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2.5
  • Food2.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value2
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews39

Buffet at River Rock, The

8811 River Rd.
Richmond, BC V6X3P8
Tel: (604) 273-1895
Fax: (604) 270-8620
Neighbourhood: Marpole
  • Cuisine: Eclectic
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Not accepted
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Buffet
  • Located in the River Rock Casino, "The Buffet" offers an extensive selection of gourmet dishes and local specialties for their buffet. Recently renovated with a name change from Runway 26 Buffet.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 39 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Should have gone to McDonald's instead
By eating good food of Vancouver (115 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 8:58pm [Dine in]

I came here tonight with a friend of mine, for Mmphis BBQ Night $24.95.....sounds good...I mean all you can eat too.

Anyhow, we went in and there seriously was not that much selection (at least not in the meat categor y(ribs, some chicken and that's pretty much it) I went and got some ribs (about 2 or 3) but it was pretty hard to cut so probably just ate 2. ceasar salad, and they have big sized chicken nuggets. I took at total of 6 my first time there and 8 the second ....the food quality really wasn't all that good to be honest, and for $24.95 it really wasn't that much food.....sure it's all you can eat, but will all that MSG crap that they put in thier food it makes you feel full really quickly....I have been to buffets before and get full there too, but this place was beyond ridicoulous.

So in all;

The BBQ ribs sucked (the feature special) the nuggets were good, but probably loaded with MSG so didn't eat all that many (certainly not $24 worth)....cesear salad ok, and of course the soda pop (well can't go wrong with that)

We won't be back.....seriously wish we had gone to Burger King or McDonald's instead

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Bad food! Bad Bad services!
By Cyan of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, May 9, 2014 - 11:49pm [Dine in]

Went there for lunch with my family, food quality was okay~ Cooked food was bad, I rather go to food court. Salad was the only good thing in the buffet. The worse thing is the services, rude and bad attitude. This lady scared my 2 yr old who was just sitting on the bench quietly playing with her iPhone. Without a word, she rushed to the table and removing all the dishes and cup in front of my child, when she walked away, she made this horrible face and said "I'm taking these away....... Blah blah... Or else I will needa clean it...". Forgot the exact words she said because I was too shock at her action. I understand (maybe) she did this for my child's safety, but can she be a bit more polite or at least be gentle when taking the stuff away, the noises she made scared everyone. And this chef at the bar, I accidentally dripped a half-penny size congee on the bar, and he wiped it right away and said 'Oh man~~~'.... I didn't know why I paid almost $20 for this quality of food and services.

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Not Very Awesome,Uncle Willys has more Variety!!
By stripperdj of east vancouver (55 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 10:39pm [Dine in]

Went here on a Tuesday night. There was no wait,so we got right in.
First off, I would have assumed there would have been a bigger chinese food section,being in Richmond and all.
IT was sad. Wonton,sesame balls,crappy veggie dish,beef and greens,unappetizing chicken potstickers. And an unfilled spagheitti with Bolognese sauce. Never tried it,because it never got refilled.
Basa fish in a cream sauce,Blah. Roas beef,hard to screw that up. Seafood penne,no seafood. Pesto pasta was average.
And,strangely enough,a "Mediterranean" section. Rice Pilaff meh. Falafel, hard and dry. greek salad was good.
The salad bar was full of different things,Like pea shoot sprouts for instance. Who the hell eats those?
The best part was the dessert section. A large selection of desserts,however,some of them looked like they were attacked by chainsaws. People digging into them like savages leaves the line in a very unappealing state.
The "bottled" water that is complimentary is merely tap water,which is ok I guess. Kind of a neat feature.
I was really expecting more seafood,or really,any kind of seafood for that matter. Some prawns, crablegs,anything.
All in all,It wasnt worth the price. Maybe they switch up the menu occasionally,and i picked a bad week.
Either way,this place is not on my return list.
Food court,although pricey,would be a better choice.

