“ Afton House, 26 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2PF. Tel: 0141-221 8899 „
China Buffet King is a chain of 6 restaurants. Two of the restaurants are based in Ireland (Dublin and Belfast) and the other 4 are based in Glasgow. My review is based on our visit to the West Nile Street restaurant in Glasgow City Centre.
This restaurant is a short walk from Central Station and Buchannan Street. It is tucked away at the bottom of West Nile Street and with a rather bland exterior, you could be forgiven if you walked past without noticing it! There were a few cars parked outside on the main street though I would recommend finding a carpark in the city centre.
The address and contact details for this restaurant :
China Buffet King
22-24 West Nile Street
0141 221 8899.
~Layout and Interior~
As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by a superior member of staff who will find you a table and escort you to the table. The restaurant is very big and modern inside. There is a sleek bar to one side and glossy black pillars compliment the shiny black tables. There is ample seating for various parties. The decor is cream with black and silver Oriental pictures adorning the walls. It looks clean and tidy. The tables aren't placed far apart and a wheelchair user may have difficulty negotiating the aisles. Prams can be stored at the front and high chairs are available.
The kitchen is located to the back of the restaurant and appears clean at first glance. The buffet is an all you can eat affair and split into sections but there isn't all that much space to move around and queues can build up quickly! There is a disabled toilet on the main restaurant floor though I didn't notice any baby changing. Unfortuantely if you need the loo you need the loo, you will need to go down 4 flights of stairs then up a small flight. Whoever thought this one out made a bad choice! There were only 3 cubicles in the ladies toilets which didn't seem sufficient for the size of the restaurant. They were clean and well stocked though.
It is worth noting that not every food will be on offer at all times. China Buffet King claim to bring you a wide selection of Asian and Western cuisine and state that "you will not walk away hungry!".They do cater for more British tastes as well! The restaurant serves food daily and has set prices.
*Lunch - Monday to Saturday 12-4.30pm - £6.99
*Happy Hour - Monday to Saturday 4.30-6.30pm £8,49
*Grand Buffet - Monday to Thursday 6.30-11pm - £10.99
*Grand Buffet - Friday and Saturday 6.30-11pm - £11.99
*Sunday -all day 12-10.30pm - £8.49
*Children under 4foot 5 - £3.99
They also offer a 10% student discount and have special menu prices for Christmas day. I believe they only charge £14.99 per adult and £5.00 for children on Christmas day.
The food available is consistent throughout the day (so I am told) and the only variation is at night time when special extra dishes are added to reflect the price increase. I won't list all dishes as I would be here all day!
Soup choices include chicken noodle and sweetcorn. There is a cold food section which includes various meats, salad stuff and prawns. The main area includes various dishes including Kung po chicken, curries (beef, mushroom etc), chicken wings, chips, friend wonton, fried chicken or balls, rice, noodles etc. Prawn crackers and bread are also available as is pizza!
The desserts are located in 3 different areas. Various ice cream flavours are available and sprinkles/sauces for topping. They offer various gateau, cheesecakes, fresh fruit and at other times crumbles and roulades. A hot plate features custard, banana and pineapple fritters and syrup.
Vegetarians are catered for with dishes such as egg foo yung and various mushroom and vegetable dishes available. The grand buffet offers a few extra dishes including aromatic duck, squid, roast beef and also king prawns. A few more dishes are also included.
The restaurant has a well stocked bar with everything from beer to spirits and alcopops (priced from £2.40). There was an extensive wine list with bottles going up to a max of £17.00. Common cocktails were priced at £4.00 a glass. Soft drinks and tea/coffee etc were priced from £1.30.
Yesterday we went into Glasgow for some shopping and to see the lights. We fancied somewhere different and China Buffet King was highly recommended by a few friends. It suited our needs - city centre location (close to Lush and New Look!), affordable and would cater for my fussy 3 yr old son. Deal done! I love the layout and decor and on arrival at around 3pm on a Saturday, the restaurant was buzzing!
We were greeted by a friendly gentleman and within a few moments, we were seated. I was suprised how quick they managed to see us as the restaurant was almost full to capacity. Drinks were ordered and swiftly arrived at our table. I appreciated that there was a waiter there should we need them but they didn't hang around behind your chair or anything like most buffet restaurants we have been too.
~Value For Money - Indeed It is!~
For a city centre restaurant, I find the prices to be brilliant considering the food choice available and the surroundings. I like buffets as I know exactly how much I am spending and do not need to count in added extras other than drinks. I was surprised at just how much food was actually on offer during lunchtime and it exceeded my expectations. The food was replenished regularly and appeared fresh and neatly presented.
I cannot understand the need to have the plates roasting hot! I could barely hold my dinner plate. The dessert counter is exceedingly hot as well so be careful if going up with children as I managed to almost scold myself. Anyway..onto the food. My son is a fussy eater but there was plenty here to satisfy and fill him up. I like the fact that they include pizza as you could make a typical British meal from this and some chips and even some salad. I made up a mixed meal for my son including some fried chicken pieces, fried rice, chips, prawn crackers and bread with butter which he thoroughly enjoyed.
