Undercover Buffet: Aurora Sushi
AURORA SUSHI - 50a Caribou Street West 306 972-1919
Listed as Moose Jaw's premiere buffet, this Caribou Street restaurant scores high but staff habits leave a lot to be desired, and in this reviewer's opinion, reduced the overall score.
When you walk into the Aurora Sushi buffet you are immediately greeted by a highly attentive staff. If you just drink water be prepared to have almost instantaneous refills.
Like all Downtown restaurants, Aurora Sushi is plagued by not having any designated off street parking. There is a parking lot directly south of the restaurant but staff will warn you not to park there as tickets come faster then water refills.
The restaurant and its washrooms are both accessible and in all areas a person can readily access the restaurant.
If you are a gambler there are VLTs in the back corner where a wheelchair can access but if you wished to play the machines you will need staff to come and move the heavy stools.
The restaurant is bright and clean, with out the dingy feel you might get from other buffets out in the market.
The seating is good, with booths that afford comfort and, depending where you sit, privacy to some extent.
A check of the washrooms found no tell tale dust on surface tops of the washroom stalls, indicating there is some conscientious cleaning occurring here.
There is free Wi-Fi, which will save on your pocket book, so you don't have to have data on your phone to get online
The staff is friendly and attentive and the during lunchtime I was there they were always there, immediately, to refill my water glass with ice cold water, very heavy on the crushed ice.
In some ways though they are perhaps a little too attentive, as the person I was with said, if you wanted to bring your lover there for a rendezvous, the staff was a bit intrusive.
But then again, who sneaks around with someone at a buffet table? That's a little too brash and tacky for this reviewer.
The problem I had with the staff, though, and this is where they lost major points, was in how they interacted with the food.
I saw three violations of what I see as common courtesy from different staff members when it comes to food from my buffet side perch.
The hostess subconsciously tossed and played with her long hair far too many times before stirring the food; a definite no no and appetite killer.
Other staff members used utensils to rework the food but their fingers were far too close to utensil ends in the area where many people would touch the food itself.
Another staff member gave me water the went to the dessert table where she rearranged the watermelon with bare hands and no hand washing before hand. In my opinion, this is a definite no no.
Food quality is, for the most part, pretty good at this restaurant and there is plenty of selection to be had. It's all advertised as MSG free.
And one unique thing about it is you can stick with the strictly Chinese buffet or for $15.99 also include sushi as part of your noon hour meal.
Dry ribs were acceptable and tasty but they were a little in the fat laden side so they were slightly greasy. They were also larger sizes of these pork meat nuggets.
The Bok Choi was perfect and exquisite as it was 100 percent exactly what to expect when it comes to this Chinese buffet staple. It was both smooth and pleasurable to the palate.
The broccoli was slightly crispy but it was well within acceptable limits as the accompanying carrots and sauce was magnificent.
The Chinese won ton was great.
While the sweet and sour pork was incredible, the batter accentuating and not robbing the diner of their appetite, like so much buffet fare is responsible for.
The chicken balls and accompanying sauce was liquid accentuation to a level not readily available in a buffet format.
The chicken was cooked to that precarious tipping point just before it is over done on a skillful manner the diner will truly enjoy.
The fish cakes should have you going back for more and by doing so complimenting the cooking master who prepared them.
On the sushi side, the shrimp tempura roll was far too dry for this reviewer and lost the wonderful experience that could have occurred.
The tuna sushi, though, was heavenly.
The rice was correct, not too old and cooked and raked properly each kernel was perfection.
Noodles were cooked but not overcooked to the point where the flavour was devastated.
The desert table was well stocked with lots to chose from.
The only fault I found was the cantaloupe and honeydew melon were peeled far too much to the rind, making a full bite tough and bitter.
Overall, I would have given this buffet a higher score except for my watching the staff around the buffet table; that and the price is a little bit prohibitive for many lunch time congregants.
I give Aurora Sushi a 7.4 out of 10 score
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