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Festive Lunch Buffet
By bordercollie of north vancouver (268 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 3:32pm [Dine in]

I was given gift card and heard about River Rock buffet. I tried it out after 1pm, wasn't too busy for the holiday season.
I was greeted by a friendly server, paid my $17.80 for my lunch and was seated near a window. I walked to the hot bar, tried the mashed potatoes, turkey, roast beef and salad. I got my beverage and walked to my table. I loved their turkey, lots of flavour, tender and great tasting. I had a slice roast beef, it was okay, a bit on the rare side and my side entree's complimented one another. I tried the dessert table, I like the creme caramel, light with lots of flavour, and found the strawberry banana triffle, too sweet and only ate a couple of bites.

The place was relaxed, not too busy, service was attentive and i would try it again for lunch.

Will be back to explore the menu.

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Higher Quality Buffet
By cherrybomb143 of Surrey, bc (218 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 10:20pm [Dine in]

It's true that there are many buffet restaurants out there, but my friends and I have found that unless we're in Vegas, they've all declined in quality (or never really had edible food to begin with). Imagine my surprise when we had dinner at the River Rock - the food was fresh, and dishes were clean.

FOOD: Was good. The salad bar was well-stocked and very fresh, the prime rib was medium rare and tasty. The dessert section was awesome! Lots and lots of great desserts. The salmon was a little dry, and the hot food in the Asian section was more of the food court variety, but the yummy food everywhere else easily made up for it. Sushi bar wasn't bad either.

VALUE: I think we paid about $22 / person on a weeknight (it's more on weekends) and the price included drinks (ie. coffee, tea, pop) For the quality of food, and compared to other buffets' prices, I'd say this is my new go-to buffet.

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Really, its not bad
By sgtoca of Kitsilano, Vancouver (103 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 11:08am [Dine in]

But not great. It is what it is, nothing even close to Vegas style buffet but for the spread, not bad. Weekend $27 buys you all kinds of salads, cold seafood like prawns, crab legs, mussels and hot food included more seafood like stir fry mussels, fish. Meat dishes included a station where the slice thin slices of prime rib but it was tender and delish. Grilled chicken, NY steak (a little tough) was also on the spread. Desserts were ok, I did enjoy some of the mousse. Different kinds of carbs like pasta, rice. Veges had a ratatouille, grilled veges and stir fry. Kinda buffet with an asian influence due to the majority of the customers and locale in Richmond. Doubt I'd go again though as it was just ok, would try the lounge again next time. Service was good, fast clearning of plates, drinks served promptly and staff was relatively friendly.

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Dinner before the Jackson Concert
By Top Hat Cleaning of Vancouver (east) (3 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 1:53pm [Dine in]

This was my first time at the River Rock Buffet and I loved it. There were many food choices (could have been a few more meat choices) but the food was excellent and Uncle Willy's does not measure up to this place it all.

The service my mother and I received was amazing and the staff seem to mind everyones table because we did not need to wait for our server at all. As soon as a server saw me looking around the room someone was
at my table asking if we needed anything. My table was cleared of plates, drinks topped up and I had a great experience.

For the money this is incredible and I normally go to the Keg but not any more! For $29.99 I am able to have salad, desert, dinner, pop, coffee or tea and if I wanted an extra something it is included and I do not have to wait 30-45 minutes for my food! Where else can you go and have 10 crab legs if you wanted? They even warmed up butter for us!

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Not Worth It
By 8there of Vancouver (66 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 9:00am [Dine in]

It had been a couple years since we last went to this buffet, and since we received a gift card we thought we'd try it again. We love Vegas buffets, but there is definitely no comparison - this is no where close to that quality. First we felt ripped off - the website states dinner is $21.95 Sun-Thurs - we went on a Monday night only to see a sign at the entrance stating dinner is $27.95. Not sure if they were trying to milk it because of the Olympics or what. The cashier was less than friendly, and could barely speak English. The hostess who seated us gave us a choice of sitting closer to the buffet or window. We chose a window seat, and the busboy prompted filled our water. The waitress appeared quickly and took our drink order.

