Restaurant Review: The Chinese Buffet, Preston

The Chinese Buffet – You Dim Sum You Lose Sum

Despite the no-nonsense name, The Chinese Buffet in Preston suffered from an identity crisis. Set on the extremity of the charmless Fishergate Centre, with a panoramic view of nothing, in particular, it struggled to gain a sense of character. The Chinese Buffet is 9,200 square metres, spread over three stories, which didn’t help create an ambience. The music was an incredible mix of Eurovision song contest B-Sides, poorly mixed with vaguely East Asian melodies.

The Chinese Buffet staff were very pleasant and polished; with everything seemingly coordinated with precision. The choice of dishes available was certainly impressive. The Chinese Buffet offered a range of soups, rice dishes, noodle dishes, vegetarian options and a plethora of enigmatic deep-fried objects. If I tried everything I’d be dead by now; regardless I gave it a good go. The Kung Po Chicken, Vegetarian Fried Soft Noodles, Chicken Curry and Singapore Vermicelli were comforting if not a little salty. There were more flavours than I could shake a chopstick at, and certainly more than something for everyone. I guiltily pounced on the chips but had enough self-respect to decline the Cocktail Sausages. Chilled salads, fruits and cakes were a bit of an afterthought; however, I appreciated their presence.

All the plates were reassuringly hot and all surfaces pleasingly clean. This restaurant was doing plenty right, and clearly well organised. Preston’s Chinese Buffet could do without some of the Anglo-influences such as Chicken Nuggets and Pancake Pastries; however, for those with young children, there was certainly something for everyone.

The Chinese Buffet says it has the explicit aim of providing a new style of buffet restaurant (e.g. not terrible), with high-quality food at a low cost, which to be fair they do. Refined dining it isn’t, however, for tired shoppers or hung-over students, Chinese Buffet offers great value.

The Chinese Buffet Preston
Review Summary

Atmosphere 3/10    Cost 10/10    Quality 6/10    Service 7/10

*Since this review was first published, The Chinese Buffet Preston is unfortunately no longer with us –   hence the lack of link*