincolnshire herby sausage rather than char siu. The pork and cabbage bun was oven baked, rather than steamed, and had forensic amounts of meat inside a rather dull and stodgy case..
The starters had all the stuff you usually find on such buffets - cheap and stodgy processed party foods which you can get from Iceland or Asda. There was seaweed there, and we did find the dim sum here, but essentially we gave this servery a miss. The chips seemed to be popular with other customers.
So we went on to the duck. Now this was excellent. The previous restaurant on this site didnt serve duck in the buffet, but we enjoyed it immensely. Complete with plum sauce, pancakes, cucumber and spring onion. f I went back, it would be for this dish.
The main courses were about 8 or so varieties of dishes with rice and chow mein staples. The rice was fantastic, full of flavour in a way only the chinese can do. I had seconds on the rice.
There was delicious roast chicken, tender and juicy which had chopped garlic and soy sauce accompanyments if you wanted them. Next to that was chinese roast belly pork (looked very fatty of course so I gave that one a miss) and some pork cooked as a char siu roast. Pork loin it wasnt, it was chewy and tough, and quite gristlly. Tried it but left it. There were the remains of a nice beef dish, braised in soy sauce - brisket or shin beef - with some veges in it it was very tasty. The sweet and Sour chicken Hong Kong style had no chicken left in it. so I gave that a miss. The curry had gone, but was refreshed so I tried it later - it wasn't good. Nice chicken but terrible, very thin curry sauce. There was another dish that looked like the braised beef, but done with pork, then a load of vegetarian dishes, some of which looked ok. First time Ive seen mushrooms in black bean sauce.
Dessert are never great in chinese restaurants, and this was no exception. Im not even going to mention them, except to say that some of the dessert offerings were Haribo sweets and choccy covered raisins. A variety of dodgy-looking cakes and some tinned fruit comlimented the very basic and bog standard ice cream (Iceland again?).
It was a filling meal, and there were occasional gems there tucked in among the basic cheap fillers. It was a lot better than the previous terrible buffet restaurant that was open here before. £15 for 2 including drink seemd OK value. I'd gladly pay that for the duck, chicken and rice I had, and now Ive tried the mains that would be my meal there if I was to return.
Its cheaper than Mizu and Mr Wing, both of which are considerably better places to eat. It's about as good as The Golden Dragon, (but I havent been there since I saw the current council food hygiene rating was 1 out of 5). So yes it will be fine for a quick cheap meal for a family, and which explains why the lunchtime clientelle were all young mums and pensioners. Students and Carb lovers would be delighted there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.