With the renovations the food area is larger and looked more welcoming than before. However, on closer inspection the food was not so impressive. The variety is very limited. The salad bar was ok, they had about 5 different kinds of lettuce and other salads. The hot food, well, let's just say it was a strange mix. There was dim sum (siu mai and shanghai pork dumplings), fried noodles and fast food type chinese food, 2 kinds of pasta, gnocchi with cranberry sauce (very strange), samosas, spicy eggplant, mashed yams among other misc dishes. The roast beef was tough, though it tasted ok. The salmon was not too dry. They had a hot dog station. Hot dogs? Are you kidding me?

The desserts at first looked pretty nice but again on closer inspection was not too appetizing. The chocolate fountain is a gimmick. It didn't taste good at all, but I'm sure kids had fun making a mess dipping their fruit and marshmallows in it. Everything else just looked like a big mushy mess.

As for the service, the waitress was very diligent in taking our plates away, once practically as soon as I lifted my last bite off the plate. However, she never returned to ask if we wanted anything else to drink. The entire experience was less than satisfactory, and totally not worth the money. I think it's safe to say we will not be returning.

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Worst possible food and service at an AYCE buffet!
By priggly of Coquitlam (73 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 8:44pm [Dine in]

I have dined at this atrocious "buffet" on one occasion and will never go back.

The food is profoundly poor in both quality and selection. It tastes totally institutional. The service is uncaring and unprofessional. The value quotient is nil in view of the preceding two parameters. The ambiance is totally lacking.

It is clear that the quality of this place is so poor because the government runs it. There is no incentive whatsoever for striving for excellence. Compare this dump to the excellent buffets in Reno or Las Vegas or even to the other local privately run buffets and there is simply no comparison.

Spend your money elsewhere where there is some striving for excellence in food quality and service.

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Just ok. I wouldn't go back.
By johnm1987 of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, September 10, 2012 - 6:10pm [Dine in]

Just ok. I wouldn't go back. The waitresses, would barely acknowledge us. One of them even completely ignored my wife after making eye contact with her, when she was trying to call her over for service.Food was... ok. should be better.

Just ok. I wouldn't go back. The waitresses, would barely acknowledge us. One of them even completely ignored my wife after making eye contact with her, when she was trying to call her over for service.Food was... ok. should be better.Just ok. I wouldn't go back. The waitresses, would barely acknowledge us. One of them even completely ignored my wife after making eye contact with her, when she was trying to call her over for service.Food was... ok. should be better.Just ok. I wouldn't go back. The waitresses, would barely acknowledge us. One of them even completely ignored my wife after making eye contact with her, when she was trying to call her over for service.Food was... ok. should be better.

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NEVER again.....
By Binky of Coquitlam (32 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 10:40pm [Dine in]

Reading today's review reminded me that I never did get around to putting in my review from eating there on Oct. 31st, 2009. This was actually my second visit as the first one wasn't much different, but I was the birthday girl and had high hopes. So a friend and I were going to the Joan Rivers performance and decided to eat at the buffet prior to it. First of all, with all the renovations going on it was nearly impossible to find the restaurant - signage was sorely lacking....and perhaps it would have been best NEVER to have found it. This was a Sat. night therefore top price. Where to start? Salad selection was fine, no complaints. Then onto the rest. Crab was obviously previously frozen and full of water and no flavour. Roast beef was grisly and stringy, again no seasoning. Buns were good and the mashed potatoes were fine. Faux Chinese food is better at a food court-trust me. Even vegetables were steamed to mush. I didn't even bother with the desserts but my friend (the eternal optimist-bless her heart) did and I swear frozen McCains chocolate cake would have been superior! Some rubbish cheesecake with tinned pie filling splattered on top completed the selection. The best thing that I saw was the fresh cut up fruit. I must say that we had a wonderful server who at the very end AGREED with us on the crap food!! I HAD to ask her why she would choose to work there and receive very little in tips because of the food and she shyly admitted that the other workers were like a nice family and that was the only reason she worked there. She also admitted she rarely ate more than salad and mashed potatoes and gravy and now I know WHY! This place needs a serious menu revamp and get rid of the hospital/steam table food! When you buy the groceries, you COULD have made great food out of it...why do they choose to make such POOR quality/tasting food? Quite the dilemma indeed. Seriously, NEVER again.

