"Wood Green’s new all you can eat, complete with sushi bar and teppanyaki grill"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
All you can eat restaurants in London have a tarnished rep. Ask most people what their experience of a buffet is and they’ll point out the numerous cheap Chinese outlets in town with food of questionable quality.
After looking at the website of JRC Global Buffet, which opened earlier this month in Wood Green, I’m not expecting any different. They offer all the popular world cuisines: Thai, Indian, Chinese, American, Japanese and European. It’s £13.99 for dinner (and £7.99 for lunch). It hardly sounds like a hallmark of quality; how is this quantity of food, of such disparate cuisines and priced so low going to be any good?
Located within the shopping centre, the restaurant has an impressive 300 covers. Self-service counters run the length of the venue, divided by country and with labels to helpfully identify each dish. There are a couple of live cooking stations too, ambitious ones at that, as they’re a teppanyaki and a robata grill. More curiously, there is a burly bouncer standing by the entrance, do lots of people try to run off without paying?
We start with the American section, which is typical formerly frozen stuff like chicken nuggets and breaded mushrooms. The Thai and Chinese sections are similar, with the sort of food you’d expect from a takeaway, like DIY crispy duck pancakes, prawn toasts, chicken satay, and a seafood curry that has us breathing fire for ten minutes afterwards.
But there’s the odd thing that stands out, like some deliciously seasoned prawns, and the sushi counter, which by the time we get to it only has squid sashimi, California rolls and nigiri. There’s a display of raw squid, scallops, plump mussels, sirloin steaks, chicken breasts and lamb chops which are cooked to order on the teppanyaki, probably the best offering. On the other hand the king prawns cooked on the robata grill are chewy as they’ve been left to cook for too long.
There are condiments to match the food from each country, and bottles of balsamic vinegar and Bertolli olive oil are available. There are salads and fruit too, should the overwhelming array of junk food make you feel guilty.
The dessert station has a vast variety of cakes, both canapé-sized and in larger wedges, as well as profiteroles, a chocolate fountain, ice cream, Chupa-Chups and Haribo sweets. A baked cheesecake and a peach melba torte are both good.
Wine isn’t included in the buffet price, but the most expensive bottle is a very decent Sauvignon Blanc for £15.
As the economic crisis shows no sign of waning it looks like we’ll all be skint for a while longer, keeping JRC Buffet as busy as it is tonight. Next time I’m in a gluttonous mood I know where to go.
Leila reviewed JRC Global Buffet on Tue 26 Mar 2013