Monday, January 4, 2010

Buffets and Deep Fried Sushi

In my small city I call home, we have the privilege of housing one, yes one, buffet. It consists of five main sections. The first section consists of two large vats with filled with soup (flavours change every few days, but it is usually pumpkin, leek and potato, or minestrone), a large basket filled with crusty bread rolls (butter and jam) crotons, and some boiled white rice. Although the pumpkin soup can be magical, I found a couple of times that the soup has been rather thin. Being a buffet in such a small city, I realise they must struggle to make a profit, but at least they could keep the soup thick.

The next section of the buffet is rather small; it too, has two large vats. One is filled with a beany concoction, and the other is rather thin tomato mince sauce. This accompanies the nachos and spaghetti, which are situated right next to each vat. This section also has a bowl of mysterious grated cheese.

The next section is much larger than the last, and it is filled with salads. They do have variety with different flavoured pasta, cous cous, vegetable and rice salads, but I find that most are covered thickly in sauces and dressings, which end up taking the flavour away from the actual ingredients. This is a bit of a let down, as well as a weight gaining exercise. The section also contains a small spread of seasonal fruit, and a bowl of canned pineapple pieces. The salad section also has sushi, but it is only vegetarian. It does taste great, and I always find myself tucking into a piece or two when scanning the bowls of salads in which I will later indulge.

The second last section contains hot food. It is about the same size ad the salad section, but contains triple the calories. This section is packed full of greasy (but crunchy) chips that have been drowned in salt. It has fried chicken wings (which are extremely awkward to eat, so it’s something you would not eat if you are trying to show class. But then, why would you be at a buffet if you wanted to show class? Moving around the hot plates, you find some sort of sausage casserole, mashed potato which looks like it comes out of a packet, some fried rice which lacks genuine flavour, greasy fried fish, some shrimp slices and *drum roll please* FRIED SUSHI!
This makes this restaurant go from a C grade to a B grade in my books. I was very sceptical when I tried my first piece as sushi, too me, is suppose to be served cold filled with fresh vegetables and fresh fish. However, I was remarkably surprised at the taste, and with the compliment of the sweet chilli sauce. This combination blew me away. Every time I go there, I enforce (whoever I’m with) to grab at least one piece. Its crunchy exterior contrasts with the much softer innards. Delicious

The last section, which is shunted away to the far wall, is desserts. This is seemingly basic; there is a heated tray of apple crumble in which seems to have gotten itself a name. Though I find that the chucky apples don’t make the dessert successful, and the crumble to apple ratio is in the crumbles favour, which is disappointing. The next dessert item is a bowl of raspberry jelly (this flavour never changes and as I’m not a fan of jelly, I’ve never tried this), followed by a bowl of overly whipped cream. This is proceeded by a generous plate of cake (the flavour various between chocolate or carrot). Either way, I always give myself a generous helping of. (I have been known to full a dinner plate with the cake, and also, to take some home in a napkin Shhh!) The last, and most important part to any dessert, is ice-cream. They have an awesome soft-serve ice cream machine, with has compliments of ice-cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate chips and sauces (various between chocolate, caramel and strawberry). This has been the soul of many magical creations, and many hours of fun.

One thing I love about buffets is that you can experiment with flavours and ideas. (E.g. making an ice-cream sundae with gherkin, or olives XD) It also means that you can create some pretty wicked fear factors as well (all of which I have won!) My sister once gave me a piece of fried fish, with chilli sauce, ice-cream, chocolate sauce and a drizzle of pumpkin soup. Lets just say, I took her 2 dollars with much pride hehe.
I gave my mother the idea once to create a banana split, and the look on her face made me think I just solved world hunger (well, perhaps for her anyway hehe). It sucks that we only have one buffet in my small city that I call home, but at least we have one.

(This is a picture i found off the net, and not one I took myself)

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