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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 21 - 39 of 39 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
rotten bread... need i say more
By hayfield of Surrey, B C (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 1:23am [Dine in]

I came here for the breakfast buffet after spending a night at the hotel with a group of friends. I had heard old AMAZING things about their dinner buffet and was excited to gorge my hungover self on yummy breakfast foods. Man was I disappointed; first of all, WHO charges upwards of 20 dollars for a buffet that serves powdered eggs? They were absolutely disgusting. My friend realized his toast was rotten 2 bites in and the croissants had to have been days old. The only thing was the orange juice or eggs Benedict probably because it was doused in sauce. I would never recommend their breakfast to anyone I had an ounce of respect for.

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Aweful Service
By Average_Joe of Burnaby (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 3:58am [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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It's been downhill ever since the renovations
By wenzo of Burnaby (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 7:42pm [Dine in]

We did the Sunday brunch (24.95 per adult) and we definitely didn't think we were getting value here. The food was moderately warm at best and this is a significant leap from the regular lunch price of 16.95 any other day. The only difference we could tell is maybe the seafood options (which only consisted of crab legs that were salty and hard to eat and mussels - no smoked salmon or anything else you would expect at a brunch). This is our fourth experience - the first was BEFORE the renovations and I was duly impressed with the food quality (way more selection never to be seen since renovating) and decor. Then we went during the renovations and I agree with the other posters who said that it was an inferior experience and they should not have charged regular price while renovating. Then we went after the renovations - once for dinner and then today, for the brunch. Before the renos, the decor was plush, and it felt luxurious. They even made fresh sushi on-site (we've never seen this since). Now, it has more of a cafeteria feel to it. Definitely NOT HIGH END. This was probably done to accommodate more people. The service is inconsistent - today's experience was less than satisfactory. While they took our dirty dishes away, they didn't offer us refills on our coffee or water (in the end, we just helped ourselves). And there are some really bad tables (in terms of where they are located) so it's a crap-shoot where they will seat you. If you want value, you are much better off going to a higher end restaurant and having a proper (hot) brunch. Chances are pretty good you won't be paying $25 for it either.

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Terrible...
By Raowar of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 25, 2009 - 2:12pm [Dine in]

Went here the other night for a family birthday dinner, the casino itself wasn't very busy but they told us between 30 and 90 minutes for a table. This seemed odd to have such a range, later on (much like everyone on here) I discovered this is because they have unadvertised renovations going on depleting their seating area.

To top this off, they give you a pager, which went off almost an hour later and we cash out from our gambling, go up and find out they pushed the wrong pager button! Totally unacceptable!

Then when we go in, they tell us groups of 8 or above have a 15% gratuity, which seems really strange to me since it's a buffet, why would we have to pay for service when someone is not even taking our orders or bringing us food.. then they admitted it is not "mandatory" which was even stranger.

The food was okay, nothing special, I heard a lot of people complaining and for the $21.99 price you could go to The Keg and have a delicious steak + potato instead of filling yourself with marginal food. The decor looked like Denny's at best and the naming of the restaurant for being able to see the runway no longer applies due to the renovations... you can only see the underneath of Oak St. Bridge which isn't very exciting.

As for the service, we got 1 round of drinks and that's it. No one ever came by after and the plates got stacked up about 10 high before anyone even came to get them. Really lousy, certainly not worth even 10% let alone 15%.

Would never return and highly recommend avoiding this place. Totally not worth the money or wait.

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mothers day rip off!
By nikipigglet of Richmond (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 11, 2009 - 12:41am [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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You can find better elsewhere
By brgirl604 of Burnaby, BC (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 9:12pm [Dine in]

