£5 Chinese Buffet Dinner at London Chinatown21 September, 2009
London’s Chinatown is the best place for home-sick Singaporeans craving for chicken rice or any other Chinese food. However, at £8-10 for a plate of chicken rice, it is quite expensive to eat in some of these Chinatown restaurants.
Fret not because while walking around Chinatown, we saw 2 all-you-can-eat buffet Chinese restaurants! We wanted to try the cheaper £4.95 buffet but it looked like there are quite limited food varieties. As it was so cheap, there were also very limited quantities due to the huge crowd in the restaurant.
We decided to try the £8.50 buffet at the nearby Kowloon Restaurant because there seemed to be more variety and the food looked good from the outside. The boss of this restaurant is one clever marketer – by positioning all these food by the window, hungry and curious bypassers will gather at the window to look at what’s on offer at the restaurant. With this crowd standing by its window gawking at its food, the restaurant looked busy and popular, thus attracting more bypassers – a virtuous cycle for Kowloon Restaurant.
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Well, we were one of those curious and hungry people gawking at the food and we eventually succumbed to temptation and took up the buffet offer. The food is so-so in terms of taste and contains lots of carbohydrates – fried prawn, fried chicken, fried vegetables, thick noodles, thin noodles, rice.
Some simple strategies to maximise the value of your buffet meal – eat the more highly prized food (e.g. duck meat, prawns) first, food containing carbo fill up your appetite quicker so they should be KIV-ed.
There are a number of strict rules – you are allowed to dine in the restaurant for only 1.5 hour maximum and you can only use one plate at a time. The staff is always around to ensure the rules are followed – if not, they will give you a stern lecture. Also you will be charged if you have excess unconsumed food. Drinks are charged at exhorbitant rates – understandable business practice of buffet services (similar to what we experienced on the Prague dinner cruise buffet)
While it was stated at the window that the 10% service charge is optional, they have took it onto themselves to include it into the bill, assuming we will pay for their “excellent” service (which we did to avoid the fuss of arguing over 85 pence).
The only good thing about this Kowloon Restaurant is that you will feel very full and satisfying after the buffet meal, especially after a long day of walking and shopping around London.