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Hotel type buffet but don't expect Vegas
By Azusa of Burnaby (38 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 7:19pm [Dine in]

Went with a group of friends for lunch and one of them was able to get a discount for the group. So, instead of the full price, we paid $11.00 each.

The selection of salads was good and had a bit of everything. As for meats, the roast beef and ham were OK (nothing extraordinary). Other meats include baked (steamed?) fish, BBQ pork and stir fry. Some of them were a bit bland and looked like they have been sitting there for a while. Finally, the dessert selection was good, including self-serve soft-serve machine and other Splenda-based items. Had some cookies and chocolate mousse.

Service was relatively fast. The waiters/waitresses removed the plates whenever it looked like one had finished it. However, I wish they would check the drinks more often.

Overall, since I didn't have high expectations (as mentioned in the title, I wasn't expecting Vegas style buffet), I will have to say I had a decent meal. I might go again, if I am able to get the discount.

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Hoping it was just an off day....
By foodhedonist of East Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 6:35pm [Dine in]

I'd been wanting to try this place for some time now and thought no better time than mother's day. Fortunately I wasn't able to book on mother's day so I made a reservation for dinner the day after mother's day, no problem.

Started with the salad bar, not bad, lots of selection. But who goes to a buffet for the salads? Moved onto the hot food items. Everything looked dried out like it had been there for hours. Even the carved prime rib was tough and rubbery. I realize that Monday's are not the busiest day of the week and the food won't move as quickly, but at least replenish with some fresh food. I was able to enjoy the soup (corn and bacon chowder) and the dessert bar was pretty good. Our server was excellent, very friendly and attentive. Unfortunately good service and decent salad and dessert are not worth the drive out to Richmond.

Hopefully things improve after their renovations are complete, but I'm not sure if I want to go back to find out.

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River Rock Buffet (for dinner) is awesome!
By adamsmaddy of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:45pm [Dine in]

I've gone to the River Rock buffet on several occasions and was always left satisfied. Although I've heard iffy things about the breakfast, I really enjoyed the dinner buffets I've attended.
Last week we went there on a Thursday night for my dad's birthday. Thursday nights are a bit more expensive (23 or 25 I believe) compared to their advertised week day rate, it was worth it! Thursday night is Memphis BBQ night and it's ribs, brisket, roast chicken, pulled pork, hush puppies, pecan pie, cherry pie and peach cobbler- all the specialties were great!
As well as the BBQ theme items they had a variety of other hot items. Just off the top of my head- they had creamy polenta, catfish, pork buns, dumplings, fried rice, noodle dish, lobster cream sauce pasta, sundried tomato penne, a beef and a lamb dish, and much more.
I read a review saying that they only had a few salad items- they have at least 10 different salads! Maybe more, the salad course is a large course in itself because there are plenty of options to choose from.
As well, I always look forward to the dessert selection because they have a large selection of great desserts.
Service is prompt and friendly, my water glass stays full and as well as any other drinks (pop, juice, coffee, tea and sparkling water are all included).
Over all, my family and I really enjoy the river rock buffet dinner service and do not consider it cafeteria quality at all.

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Not Bad, but not good either. Shrug shrug- and unmemorable
By richmond diner of richmond bc (9 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 11, 2011 - 1:03pm [Dine in]

This buffet started out great when RIver Rock first started many years ago. It was a welcome addition to the nice places in oten to bring friends and family for celebrations and special occasions.

Then the food became run of the mill, mass produced and cafeteria like in quality.
Edible was a word that came to mind. Though you can see men dressed as chefs milling about in the background, the food that came out of there and into your plate was not any step up what a fast food bulk cafeteria can produce. All for show.

There are other better places to bring the birthday celebrant in the family or mom during Mothers days.

