I posted a review for dinner at this place a month ago. I re-visited this place during lunch hour and find the value of the money paid to be a bit different. As a result, I decided to write another review: this time for lunch.
I was charged $8.99 per-tax and pre-tips for lunch. Surprisingly, I found out that the food that they serve for lunch and dinner are extremely similar and have very significant overlap -- though management of the place may say otherwise. The dinner experience from my previous review was for Friday dinner and the lunch experience here that I am writing about now is for Thursday lunch. For this price, $8.99, the *value* would get a four star rating, but I will only give it a 3-star rating in this review and I will explain why later. What really is sad about this is that, with significant overlap of food choices, they charge $8.99 for lunch and then charge $16.9x for dinner. Yes, I understand that in the industry, dinner is usually more expensive, but that also comes with food of better quality or of larger portion. This is a buffet and one cannot justify by stating that people eat more at a buffet during dinner than during lunch. I personally feel that the management charges $16.9x just to see if they can get away with it. Can this be justified? I believe people need to vote with their own wallet. I can justify spending $8.99 having lunch here but I cannot justify spending $16.9x if the food served is more or less the same.
Quality of food -- nothing to brag about and nothing to complain about. At least this time, I do not find a piece of tomato with a rotten spot. I found that in my friend's plate during my last visit. The hot and sour soup still is dosed with excessive amout of thicking agent, with a texture similar to warm, melted jelly.
Here is the part why I withdraw my originally promised 4-star rating and replace it with a three-star rating on value. I do think this place has management problems and again I do hope management read this and do something about this. I arrived for lunch on a Thursday morning around 11:45. When I walked in, at least 2-3 buffet island has not been filled with food. They were just empty and this includes the mongolian barbeque food selection station and the sushi station. Around 12:10pm, the food selection station for Mongolian barbeque is ready and around 12:15pm, they bring out the first plate and place it solo on the sushi buffet island. It was some seedweed in bean-curd shell. Any customer who arrives early and does not stay long will be disadvantaged. My personal view on this is that when a buffet restaurant opens for business, food should be more or less ready for everyone. Instead they take their time to serve the food and if you do not stay long enough, you don't get to enjoy everything -- though you pay the same as everyone else. My personal view again on this is that you may get better value for your money for lunch if you arrive around 12:30 -- when the majority of the selection is available to you.
All in all, lunch may be worthwhile and dinner has very little value.