It’s been 2 years since I’ve eaten at this buffet. This time I came back with family as the dinner was free — courtesy to my dad’s Encore membership points.
Ambiance – 7/10. The buffet is located inside the River Rock Casino. Conveniently, you can try your luck at the slot machines downstairs after you’ve stuffed your face at the buffet. There is a nice spiral escalator which takes you to the second floor where the buffet is located.
The layout of the buffet is a little odd. The food section starts with the desserts on the right hand side while the ice creams and sorbets are further down by the drink machines. The cold dishes are scattered across two stations. Hot food is served at the back and soups are served in the middle.
The dining area is very spacious and ideal for large gatherings. We easily sat there for 2.5 hours as the seats were quite comfortable. Buffets, in general, makes me excited because…who doesn’t like all you can eat?!?
Food – 7/10. Compared to my experience two years ago, I must say the quality of the food has surprisingly improved. In the past, they had theme nights (i.e. BBQ Thursdays) and I did not like the limited food options served on certain nights. This time, it seemed like they did have a good selection of dishes to choose from.
I am not a big fan of cold dishes so I did not take any. However, the selection was good. Out of the three soup options, I had the tomato bisque which I highly recommend. Creamy but not too sour. I had two pieces of sushi which was alright.
They also had a ramen station with three options (seafood, pork and vegetarian). This promotion goes until the end of the month. I tried the seafood ramen. The noodles and seafood were decent but the soup was extremely bland. I would recommend passing on this.
The rest of the hot dishes were decent. The chicken strips and fried spare ribs were not too dry. However, I found the red snapper and the salmon were a little overcooked. My favourite were the beef pot pie and the prime rib. The beef pot pie was warm and the crust was very buttery. The prime rib was very flavourful, cooked just right and was good quality meat. They also have lots of sides to go with it (green onion, sour cream, horse radish,etc.).
There were many options for desserts which include ice cream, sorbet, popsicles, marshmallows, cream caramel, cheesecake, just to name a few. Personal favourite was the sugar free chocolate mousse which was just right in terms of sweetness. The rest of the desserts I found were just decent.
Pretty good deal for $27.95 per person plus gratuity. Seniors (60+) are only $23.95.
Service – 9.5/10. Our server did a terrific job. She came over constantly to take away our plates and refilled our water or tea. She was also very friendly and smiled lots. The only reason why I deducted 0.5 points was due to the reservation process. No one returned my phone call confirming the reservation. I had to call guest services who then transferred me to the food and beverage manager in order for me to verify my reservation.
Good to Know! – Reservation is only taken for parties of 8 or more for Monday to Thursdays. Only time slots available are 5 and 5:30 p.m. They will only take you in once everyone arrives. You leave a voicemail for reservation, cross your fingers and hope they return your call. Parking at the casino is free but allocate at least 10 minutes to look for parking and to walk to the buffet (quite a far walk). Alternatively, you can park across the street and pay $2.50 for 24 hours parking. If you have an Encore membership card, you can get 10% off or you can redeem your points at guest services downstairs to pay for the meal.
Overall – I am sure I will come back with family again since everyone had a great experience.