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All you can eat buffets

(51 Posts)
Sugarcookie1 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:49:13

I don't generally mind these. There's a Chinese we go to every now and again which is all you can eat and generally ok. But today I went to a different one for a family birthday and it was totally different.

For a start, it was about six different types of food (none done nicely) with hyper children running round everywhere and tables full of adults saying practically nothing to each other but just shovelling mouth full of food after mouth full of food into their mouths.

I guess it just shocked me. I love food, I love eating out but this was meaningless overeating just because the food was there. Not just adults, but older children too (I'd say aged eight upwards) Massive piles of food on their plates, most of it left because there was no incentive to eat it. Leave it, someone else will take your plate and you can go up and get more even if you're full. So so wasteful and just, to me, the wrong way to approach food.

AIBU? What's everyone else's thoughts on these places?

nochangewanted Sat 15-Nov-14 17:51:13

I love taking my DS.. It gets him to try things he wouldn't and I wouldn't order him something in a restaurant I wasn't sure he would eat.

angelohsodelight Sat 15-Nov-14 17:52:38

Depends on the venue. Some offer nice quality food, others do it cheap and nasty.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 15-Nov-14 17:52:58

We go to Taybarns mostly because ds (fussy with ASD) will eat there

He can mix & match so it doesn't matter if he has plain boiled rice with his pizza or add just cucumber to his meal. He can also sometimes be persuaded to try something (he's fussy on fish for example, will eat some but not others depending how its cooked) in a normal restaurant if he ordered something he ended up not liking there would be no alternative

I find that some of the food is nice (the fish for example£ but some is a bit bland like the watery custard.

saintsandpoets Sat 15-Nov-14 17:54:53

Some are good and some are bad. Like most places.

Theres a lovely Brazilian one I go to where the waiters do 'rounds' every 15-30 mins, offering you the latest dish cooked by the chef. So tasty.

cricketpitch Sat 15-Nov-14 17:55:49

Hate them. Agree with what you say OP. I would rather have one dish beautifully prepared than a huge table full of food and a sort of feeling that I should eat it because I have paid for it.

Am pretty obsessive about waste too - so no - not usually nice places to be in for me.

However - others enjoy them so each to their own.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 15-Nov-14 17:56:18

All you can eat is an offer not a challenge.

I hate it when people over fill the plate and leave most of it.

When I go to Indian one I
Put small amounts on a then go back until I am full, so minimal waste on the plate.

Leeds2 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:57:41

I loathe them with a passion!

I can see though that they could be useful in getting young children to try different things.

Sugarcookie1 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:58:48

^^ agree on the young children and food variety

TheAlias Sat 15-Nov-14 18:01:17

I agree with previous posters - it was good when DC were small and they could try a little bit of lots of different dishes but I avoid them these days.

Some are better than others but it's rarely a pleasant dining experience.

For myself, I'm generally pretty good at portion control, don't over eat and am a healthy weight etc but I find it very hard not to eat until I'm uncomfortable, even though I fill my plate far less than most! It's not because I consider it a challenge or even that I want to get best value for my money, just that there are lots of things I want to try and by the time I've have even a little bit of everything, I've eaten too much.

MaidOfStars Sat 15-Nov-14 18:03:07

Hate them. Would never choose one, have only been to a handful for others' birthdays/leaving dos/etc. I buy food for delicious taste, not volume. Plus, as a veggie, I feel like I never get my money's worth wink

ahfuckit Sat 15-Nov-14 18:03:11

The one I go to, you can order whatever dishes you like, but if they are uneaten they are added to the bill rather than included in the price. It seems to work well and prevent the worst excesses.

Idontseeanysontarans Sat 15-Nov-14 18:06:08

I don't usually like them but there's a lovely Chinese one at Media city in Salford, cheap, good well cooked food and good service.
Otherwise not really into them.

Trills Sat 15-Nov-14 18:06:24

sainstandpoets would you mind telling us the name and location of that Brazilian restaurant? It sounds lovely!

Osmiornica Sat 15-Nov-14 18:10:14

There's one near us but they cook to order (so it's eat all you like but not a buffet). The portions are tiny which is great as you get to try lots of different things but without overeating.

Most buffets I've been to have been pretty awful with the food being crap.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 15-Nov-14 18:10:48

We often go at 12noon just when they open. We find its quieter & cleaner then & the blob families haven't got there yet.

I just put a small amount on my plate & I like the fact the desserts are half size so although you can have more than one if you like it doesn't over face you if you just want a small dessert.

500smiles Sat 15-Nov-14 18:11:56

They're great places for taking teenage boys ;)

riverboat1 Sat 15-Nov-14 18:15:07

The vast majority of all-you-can-eat buffets that I've been to were Chinese. I think maybe one or two Indian ones in certain restaurants at lunchtime. Trying to think of restaurants that have done other types of food as an all-you-can-eat buffet, but coming up with blanks.

Agree that they are great for kids. DSS tries things at the Chinese one we go to that he wouldnt otherwise eat, and has discovered some new tastes. He often asks to go to this restaurant, and the quality is decent enough for the price so we probably end up going once every few months as a treat.

I used to go to them a lot as a student! The other time I tend to go to them is occasionally in my lunchbreak from work, when I'm particularly starving and feeling in need of a hot meal. Again, it's the good value but above all the fact that I know it will be reliably quick and I'll be back at work within the hour.

Otherwise though, I agree that generally I prefer to go to a 'proper' restaurant and make the most of the full, relaxed dining experience with better quality food. But buffets serve a purpose too.

janesaysl Sat 15-Nov-14 18:15:20

For us it's somewhere to go with a hangover to fill up on yummy stodge, if you saw what I eat there you'd be horrified! But we go maybe twice a year so the over eating doesn't worry me smile

Bunbaker Sat 15-Nov-14 18:17:43

In my experience these type of buffets cater to the lowest common denominator. The food isn't awful, but it isn't anything like as good as food cooked freshly to order. I once had the most awful food poisoning after a Chinese buffet so I now won't touch any rice dishes at buffets (rice being one of the worst foods to eat at a buffet - information here)

janesaysl Sat 15-Nov-14 18:18:15

Trills there's a Brazilian one like that near me in Birmingham mailbox. Think it's called Rodizio?

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Sat 15-Nov-14 18:19:13

The ones that sell lots of different cuisines seem to be rubbish. As you say none if it done very well.

We used to go to a lovely chinese buffet. You orders from the menu for a fixed price, so all the food was fresh to order. Unfortunately the lease wasn't renewed and they closed down. We haven't found anywhere as nice since.

saintsandpoets Sat 15-Nov-14 18:21:16

bembrasilrestaurants.com/

Live in London now so haven't been in a while - loved that place!

Mammuzza Sat 15-Nov-14 18:29:57

There's a Japanese AYCE buffet resturant in the city up the road from me. I haven't been (yet) but apparently they surcharge for the food you LEAVE. So if your eyes are bigger than your belly it can get expensive.

Not a bad idea really. Encourages people to take less and stop going back for more before they are fit to bursting

LokiBear Sat 15-Nov-14 18:30:47

I'm on the fence. I like to go and try different things that I'd normally be afraid to try in case I didn't like it. However, I eat one plateful, not over filled (I don't like to feel stuffed. It isn't nice) so I never feel like I get value for money.

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