“ Address: Broughton Lane / Valley Centertainment / Sheffield / South Yorkshire S9 2EP / England „
As I and Mr H were hitting our 15th wedding anniversary a friend of ours suggested that we go for a Chinese Meal. Our restaurant of choice was the Flaming Dragon in Sheffield's Centertainment complex, with finances being tight (thank you Mr Brown) we had seen that it was an all you can eat buffet at £10 a head for adults and £5 for children. So we thought give it a go what's the worst that could happen?
I booked a table for seven the day before our wedding anniversary as I had been told that the restaurant can get very busy at peak times especially if there is an event at the arena. I booked for 6.30. I was glad I had because we were able to bypass the queue of people waiting for a table and were seated immediately.
The restaurant is spacious and clean. There is plenty of room between the tables and you are not bashing anyone else when you get in and out of your seat. The tables, seats and floor were clean there were no suspicious sticky patches. The décor is what would be thought of as British-Chinese it's very red with paintings of Chinese face masks and areas are separated by red string blind's. The lighting is good it's not to bright and feels cosy but you can still see your food with no problem. There is quiet music playing in the background. I can't remember what sort so I know it did not detract from the experience.
When seated at the table a waiter will come over and take your drinks order. The drinks are very well priced £2.70 for a pint of lager, bitter etc £2.30 for a large Cola, lemonade etc and £1.70 for a small Cola, Lemonade etc. You can also have a jug of water on the table which is free. Once the drinks are ordered you are then directed to help yourself.
The buffet is at the bottom right hand of the restaurant. You pick up a plate from the massive pile at the start of the buffet and proceed in an orderly fashion choosing whatever you fancy. There is a massive assortment of dishes here's just a few.
Sesame Prawn toast.
Chicken in Oyster sauce.
Stir fried Broccoli.
Basically everything you would expect to see on your high street Chinese Take away menu. There is no apparent order to the food. Everything is clearly labelled on the sneeze guard the dishes are all kept piping hot. There is a serving spoon in each dish so you don't have to nick one out of nearby dishes. The food serving area is very clean and all the dishes are regularly replaced. Nothing runs out. Mr H ate himself silly on meat and I am more of a vegetable person. My daughter had chicken balls, chips and onion rings and my son gave everything a go so I feel we got real value for money. I can't comment on the teppanyaki area as I did not have any, the idea of it is you select your raw ingredients and then the chef cooks them the way you want. While you are sat eating members of staff offer you different selections of cooked meat s that were not on the buffet which is nice as it gives you a chance to try different things. When you have finished what is on your plate (you do not have to eat everything) a member of staff removes your plate and you can go and start all over again at the buffet. I also cannot comment on the sushi as I did not have any but I must warn you that it is next to the dessert section so don't put it in your dessert bowl with the jelly and ice-cream. Dessert is also a buffet and you can choose from jelly or a gateau and they do have an ice cream machine that Mr H had great fun using I had never seen anyone pile ice-cream so high before. There were also what I can only describe as micro-desserts in a small refrigerator I did not have one of these but they did look nice.
If it happens to be a member of your party's birthday you can phone in advance and arrange for a cake to be brought to your table and for happy birthday to be played for you over the speakers. It looked highly embarrassing and was glad it was not my birthday.
The toilets are nice and clean. The atmosphere is fantastic. The staff are attentive but discreet. The food is fantastic. Not at all salty as with some chinese resturants and all the ingrdients used are of a really high quality. Even though the restaurant was busy we were not rushed along and were able to relax and chat for a long time after we had finished eating.
Our bill came to £77 pounds which I think was fantastic value for money. I am very impressed and have recommended this place to all my friends and we will be going again soon as my birthday is on the horizon.
For more information there is a very informative website www.flaming-dragon.co.uk
We recently went again for my 32nd birthday, another great meal, fantastic service and I had happy birthday sung to me by a member of staff. Very embaressing but lots of fun.
I visited The flaming Dragon on Monday lunch time with 8 other members of my family, including my 3 children aged 9, 5 and almost 2.
It was our first visit but most definitely the first of many. We were greeted with the most friendly aproachable waiter you could wish for, and the friendliness of all the staff continued throughout our stay, they were especially great with the kids. The decor and cleanliness of the restaurant was exceptional and really comfortable. The food was by far the nicest chinese food I have had, with a huge selection of starters, appetisers and main dishes. Also a good selection of salad and desserts.
The value was amazing £5.50 for the lunchtime buffet and still under a tenner for the evening buffet ( kids £3.00 lunch under a fiver evening)
Everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed everything about it and will be returning again very soon. Highly recommended.
I must admit to being one of those people who thought that Valley Centretainment could manage pretty well without yet another restaurant and when I heard a Chinese buffet was one of the newest offerings I must admit to not being overly excited. I have often found these types of restaurants to serve sub-standard food which is rarely at the right temperature. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting first class authentic Cantonese cuisine here, but a decent sweet and sour would be good.
For me, Flaming dragon defies this pre-conception. Firstly this is no ordinary buffet. Yes, there is the usual array of dishes perched on a hot counter with some extra curry thrown in to try and please us English folk. However, visit on an evening and experience two further dining experiences: the teppan-yaki and Brazilian Grill. The Brazilian grill is just a large barbeque it would seem, served to you by a waiter who will wander amongst the tables with a freshly barbequed joint of meat on a spit. He will then carve you your very own slices right at the table. Each time I have visited the choice has been pork and it has been incredibly tender and full of flavour. The teppan-yaki offers various fish, seafood and meat which will be grilled to order in front of you or delivered to your table for you. These additions really lift the restaurant above its other buffet competitors.
The food in general is better quality than other buffet restaurants I have visited and there is more variety of dishes than usual. There are also lots of condiments and items on the salad bar to accompany your meal and duck pancakes available all day, not just to those customers paying more for the evening buffet, which I've found to be the case elsewhere.
Having a sweet tooth, it is the desserts here that win it for me! There are several different types of jelly and milk jellies on offer, along with slices of cake and biscuits. There's the obligatory Mr Whippy ice cream machine and sometimes even Jelly babies. But then.......the sweet cabinet!! I know it's something of a vestige of seventies dining but there's something about seeing your pudding twirling around on those little glass shelves that makes you feel like a kid in a sweet shop. There is usually at least one type of gateau available. However, my young-at-heart other half ended up with a dessert of cookies and ice cream with a side dish of Jelly babies and milk jelly. There's no accounting for taste is there?
At the time of writing the lunchtime price is £5.50 during the week and £6.50 at weekends. The evening price is £9.90 and £10.90. However, under 16s receive a substantial discount on this price. There is also usually a promotion running between the restaurant and the cineworld cinema nearby. My latest one is for £3.99 weekday lunchtime buffet.
There are some eastern beers available and a decent cocktail menu to accompany your meal.
All in all this has been a great time for me whenever I have visited. If it weren't for trying to squeeze into a wedding dress then I'd pretty much eat here all the time!
There are also flaming dragon restaurants in Birmingham, Nottingham, Castleford, Gloucester, and Worcester.
A new branch of Flaming Dragon unlimited Chinese buffet restaurant has recently opened at Sheffield Centertainment. The nearby Cineworld was giving discount vouchers printed on the back of their tickets, offering the lunchtime menu at Flaming Dragon for £3.99. As this is valid up to 6pm Monday to Friday, it means it's possible to get an early evening meal at a very good price, so I had to give it a try.
The décor in Flaming Dragon is brightly lit, with contemporary red and white theme. It's pleasant and clean, although not the kind of atmosphere that would encourage a long leisurely meal with a party of friends. Tables are comfortably well spaced, although in rows, giving it a canteenish atmosphere. However, after trying other Chinese buffets, this seems to be standard, and I would say overall it's quite pleasant. It's okay for a family meal or a dinner before a movie, where you don't want to wait ages for waiter service.
I arrived with my husband at 5pm and we were instantly shown to a table for two and asked for our drinks order. This was a weekday, so not too busy. The waiter was polite, but I felt a bit rushed as I wanted to look at the drinks menu, so just ordered a glass of water initially. It was nice to see they offer a glass of filtered water at 50p for a large glass, which means if you don't want to spent a lot on drinks you don't have to. It can be annoying sometimes when you really just want a meal and find you're spending a fortune on drinks at inflated prices.
After looking at the drinks choice, I ordered a small glass of Chilean Merlot at £2.80, which is about what I'd expect to pay at other restaurants in the area. We noticed two young men trying to order beer but they weren't allowed as they couldn't offer proof of age, so there's quite a stringent application of drinking laws! Waiters were prompt with service such as clearing away plates and bringing drinks, but didn't harass us, and just asked once more if we'd like more drinks while taking away plates.
The buffet area was towards the back of the restaurant. This consists of a long hot food counter, where you first help yourself to bowls, plates and cutlery at one end. The first section has starters, with wontons, samosas, crispy pancakes, crispy fried seaweed, ribs, dips, soup, prawn crackers, soup etc. I tried the wontons and samosas and found the samosas weren't quite as spicy as I've had at other buffets and also they weren't very warm and went cold very quickly on my plate. The wontons didn't seem to have very much in them at all, so no particular flavor. I also tried the seaweed, which I've never had before. It was quite crispy and there was a salty-fishy kind of flavor to it. It wasn't horrible, but I don't think I'd have it again.
For main courses they had a good range of dishes including ribs, salt and pepper beef, beef in black bean sauce, kung po meats, chicken curry, various vegetarian dishes and a mix of different rices, dips and vermicelli. A lot of the dishes seemed to be ribs, chicken wings, pork and beef, but not a good choice of chicken dishes, which I would have preferred. There were also chips, handy if you're taking children who aren't keen on spicy food. I tried the kung po meats which had a mild flavour, but not enough chicken and not spicy enough for me, in spite of the fact there were whole chillies in it. The chicken curry was also quite mild. I also tried the Singapore vermicelli, again not very spicy. My husband was unimpressed there were no prawns in it, which he would usually expect in Singapore Vermicelli.
Along the side wall there was a salad bar, which I didn't try, and a dessert bar. Overall I wasn't very impressed with the dessert choice. There were little pots of jelly, cornflake buns, egg custard, apple wedges, plums, orange wedges, jelly beans, and ice cream. There was also a fridge with gateau, which only had two wafer thin slices left, so I had one of those. I suspect there would be a wider choice after 6pm, as other Chinese buffets tend to extend their menu for the evening.
Overall it was a reasonable enough meal for the price we paid. You couldn't get a takeaway with all the extras for that price. It's not the best Chinese buffet I've been to in Sheffield, but they do vary their menu, so I'd maybe give it one more go and try other dishes. It might be worth trying in an evening when they have a more extensive menu. On the plus side, I've no complaints about the service, and it looked clean. It's also conveniently placed near our favourite cinema, with plenty of free parking, which is much easier than the city centre restaurants. For those without a car, it's easily reachable by tram.
After having just been back to Flaming Dragon a few weeks later, I'm happy to report a better experience. They had more of the foods I like such as Lemon Chicken which was delicious, and aromatic crispy duck with hoi sin sauce and pancakes, also delicious. They also had a lot more gateau this time. There was also sushi - not something I've tried yet! Another good thing was, we turned up around 5.20, then around 5.30 they started to serve the evening menu, which is supposed to start at 6pm. This meant waiters were bringing around barbecue pork, chicken kebabs, barbecue prawns, garlic bread, and barbecued pineapple to everyone's table. Lovely! The hot pineapple was fantastic with my ice cream.
Altogether it was delicious meal and I've no complaints. Again the staff were very courteous. It was much busier this time though, so I think it's gaining popularity. Nando's next door was almost empty!
I'm increasing my rating from 3 stars to 4 because I enjoyed it much better second time around. I'd give it 5 stars, except that it really seems to be hit and miss whether all food displays are full, or whether they've got the foods I'd like. Overall I really recommend this restaurant, and I'll be going back again soon!
There's a fairly complex pricing structure:
12-6pm: Children £2.50, Adults £4.90.
6-11pm, Children £4.00, Adults £9.90
12-6pm: Children £2.50, Adults £5.90
6-12pm/11pm: Children £4.00, Adults £9.90
Chinese buffet restaurant