Undercover Buffet: New Taste Cafe

Billie Wong

A change in ownership, a new attitude and a new name aren't always the keys to success but when it comes to the New Taste Buffet you have a definite winner.

Located just across the street from the Grant Hall Hotel, in the building that previously housed Jin Xiu, the New Taste Buffet has all the makings of a decent mid-range buffet, especially at supper, for the budget conscience.

The physical problems associated with its predecessor, such as failing on surfaces in the washrooms or cluttered dirty dishes littering the tables for half an hour or more have been solved by an attentive staff who care about their customers experience.

The washrooms in need of desperate repair are now fixed and not looking like they sunk with the Titanic.

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The restaurant still has the same private booth feel to it and unlike it’s predecessor the booths have been repaired so you aren’t dodging underlying lumber and can relax.

Although this restaurant has gone through more than a few iterations the food here is in the good to great range.

The chicken wings are not stale, bland or greasy but have a great fresh taste to them.

The chicken balls were cooked to perfection with a great light texture that comes from great care and attention you expect from a lover. The sweet and sour sauce is provided on the side allowing you to pour the sauce onto these tender morsels to your own taste.

The deep fried shrimp was a little over-battered but still it does not have that over-cooked greasy feel to it.

The wonton soup takes a bit of a juncture from the regular wonton soup available elsewhere as it has a bolder, ginger taste to it. It may seem strange but it’s something new (New Taste, get it?) and maybe just an adventure a tad too far for some Moose Jaw buffet go-ers but at the same time it’s a welcome change.

The stir fried shrimp with its accompanying sauce is pleasant. The vegetables were just a tad overcooked but not to the point where it was objectionable. The shrimp are larger and not the small stuff or broken pieces you would witness in a bottom end buffet. The mushrooms were perfect.

The lemon chicken is cooked to perfection and although it wasn’t a large portion of the buffet table it still had the attention and love of the main course. The sauce balanced on a razor's edge between too tangy and too sweet; exactly where you want it.

The sweet and sour pork was good enough to be on the menu and is superior for a buffet table.

The noodles were not overdone nor were they what you would say a let down either as they maintained that great taste you want in them.

The ginger chicken was battered properly with the sauce it was soaked in; something right out of a storybook - I found myself eating it over and over again because I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a tale you are enthralled in and you never want to end.

The rice, usually one of the biggest telltale signs if a Chinese buffet is good or a disaster, was decent. In the case here I give it a grade of 7 out of 10. It’s not bad but it’s not stupendous either it’s obvious the love went into the other fare offered, which for many is a good thing.

All of the pork dishes offered were stupendous in that they were cooked right to the point of where they should be. The only falling down I saw was perhaps in the sauce which was just a little bit too sticky. But it is a very subjective distinction, something which others might in fact desire.

The spring rolls were better than the ordinary and the filling was delectable.

The desert table, for a small buffet, is actually superior to many you might find out there.

The watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon was carefully carved into the rind area so there was no sour taste many might well not like.

The Nanaimo bars were very small and sliver-like but let me tell you, the taste was totally impeccable and by far one of the most pleasurable surprises you’ll find on any dessert tray. It is high end restaurant quality.

The dessert selection is very good for a smaller buffet.

One of the best surprises to be had at this buffet is its cost. It’s just $14.95 including a drink for supper which makes it a budget conscientious diners dream.

This is a good mid range buffet and a welcome addition to the Moose Jaw buffet scene - 7.9 out of 10.

If you want to compare our review of New Taste Café with Jin Xiu click here.

Other editions of Undercover Buffet

Jade Garden

Aurora Sushi

Kwangton Cafe

Landscape Restaurant