The salad looked very tempting and fresh in the chiller. Only sweetcorn or chicken noodle soup were available to us which I do not like so I decided to have something from the salad bar as my starter. There was a few types of meat including ham and sliced chicken. I had some ham with coleslaw, beetroot and potato salad and it was delicious - a pleasant light starter with plenty of room for my main course. My fiance skipped a starter.
I filled my plate with some delicious main course foods. Everything looked tasty and vegetarian options were clearly marked. I would say there was a choice of 30 different things (including sides such as chips and rice). It would be very easy to have eyes bigger than my belly as I was spoiled for choice. I normally go for dishes that I know but the wider choice gave me a chance to try a few different dishes. Everything was hot and cooked the way it was supposed to be cooked.
The egg fried rice was substantial and light without being dry. It complimented any curry or sauce type food that was splattered onto my plate. The chilli chips were delicious and very spicy! The chicken curry had lots of large chunks of tender chicken and the sauce was full of flavour without being too hot. The Kung Po chicken was delicious and the sauce was slightly sweet and sticky.
The beef in black pepper sauce was a favourite of mine. The beef was tender and didn't have any fatty bits. The accompanying sauce had a tongue tingling, peppery taste and went down a treat with the chips. Yes there is more! The spring rolls looked a bit lifeless and greasy but tasty beautiful and were full of vegetables. I had a spoonful of plain noodles which were cooked well - not too soft and not too firm and complimented the curry sauce nicely. The prawn crackers were delicious too. I was let down by the spare ribs. The sauce was full of flavour but there was hardly any meat to devour from the rib.
My fiance had an almost identical plate of food to me with only a few variations. He had some mushroom curry as no other restaurant we have dined it offered this. He commented on the mushrooms being thick and flavoursome. He also opted for some chilli garlic chicken wings were had lots of juicy meat and a decent spiciness to them. We all enjoyed our main meals and our plates were taken away shortly afterwards. A small breather and we were ready to go for some dessert!
My son decided he wanted some ice cream. The ice cream included flavours such as vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and mint and you needed to go arm deep in the freezer with a scoop to release the frozen ice cream. He went for vanilla and it was the cheap, yellow tinged stuff but he enjoyed it and had a complimenting wafer. I had my eye on a delicious, moist looking chocolate cake which sat next to the nut covered gateau. I though my eyes were deceiving me when I went back up and spotted Black Forrest gateau there - no one left me a bit!
The fruit choice was great with melon, apple etc but I went for a banana and pineapple fritter. The syrup was too runny for my liking but the fritters were delicious, roasting hot and very satisfying. My fiance opted for a slice of the gateau and whilst he enjoyed the sponge part of it, commented that the ice cream or cream (not sure which) hadn't been fully defrosted.
~Bill and Conclusion~
Our bill for 2 adult lunch buffets and one child including 2 pints of Coca Cola and Fruit Shoot came to £23.07. I left a small tip as the service was quick and the food tasty so I cannot complain about it. I feel China Buffet King respresents fantastic value for money whether dining during the day or at night as the choice is extensive in comparison to other nearby buffet restaurants. We left satisfied and with our tummies full! I would say CBK is more suited to informal, casual dining as it is noisy when busy and not the sort of place you could talk business or have a romantic meal.
My son was given a lolly on the way out and we were thanked for visiting. I can highly recommend China Buffet King on West Nile Street and will be dining here again soon!
Thanks for reading :)
China Buffet King West Nile Street in Glasgow is one of the newer ones to open following on from the extreme success of their first restaurant in Glasgow on Sauchiehall Street...so does this one live upto the same standards?
The West Nile Street restaurant is once again a fantastic place to head to when you have had a day out and about in Glasgow (be it for the cinema, meeting up with friends or family, shopping, attending a concert or for the theatre) as it offers up a great variety of Chinese Foods and excellent value for money with all of this in a comfortable setting.
The food on offer is all of excellent quality with the likes of sweet & sour chicken, chicken balls in batter, beef curry, chicken in black bean sauce, salt & pepper chicken, chips, rice, noodles, chow mein and more on offer much like the Sauchiehall Street restaurant.
The one place where I have always felt Sauchiehall Streets China Buffet King goes wrong is that it does not offer up enough space between tables but thankfully the West Nile Street offering does away with this problem with more comfortable surroundings whilst also sticking to what made the company a success with the likes of quality food, excellent value for money and brilliant staff still at the core of their values.
This is one of those restaurants where my wife and I can happily sit and eat a variety of foods whilst chatting away and not being rushed by the staff to leave our table which is something I absolutely love.
- Excellent food
- Great range of foods on offer
- Brilliant staff
- Comfortable surroundings
- Great value for money
- Food that is filling and comforting
- Fresh tastes
- Reasonably priced drinks
This is the favoured of the two China Buffet Kings I have reviewed on here as it is offering up the same high quality in the same areas that made the Sauchiehall Street branch a success but where that one floundered somewhat this one has managed to be a success and so makes the entire experience a lot nicer.