I have been to this buffet numerous times, and every time it gets worse. The first time I went it was with a big group of friends/coworkers and it was a decent venue for a gathering like that. The second time I took my family and it was satisfactory. Then I went there with just my husband in November 2008 and unbeknownst to us they are under renovation, but there were no signs or indications of that. They were charging full price ($30/person for their "seafood dinner buffet") and the minute we were getting seated we realized what a mistake it was. The seating area was basically a hallway and a little section the size of a cafe. The salad bar was bigger than actual buffet, and looked like most stuff was sitting around for hours. There were many bowls that needed to be replenished, but no one was doing that. The hot food was very limited with one roast station, some chicken drumsticks in brown sauce, mussells in sauce, calimari, and cooked crab in chili sauce (impossible to eat). There was the cold crab legs in the salad section, but it was difficult to crack, very salty, not very fresh, and covered in barnacles. Not very appetizing. They also had shrimp (unpeeled). For $30 you would be expecting a lot more. The food was either under a heat lamp or in chafers like some cheap buffet. You could probably do better with Uncle Willy's. This is a far cry from the nicer casino buffets you will see in Vegas, and you are better off spending your money on a restaurant meal elsewhere or some all-you-can eat sushi restaurant if you want seafood. My husband was a glutton for punishment agan so we gave it another try thinking the renos are done--boy were we wrong. Again there was no indication of their reduced service/selection and we paid to find out that we were facing the EXACT same situation as last time. It was just as bad, if not worse. They won't even refill your drinks or take away your plates because there was only ONE hostess. You can find better elsewhere.

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not worth the wait or the food
By sunnygirl of richmond (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 3:54pm [Dine in]

This is about the 4th time i have eaten here, and have consistently found the food - at best ..poor. The salads are either brown or the ceaser salad is always runny. My guests have always wanted to try it out and out of all fairness I didn't mind, hoping the quality would improve. This last visit was absolutely the worst, I took my fiance there for his birthday for a treat as he is a sea-food fanatic. The steaks and chicken were lukewarm, the selection was not good, the seafod was so highly spiced or sauced as to be unrecognizable. They are under renovation and the large room they used to have with a cheerful ambience is now gone and instead of seating well around the 300 mark, we were crammed into small eating areas with a total seating that would be around the 100-150 mark. We waited an hour for seating and as we were leaving about an hour later they were seating people who had been in the lineup BEFORE us!

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A Good Landing On Runway 26
By pepperoni of surrey (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, January 1, 2007 - 4:11pm [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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What's everyone going on about...
By royrock of Vancouver (West End) (13 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 2:50pm [Dine in]

I went here last night, which was a Friday, and apparently Friday's they have a seafood feature. It's a little more costly, but it was my one year anniversary so price is out the window. It came to $29.95 plus tax each. Gotta say it would be totally bogus if that WASN'T the price seeing what was awaiting inside.
I was expecting just kind of Uncle Willy's-like food, but probably with better decor, but I was delightfully surprised. Walking in, a really nice lady has you pay and everything is in perfect unison with the rest of River Rock; elegant and clean. Then a hostess seats you which is different to me, and then you have your own server in case you want some alcoholic beverages or just drinks in general (juice, soda, tea, coffee, all included in price).

The table we sat at was a little two seater with neatly placed napkins and cups and tea cups, and instead of just having a fork and knife, they have the salad forks, butter knives, dinner forks, and dinner knives which was a nice touch, and a teaspoon. Ambiance got big points because there was a nice view of the sunset and everything was set up with good taste.
My boyfriend being anxious to eat, we promptly went to the salad bar. Huge selection of different greens: iceberg, spinach, frisee, mesclun, and just medley of things. And then they had dishes of things to put on your greens, like artichoke salads, crab salad, sauteed cold corn, tomatoes, bacon bits, freshly grated paramesean, shrimp, crab legs, and cocktail sauce. Also three different kinds of dressings. At the same bar, they had some rolls and a flat bread. I loaded up on the salad because everything looked so good.
After our amazing salad, we went to the hot bar and everything was fresh and being prepared in the kitchen on the other side of the bar. They had sauteed zucchini, fried squid, rigatoni in a rosy sauce (my favorite out of the whole buffet), some chinese dishes like tofu in oyster sauce, and fried rice, and other pastas, dumplings, chicken, and even crab claws. Going to admit the fries rice and basa in cream sauce were kind of meh... but everything else was rich in flavour and used quality ingredients.
They also had a sushi bar with all the basics and then some, all were being prepared fresh in front of you which was nice.
The dessert bar was the same size as the hot food bar, and wow. So many choices. Cheesecake with raspberry puree, tiramisu, apple pie, lychee jelly, baklava, fondue, cookies, ice cream, and so much more. Everything was fresh and everything was absolutely rich and tasted so awesome. They had little shot glasses with white chocolate mouse and a raspberry layer, and I normally hate white chocolate. Until I had that.

