Our group of 4 dined at Buffet at River Rock on Monday February 1st. There was no line up, which was a plus....at first.
FOOD: I was dissapointed with the few selections available, in particular the main dishes. There was an over-done roast beef that seemed more like beef jerky, 1 chicken, 1 salmon dish, and 1 mussel tray. Most others were dim sum, chow mein, veggies, or pasta (fillers). Salad and dessert bars were ok, but nothing that's unexpected. There was a chocolate fountain which was a nice touch, but looks nicer than it tastes.
SERVICE: This was probably the worst part of our experience. We were shown to our table but were immediately told by our waitress to all leave and head to the buffet so she can set up the table. Is that normal? I would expect tables to be set up before the guest are seated. My expectation of a buffet waitress is to bring and replenish our drinks, and to take away empty plates promptly while guests go back to the buffet. Never of these expectations were met. Our waitress took forever to take our drink orders and much longer to bring them. She never came back to check if we needed refills. Plates were piling up probably 7 or 8 high (between the 4 of us) before she came by to take them.
Towards the end of our meal, we were waiting for our waitress to order coffee/tea. Instead, she was not seen again. I ended up getting my own coffee when I saw that the waitresses were gathered in a corner chatting away.
When we left, our waitress was seen getting a plate of food for dinner. I guess she didn't intend on checking in with us again.
AMBIANCE: The newly renovated area is nice, although nothing spectacular. It's what I would expect the look of a restaurant inside a casino. I have never been there before so I can not compare it to pre-renovations when it was "Runway 26". Our table was in the corner of the restaurant with a view of the Fraser River. Unfortunately, the table was poorly lit. Half the table could see the food on their plates, while the other half could not.
VALUE: Weekday rate - $22 per person (including soft drink, coffee/tea), $19 for seniors (55+), it's a fair value at best. I'm not sure if lunch or weekend selections are better but I'm not prepared to go back and find out.
OVERALL: If you're prepared for marginal food and non-existant service, than it's worth trying once to just know what they are about. The poor service is what's going to keep me from going back. Even on a Monday, I guess that's why there was no line up.