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Hello Denny's!
By Richmondite of Richmond (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 4:18pm [Dine in]

Hey, if you want to pay $15 for some fresh cut fruit, coffee, juice, toast-it-yourself bagels, and artery clogging breakfast food then be the River Rock's breakfast buffet guest.

Honestly, IHOP and Denny's outmatch the food at this buffet. The hashbrowns are oily and soggy, the scrambled eggs were clearly packaged liquid egg, the "pancakes" and french toast had to have been produced by Eggo. The eggs benedict were ok granted I knew it was an actual fresh egg but the Hollandaise sauce was fairly weak and limited.

Now, the buffet does have fresh bread and bagels to toast as well as a juice machine, and fresh cuts of basic fruits like watermelon, grapes, apples, oranges, cantaloupe etc. So after prodding at my styrofoam hashbrowns and pancakes I got a plate of fruit, cottage cheese, and toast that would be worth about $5 at any corner cafe.

Ultimately, if you get a free voucher it's worth it but don't pay for it.

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Aweful Service
By Average_Joe of Burnaby (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 2:58am [Dine in]

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.

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mothers day rip off!
By nikipigglet of Richmond (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 10, 2009 - 11:41pm [Dine in]

food selection was limited, which would have been ok, except that the little that they offered was terrible! scalloped potatos were not cooked through. neither were the root vegetables. salmon was dry and fishy tasting. wild rice was also undercooked and completely flavourless. servers did not remove plates, so we had to put them in the corner behind us. there were no sugar free desserts at all. nothing was labelled as to what it was. we were seated 25 minutes after our 5:00 reservation time, and then they had the nerve to ask us to leave at 6:45 so they could prepare for the next seating! and to top it all off, it was 29.99 per person! will NEVER go back here!

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A Good Landing On Runway 26
By pepperoni of surrey (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, January 1, 2007 - 3:11pm [Dine in]

On the day of December 31/2006 NEW Year's Eve ,we enjoyed some very good food and excellent service at the River Rock Casinos' Runway 26 Brunch.The variety,taste and ambiance were outstanding.The scallops and shrimp were nicely spiced while the roast beef was cut to your individual taste.The dessert selection was also varied and well presented.Our son and his friends recommended the Runway 26 Buffet some time ago and we arrived there two months later with 3 senior couples and were similarly impressed!We highly recommend this establishment as an enjoyable ,relaxing and positive dining experience.

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not a typical casino buffet
By milou of East Van (46 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 25, 2006 - 9:45am [Dine in]

We've been dining here on a regular basis about once every 1 or 2 months since they first opened. I noticed that the food has been on a decline, the last time we took our guest, the crableg were not fresh. When you break the crableg, if it's fresh, the meat can easily be pulled intact instead of falling apart. The prime rib is too solid, not juicy, and I guess the only consolation is their dessert which I think is not bad. I like their trifle pudding, and assortment of cakes other than that...the food quality needs to be improved especially after they raised their weekend seafood buffet from around 11.99 to 21.99 about 3 months ago.

With the current price and quality, we're not coming back. It's just not worth it. I'd rather save money and go to Vegas and enjoy their assortment of buffets. If you go to Vegas, try Paris Buffet (make sure you came early to pick a reservation because the line is long), their dessert is one of the best in Vegas, The Palms buffet is also great...because they have gyros or donair made to order (one of the greatest value buffet). If you like asian food go to the Bellagio buffet ...but I think the price is too much for some stir frys and steam veggie. Another solid one is Mandalay Bay's buffet and forget the rest. I've never been to the new Wynn's and I don't know if they have a good buffet. Among all these buffet places, I always like to stop by at my favorite place, California Hotel in downtown Las Vegas for a bowl of oxtail soup for $5.99 (only from 11 PM - 9 AM ...yes you read it right). The soup is to die for, and I normally finish off with the banana fritters & ice cream caramel for $2.99, yummy... Well enough of this, I hope the management at Runway 26 buffet will do something about this.

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