All in all, our plates were picked up promptly, the food was so satisfying, and thanks to River Rock, it made our anniversary even better.

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Grand Re-opening
By hungryman of Coquitlam (15 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 1:39pm [Dine in]

The Runway 26 Buffet re-opened August 5th, as "The Buffet". The newly renovated restaurant is now a 260 seat spacious dining experience. The food and service is as good as it was originally.
They have a flowing chocolate tower for the kids to dip their marshmallows and fruit. The seafood and prime rib is being served at the Sunday Brunch.

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you only get what you paid for
By Maverik of Yaletown, Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 4:56am [Dine in]

Having moved to Vancouver recently, I’ve been enjoying great Asian food this city has to offer. I’ve been building up some kind of crave for Canadian food on the other hand. Since this restaurant is the only Canadian buffet in my area, so I gave it a try.
It was $12.99 for lunch, soft drinks are included in the price. It’s nearly 20 bucks for Sunday Brunch, however. I went there on Saturday.
For soup, they had clam chowder and beef barley. As I was scooping chowder, I didn’t see any clam in there. I just filled half cup, I was glad I did. It was just a ‘seafood flavor cream soup’. Campbell’s Chunky Clam Chowder is much better than that.
I can almost always predict the quality of food at the restaurant by tasting their bread. At carving station, they had ham and roast beef. They were okay. They also had wide variety of protein: roast turkey, mushroom cream chicken, ‘Canadian’ beef, chicken and vege stir fry, white fish with sweet spicy sauce , fried oyster, cod, etc. White fish was bad, I could easily tell it was from frozen. Turkey, chicken and stir fry weren’t too bad. To accompany, they had mashed potatoes, rice, and pasta.
They have wide selection of desert, some pretty good, some not so good. Their crème brulee, tartes, fudges were pretty good.
The service was almost non existent. I didn’t like my waitress take away my dishes without asking me, it’s not Chinese buffet after all. She’s also supposed to serve drinks. I’ve waited for my coffee for a few minutes, and received no attention. No big deal, I walked up to the bar….nobody. No coffee pot. My waitress finally walked by, I got my coffee. If they want to have it more ‘self serve - like’, they should create drink bar as well, so we don’t have to wait and bother wait staffs.
I may go back when I get another Canadian food crave next time around...but not for a while.

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Don't Gamble on the Food
By GastroGene of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 27, 2006 - 12:24pm [Dine in]

This buffet at River Rock is very average. The food is only cooked when needed so you have to wait for the good stuff. The other restaurants in the Casino complex are better. I think this place is only for people that want to eat fast so they can get back to feeding the slot machines. Very very overated restaurant. I was disappointed. Way too much hype in advertising Runway 26. I would suggest you RUN the other WAY. There are plenty of nearby restaurants that are WAY better.

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Bad food! Bad Bad services!
By Cyan of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 12:49am [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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Just ok. I wouldn't go back.
By johnm1987 of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, September 10, 2012 - 7:10pm [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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No other kind
By Soohungry of Lower mainland (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, June 28, 2010 - 9:07am [Dine in]

I have been to many many many buffets around the world I would like to share my experince with you all. On June 26, 2010 I arrived to River Rock Casino by Skytrain...Not bad 15 mins from Cambie Station! I felt really hungry and I remembered my girl friend talking to me about the the buffet. The time was approx 615pm I walked thru the skytrain walkway...This goes straight into River Rock! I didn't want to dine alone but once I got to the front of the buffet the lady at the hostess stand was very personable, friendly and greeted me like its not ackward to eat alone.

