Undercover Buffet: Kwangton Cafe
The same name and location coupled with the former owners still working there seems to be the makings of a great neighbourhood buffet and with this in mind I walked into the new and improved…
Once you walk into the freshly renovated restaurant, which is now under new ownership, it’s obvious the renovation has added brightness, life and colour into what was an outdated and, let’s face it, menu only cash affair. The new ownership accepts debit which is heartwarming in today’s electronic world.
On the day I was there the buffet featured a decent variety of items on a nice new shiny and clean buffet table.
But first I had to get there.
Entry into the restaurant is tricky and perhaps even dangerous for those with mobility issues and confined to a wheelchair or a scooter. In order to access the restaurant you must first enter from the far north of the strip mall location then negotiate a four foot wide sidewalk past the main entry door and open it being careful not to roll backwards and risk falling about one foot onto the pavement below.
Free off street parking is available. So this is a plus.
There is no free Wi-Fi available but if you are a SaskTel mobility customer you can access their network or simply log into the very strong free customer Wi-Fi from the Domino’s Pizza right next door.
The washrooms were clean, new and bright but likely a challenge for people in wheelchairs to access and use. However, they easily passed the surface dust test.
The new buffet line doesn’t afford the much larger selection of a couple of competitors but it does offer a decent selection to choose from.
But with that the bad news of this opportunity to dominate the buffet scene makes a dramatic crash as so many of the dishes seem to lack any special care.
The dry ribs were over cooked to the point they had some blackening on them. The taste was flat and bland with a mild, sour greasy taste to them. Something a small dose of seasoning may have salvaged.
The deep fried wonton was massively overcooked to a dark brown texture that was at the point of near burnt, rendering them crumbling into a greasy blandness.
The mixed vegetables, including the Bok Choi, were just perfect. So perfect that they easily succumbed to your chewing in a buttery yet unique crispness which the lack of a sauce actually accentuated. It’s obvious the cook has this art mastered as they were dead on, balancing deliciously on the edge of mushy and too crisp.
The rice, however, was not sticky but and far too watery for a fragrant experience in your mouth.
The food blandness carried over to the chicken which was thoroughly and correctly cooked but the lack of spices really crippled the dish.
The squid was cooked properly and was not rubbery as so often it is in many restaurants but, once again, it seems the fear of offending anyone’s palate by adding even a light seasoning strangled it’s potential. The lack of any zestiness was a severe let down.
The obligatory noodles were there but in my opinion just barely. And I could taste the canola oil.
The wonton soup was much better and had a well balanced flavour, colour and texture to it. It was not redeeming though because it seemed to lack the required green onion in it, it failed to blossom as well as it could have.
The dessert table was, in my opinion, lacking. Simple mass manufactured cookies and hard ice cream. None of that artificial oil product here.
With a $16.95 supper and a $12.95 lunch, price as a buffet it is a little high for what you receive, but that's just my opinion.
Given the food offered, atmosphere, price and accessibility I give this buffet a 5.8 out of 10. I personally won’t be back for a return visit.
Check out the other editions of Undercover Buffet: