Newest Review: ... table waiting for us to decide. The pressure to order meant this folded double sided A3 drinks menu didn't get much of a look in, instead w... more
Flavourz All You Can Eat Buffet
Flavourz Buffet Restaurant (Oldbury, West Midlands)
Member Name: ladyofcampfires
Flavourz Buffet Restaurant (Oldbury, West Midlands)
Advantages: Food is lovely and there's plenty to try! Very clean and modern looking.
Disadvantages: Staff made us feel rather rushed which was off putting. Food labels didn't state vegetarian or not.
When my all time favourite restaurant Wing Wah closed down I won't deny I was little heartbroken. This all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurant was the place our family would assemble whenever there was special occasion, often we didn't even need an excuse to go. When Wing Wah closed down it was replaced with Flavourz, another all you can eat buffet style restaurant specialising in Chinese, Italian, Indian and Mexican food and I was desperate to try it out. With my Mother and Sister down from Mansfield for the weekend it seemed the like the perfect excuse so off we went for Sunday lunch at Flavourz!
Flavourz is located in Oldbury, just outside of Birmingham (there's also one in Bristol) and easily accessible via public transport with a number of buses stopping just outside the restaurant.
From the outside the restaurant is modern looking. A large newly painted white building with 'Flavourz' written in gigantic red bold font on the front and side wall. There's a decent sized free car park with a few disabled places situated at the front of the building by the door. An outdoor speaker was playing Mexican music when we arrived which added to the atmosphere and gave the restaurant a more authentic feel.
The inside of the restaurant was even better appearance wise, very modern looking and very clean. The wooden floor and white and red walls feature throughout the entire restaurant and decorations are added to fit with the different cuisines such as Buddha statues and paintings. Upon entering there's a large bar and a few tables and chairs should you need to sit and wait for a table or simply wait if you're meeting people there. At the side of the bar is the podium you must wait at to make a request for a table or inform the waiter of your arrival if you have booked a table advance.
We arrived at around 12pm on a Sunday and found the restaurant to be rather busy although still plenty of space for other diners to come along. Although first in the queue we were waiting at the podium for a fair while before someone came over to seat us. In actual fact it was probably only about five minutes but that amount of time feels a whole lot longer when you're simply stood waiting for someone! Once we had made our request for a table for three we were seated immediately.
Our dark brown wooden table provided enough space for the four diners it was meant for and was laid out with red napkins and four sets of very clean knifes, forks and spoons along with a drinks menu. The moment I picked up the drinks menu a waitress came over and just sort of barked 'drinks' at us (I assume that was her way of asking what we would like) and, even though I said we were still looking, just hovered over the table waiting for us to decide. The pressure to order meant this folded double sided A3 drinks menu didn't get much of a look in, instead we just ordered three diet Pepsis costing £2.30 with unlimited free refills. I did notice a huge amount of rather nice sounding cocktails and, had I not felt so rushed to order, I probably would have sampled one of those. The drinks were a little late to arrive, we were all just about finishing our first plate of food by the time they did, but they were at least nice, refreshing and didn't taste diluted like a lot of Coke and Pepsi does in such places in tall, clean glasses containing ice and a wedge of lime.
The choice of food was very overwhelming. Around the sides of the restaurant were main course dishes with labels on them indicating what the dish was and which country it was from which was a appreciated by me as I wouldn't of had a clue what half of it was otherwise! In the the centre of the restaurant were many food stations containing starter and side dishes as well as a rather large dessert station too. It was quite difficult to work out where to start actually! I started with a plate of self made nachos which meant I could add the ridiculous amount of sour cream I like on my Nachos and topped this off with green and black olives from the fresh salad bar. The sour cream was absolutely beautiful although the nachos themselves a little bland tasting. There was no way of melting the grated cheese on top too which was a little disappointing. Still, as starters go it was a pretty good one with the fresh tasting pitted olives for garnish. My Sister and Mother opted for a first plate full with a wide variety of foods. Mum had a tacho filled with chillie con carnie which she had no complaints with but stated it was spicier than she had been expecting. She also had no complains with her crab claws or any of the pasta and curry she sampled. My Sister had a fish curry which she liked but complained about the amount of bones it contained. The sign on this dish did clearly state it contained bones though so I don't think you can complain about that too much.
I can't name every dish we had between us as there were far too many but no one had real complaints about the food and I couldn't fault anything I tried really. I played it safe with chips and onion rings most of the time as none of the food stated whether or not it was vegetarian and so trying a dish I'd never heard of felt a bit risky even if no meat was mentioned in the name of the food item. I can recommend the egg fried rice though! Rice was light and fluffy and packed with flavour. The Mediterranean roast potatoes had a very unique and creamy taste to them too and I ended up eating an awful lot of those. I was also a fan of the way in which pizza is made up there. You take your plate to the pizza counter, add whatever topping you would like on your pizza to your plate and then hand it to the chef who then makes your pizza with these toppings. This was great for me as it meant I didn't end up getting stuck with boring old cheese and tomato and instead got to create my own. I filled my plate with sweetcorn, mushrooms, olives and pineapple and handed it the chef who then made up my pizza from scratch. This did mean waiting for about ten minutes (again, feels much longer when you're just stood there waiting) but it was completely worth it. The pizza base was lovely, not too dry and crunchy but not too soft and soggy either, just right in my opinion and he added plenty of cheese to melt everything together too which is just how I like it. You can do the same with pasta and noddle dishes, simply put your required ingredients onto a plate and chef will make it up for you whilst you wait.
My only real issue with the food is that they've tried to add too many varieties of the same dish meaning each country isn't properly represented. Plenty of Chinese food mind you, in fact there was as much Chinese food on offer as the previous Wing Wah who only sold Chinese food! But Indian was basically different types of curry, Mexican was cillie con carnie, nachos and tachos and Italian was pizza with a very limited selection of pasta. So if you're a hardcore Indian food fan and you're primarily looking for that then Flavourz probably won't be that good to you (unless you just want ten different flavours of curry that is).
After clearing about four plates of food I decided it was time to move to desserts whilst I was still physically able to eat. Desserts were vast with plenty of choice although most came without labels which meant the unfamiliar looking desserts were a complete mystery to me. There were slices of sticky toffee pudding and apple pie as well as warn custard which I will admit all looked lovely although I decided to try something different. There was a wide variety of different fancy looking desserts in little pots which I decided to try and found most appeared to be angel delight topped off with sprinkles and cream, these were nice but not as great as I was anticipating. There was another option in a pot which I liked the look of but, again, no idea what it actually was so I took it to my table and tried it. It turned out to be rice pudding topped with cream which ended up going to be my Sister as I can't stand rice pudding. She, however, stated it was the best rice pudding she'd ever tasted, 'really creamy' apparently. There was a chocolate fountain too although not a great deal to stick under it aside from marshmallows which, whilst nice, a variety would have been better in my opinion. A small selection of fresh fruit was also available and I ended up pinching a few grapes to stick under the chocolate fountain too which were much better! Five different flavours of icecream were available with a server to hand to dish up your required flavours. The icecream was extremely bright in colour and I dreaded to think just what artificial ingredients had gone into it to give it this colour but I figured given I'd just polished off a ton of deep fat fried onion rings now wasn't the time to be health concerned and ended trying a few flavours including a very nice and different bright blue bubblegum flavour. The mango flavour was my favourite, half way between a sorbet and icecream and really fruity and tangy, it was perfect. There were masses of jelly sweets available to top your icecream with too, something a lot of children were taking advantage of, filling up tubs and giving them to their Mum's to put into their bags to take home with them (although this isn't actually allowed so was done rather sneakily)!
Toilets were again very modern looking and extremely clean, fully stocked with toilet roll and hand wash. The only thing which let them down a little was the fact they didn't actully have any signs on the doors and instead each door had an A4 piece of paper which simply said 'ladies' and 'gentlemen'. This did let the décor of the place down a little.
Aside from the one waitress who rather aggressively 'asked' us for our drinks order the staff were mostly friendly although did make the whole experience feel rather rushed. Most were far too keen to take away dirty plates and tried to take ours off us a number of times before we'd actually finished which did get a little annoying. When we asked for the bill we were again greeted by a member of staff who simply hovered over the table waiting for us to pay and continued to do so until we'd got all of our stuff together and left. Whilst this was discouraging I wouldn't say the service was so terrible I would never go back. In fact I happily would! The food is lovely with most items I tried cooked to perfection. Flavourz offers a different dining experience which is great for when you get bored trying the same old thing and perfect for, if like us, your group all have very different tastes in food and can't agree on one place to eat. Prices are reasonable too. The price of lunch or dinner at Flavourz differs depending on the time and day that you visit although even at it's most expensive it still offers good value for money. We went on a Sunday and our total bill came to just under £40 which, considering three people were so full we could barely walk, was a reasonable price in my opinion.
All in all I would recommend this restaurant and will happily be making a few more visits in the future!
Summary: A decent place to eat in the West Midlands offering good value for money and something different.