AYCE

Saffron Indian Cuisine

There’s so much to love about Indian food. From tandoori to tikka masala, paneers to pakoras and kormas to kebabs, Indian cuisine is wide-ranging, extremely flavorful and virtually everywhere these days. A great way to experience it is in buffet form. A darn good and very popular spot is Saffron Indian Cuisine in Burnaby.

Saffron offers up a lunch time buffet for $12.99. With twelve hot items, naan, fresh salads and a couple really good desserts, it’s a decent value.

Sorry for the mediocre photos…they don’t do these items justice at all. The mainstays here are butter chicken, tandoori chicken, saffron rice and usually a biryani and curry of some kind…usually beef or lamb. Every now and then they offer a korma and/or masala as well as at least two veggie items.

Now, onto the Indian food porn!

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Royal City Thai

Writing a review for a restaurant can, at times, be tricky. In this case, I visited an incredible Thai restaurant (Tom Yum Thai) two days before this visit to Royal City Thai. Unfortunately, ANY meal that close on the heels of Tom Yum Thai will suffer in comparison.

As with Tom Yum, Royal City Thai used to be a coffee shop/diner. Weirdly, both left the old cafe sign above their new awning.

Royal City Thai offers an all-you-can-eat menu on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 to 2:30 for $12.95. I had assumed that meant a buffet table. When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was an AYCE menu to order from.

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Kingsway Sushi

There’s something slightly different when a group of folk gather for all-you-can-eat. For some at the table, it’s a challenge to see if you can put back twelve bucks worth of food. Most often you’ll pay for a dish, sight unseen and pay what the menu says. With AYCE, one is given the opportunity to try and gorge himself in the hope of getting ultimate value in his meal. It’s a no-win situation. Even if you succeed in stuffing yourself silly with said amount of mediocre food, you’ll inevitably wind up regretting it. The slow and steady approach is obviously the best. Right now, I’m about midway between the smart, slow method and the “Load the table, let’s eat!” tact.

After several visits to Kingsway Sushi, I’ve come to realize “more isn’t good”. It’s best to figure out and order the better menu items than to haphazardly order everything off the list. In this case, the majority of the menu is fairly decent.

Kingsway Sushi is one of a handful of Chinese-owned Japanese AYCE restaurants in the Burnaby-New West area. None of them are exceptional, but this spot offers up quite a few tasty options.

This is also one of the most efficient AYCE places around. The servers, armed with PDA’s, send your order to the kitchen. The pre-made appetizers arrive in the blink of an eye.

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Kedah House

All-you-can-eat can oftentimes be a double-edged sword. Most of the time you may think you’re getting a good deal, but, more often than not, you wind up with several plates of crap. Every now and then, if you look hard enough, you can find value and a damn good buffet. At Kedah House you get both.

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The highlight here is the Beef Rendang (lower right). Chunks of stewing beef are simmered in coconut milk and seasoned with a paste of ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, tumeric, lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise and chillies.

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