I was shown to the Cashier where I stood behind 5 people waiting to pay before entering. Funny thing, I saw that people who are curious and asks tonnes of questions sure makes the waiting time longer... WOW!

Once I paid I approached a check point, I was greeted with a big smile. The Buffet was BUSY! Big parties with people laughing and kids actually eatting... Felt like I was in Las Vegas.

I got a table near the food as I saw other tables that are farther near the water. I am sure those seats are prime! Anyways I skipped the salad as I don't believe in greens, but I was amazed with the selection that looked like 10 or more choices of salad and that they have an ice platform to cool the salad. Nice presentation... if you been to any other buffets that have a salad station this looks pretty neat!

I proceeded to the entree items. Prime Rib was waiting for me... Yummy! The asian selection was very tasty. Sorry that I am a meat lover as you already know I don't eat much vegetable items.

I paid for what I ate... great value as I had 6 meat items and tonnes of dessert.

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not to much choice....
By july88 of canada (8 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 6:04pm [Dine in]

not too much food variety. very slippery floors, and the garbage man just picked up the garbage and rolled it out while we were coming back with food on our plates. if this buffet should be any closer to what a casino resort buffet should be, than it is far away from reality. the hotel is good, but the food, bad. too pricy for the food selection. even the sushi rice was cold, as if it was done the day before. if you have any food alergies, the sef can't help you. like they couldn't help me. lots of improvemnt needed. brunch is better, but in any case be prepared to wait 2 hours to be seated.

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It Runs
By Hetzer of Richmond (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 8, 2008 - 4:56pm [Dine in]

The River Rock Resort in Richmond boasts three restaurants and a snack bar. That sounds great.
I have taken my wife a few times to the Tramato Restaurant located on the top floor of the River Rock Resort. Since I did not wish to drive I asked for the limousine service. We were assured that it was no problem.
Limousine never turned up, and so we were late arriving at the restaurant. Food was not bad.
On the following dining out at the same restaurant, the food became worse and the service not so great. The last time we tried to eat, we waited 25 minutes for horsdeuvers and then a further 45 minutes for main course. I must point out that there were only two other table with guests. We paid for the wine and horsdeuvers, and walked out for the last time.

The restaurant is very expensive and wines do not match the pathetic menu. I will mention here and now, that at no time had we left that place with a bill that was under $300.00 for two.

The second restaurant on the premises, called “The Dockside”, is modest. If you like to savour “Club Sandwich” with ice-cold chicken and shrivelled strip of bacon, then that is the place to eat it. Menu is limited choices.

The Runway offers good value for money.

H. Goertz

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Worst food anywhere
By bizby of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 6:41pm [Dine in]

Please, HIRE A COOK, this place is a embarrassment to the entire rstaurant industry! Nothing is worth the trip to this place,and the much touted "Thanksgiving" buffet was pathetic, cryova turkey breast.

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Excellent value, very good food
By luminaire of Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 2, 2008 - 2:43am [Dine in]

I've been to this restaurant three times and the food has been solid.
On a weekday for $20, the buffet will feature new york steaks, lemon herb chicken, salmon, stir fry noodles, riscotta, sundried tomato pasta, chorizo sausage pasta, roast beef, roasted herb potatoes, spicy green beans, eggplant/carrots in black bean, sichuan stirfry, fried tofu and veggies, fried rice, mashed potatoes, cheesecake, strawberry cake, chocolate mousse cake, custards and other deserts, tons of salads and dressings (no specifics here, i dont eat salads at buffets ahahaha sigh), and a fondue station. Of course, the offerings can change but thats what i recall...

If you go on weekends, it costs around $26-$27, and the buffet will additionally have crab legs, a shrimp dish, prime rib, and a sushi station (doesnt compare to other ayce sushi places at all).

Service is polite, waiters come by and take away plates and give pitchers of free pop/water. Ambience is nice, there are soft couch seats and its not crowded.

Check the website for monthly specials. They usually have $15 specials on Mon or Tues or seating before 7pm. For that price its a great value and you'll be full after trying everything. If you can't make it for that, get a BC gold card at the service desk and its a 10% discount. Also, no reservations, have fun!

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