When my husband's sister suggested going here for a spur-of-moment family meal, I must admit I was not expecting much. I pictured a Foody Goody- or Uncle Willy's- type experience and prepared for the worst, especially after reading a few reviews here and on other sites. The association with Hon's (the former occupant of the location) added to my skepticism, but I was willing to give it a chance. Besides, when the family says "let's go out to eat" you go, right? A reservation for 14 was made and off we went.
After a rather comical communication gap when we arrived, we were seated by a very pleasant and friendly young woman. I was happy to see that the restaurant appeared much cleaner and brighter than before. There are new tables and chairs, flooring, lighting and "decor". It has been renovated to accommodate the buffet area and the kitchen is now behind closed doors. Pitchers of water and tea were placed on our tables and we proceeded to check out the offerings.
There are several "stations" in the buffet area including cold appetizers, salads, 2 hot food steam tables, fruit, sushi/sashimi, dim sum & desserts and a small table near the dim sum area with a rice cooker on it for "bak fan". The salads were nothing special, so I skipped that and went straight to the hot food. There was a great variety including spareribs, fish, mussels in the shell, chicken wings, cut-your-own beef pot roast, chow mein, two kinds of fried rice, octopus, spring rolls, cracked crab, a couple of chicken dishes, spicy green beans, a broccoli dish, vegetables with shrimp, dumplings and several more. Descriptions are nowhere to be found so you just have to go by visual appeal and let me tell you it all looked pretty good! I took small helpings of many different items, thinking I would try the other dishes on my second pass, but everything was so good I just wanted more of what I had. I was very impressed with the colour and freshness of the vegetables (especially the green beans) and the abundance of protein. For instance, there were tons of large, whole shrimp in the fried rice as well as in the vegetables and the fish, crab, chicken and beef were very plentiful in spite of their popularity. All of the dishes seemed to be replenished promptly. My only complaint about the food is that the chow mein was a bit bland and dry but it improved when sauce from other things on my plate was mixed in (the joy of a buffet!). After two plates I was totally stuffed and satisfied. I didn't have room for any of the dessert items (ice cream, pastries, chinese dessert soup, etc) but had a plate of fresh fruit and mango jelly instead. The fruit was fantastic - ripe cantaloupe and honeydew melon , juicy pineapple, sweet red grapes, kiwi halves, quartered oranges, and strawberries that were sweet and full of flavour in spite of their massive size. These people know how to buy fruit!
I found the service to be very efficient - our water and tea pitchers were constantly refilled (I did have to ask the first time but after that they were right on top of it). These are not the kind of people who are going to tell you their name and do everything but sit down and eat with you, but I found them efficient, friendly and attentive. Their job is mostly clearing plates and responding to requests like more napkins and cutlery and they do it well.
I agree that the floor is dangerous - it is slippery and uneven (dark "hardwood" laminate - not the best choice of material for this application and poorly installed). Also, they need to keep their bussing area tidier. This is where they take the dirty dishes, fill water and tea jugs, etc. I noticed food and debris spilled on the floor that should have been cleaned up if only for safety's sake. They are very busy but a couple of swipes with a broom or mop would have helped, especially when it is an area that diners can see. I noticed a wet, dirty towel on the floor near one of the cold food tables, presumably there to absorb water from a leak. It wasn't a hazard or anything but was a bit off-putting. I didn't use the washroom but my daughter said it was "OK, about the same as before." which doesn't sound great.
For $16 each, I think the food was above average for quality, quantity, variety and flavour. No complaints about the service, but they could work on the safety and cleanliness. Oh, and English labels on the buffet would really help.