Newly reopened Hotpot restaurant in Richmond. All-You-Can-Eat dinner only!
Newly reopened after a major reno, place looks very nice and clean. There were lots of options on the tick as you go AYCE menu at $19 for adults and $15 for children. Value not really there for the kids. Meats were cut thin and of good quality, dumplings were very good as well as the different type of meat balls. Soup bases were a $7-$10 add one which is typical. Overall service was very good with quick orders and plate clearing. Would return.
* $19/person All-You-Can-Eat (dinner)
* $7-15 for a pot of soup base divided among your group
* $1.50 for soft drink (unlimited refill); tea is available
* Menu/Order Form is in Chinese and English
* Unless you actively ask for service, refills, etc. you will not be served
* Reserve to cut your wait time (you will still wait at busy times)
Our reservation was for 7:30pm on a Friday, it was made several days in advance. We arrived early but were still made to wait over 30 minutes and were finally seated at around 8pm. The restaurant was extremely busy, with a line-up out the door so despite our reservation we didn't think much of it at this point. People who didn't have a reservation were being asked to wait over an hour.
The trouble began when we tried to order; they had actually asked us to put in an order form a few minutes before we were seated, so we expected to get some food relatively quickly. Nothing came for 15 minutes, not even the soup base for the central hot pot. When we inquired, several servers said "it was coming." Finally at 8:30, somone who looked like a manager or head waiter showed up and told us our order had been "lost" and asked us to reorder. So we had been sitting like idiots at an empty table for half an hour for nothing. He also gave us a pot of soup and a single plate of meat... great, pity food. At 8:45, we got 2 plates of food but it wasn't even our order, since I no longer cared we just ate it.
Our first order didn't start to arrive in earnest until around 9pm. It was sluggish the rest of the night as the restaurant was extremely busy and it was painfully obvious that they didn't have enough staff, or at least enough staff who gave a flying cow turd about service. On and off it went for two more hours; the head waiter/manager didn't come back the rest of the night and avoided our table. By 11pm we tired of the charade, waved the white flag, paid our bill and left unsatisfied and unhappy. A close to three and a half hour ordeal and I wasn't even full from an "All-You-Can-Eat" restaurant. As they apparently have a two hour time limit on meals, I half wish they had kicked us out to spare us any further humiliation.
There was no recognition by the staff or management of what had happened, the cashier didn't even look at us when he took our money (we received no compensation). Despite the appalling service, I don't blame the servers themselves as they are being asked to do a ridiculous amount of work with what looks like little training, motivation, or direction from above. The responsibility lies squarely with management, which was good leaving problems for their staff to handle; or the owner, who we were told was sitting 2 tables over (which was why his table was being served by the head waiter and 2 others ahead of all the other tables seated at the same time). It was an outrageous display of disregard for his clients, a complete shambles.
*Some notes: There is a selection of soup bases and the price differs by what you choose, not by how many people are in your party. The food is mediocre though they have a decent selection. If you want to stick with tea, don't expect it to be refilled unless you ask. Not everyone speaks English (or even good Mandarin), having a Cantonese friend at your table is handy.
Been here twice since I heard it's newly reopened. This place was always a hotpot place, but recently was taken over by new owners (same group that runs the Specialty Chicken & Wonton house). The food overall is better than most AYCE hotpot places I've been in town. Several choices of cut of beef to choose from, and the ingredients are quite fresh. They also have some more items to choose from compare to some places for AYCE. Soup base are quite good overall. I always get satay and often was disappointed with the exception of Ying Kee Restaurant which has the best satay soup in town, but this place is not bad and quite acceptable. The other soup base also is quite good. This place was just renovated, so the new decor is quite nice and good comfortable seating for a AYCE hotpot place. Good value, similar prices to other hotpot places in town but better quality. No wonder there's such a crowd. Reservation is a must. Hope they'll improve the reservation policy, or else there's a lot of waiting for people waiting for earlier customers to finish. The most recent visit, it took quite a while to get the beef we ordered. Hope it's just due to the fact that it was quite busy and they couldn't keep up with slicing the beef. All and all a good choice for AYCE hotpot!
We had a family gathering here which took up about 2 tables. The other table got what they ordered, while our table barely got anything. I sat there so hungry with my little cousins. We complained, but the food still never came. The other table had to give us their frozen food that they didn't want and we were happy to accept it. After about 2 hours, the waitress told us it was last order and we have to leave soon. They still barely gave us anything at this time. I had to bring my little cousins to A&W on the ride home. What a joke !!!
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