There is something scenic about dining at buffets. They are active zones of highly volatile "plate" tectonics. Did that sound overly geologic? Well, let me give your imagination a tour. In places like the Star Buffet, where quantity outdoes appetite, expecting a lot of palatable action is normal. The tectonics of appetite collide with those of the food options. And then, a small hill rises on one plate indicating a conducive meeting of the lover and the beloved dish, while on another a valley floor takes shape pointing towards a more restrained appetite, and on some others a forest of leafy greens or a marshland of colourful curries crops up. So you see, under the influence of all that aromatic tectonic activity, "plates" become grounds for rising edible geological features.
After a satiating second visit to the Star Buffet at Granville (one of a franchise of eleven), I couldn't resist writing this review. With almost a hundred dishes on offer everyday of the year, straying beyond dietary limitations becomes a little more attractive at this feast. The buffet, located within the confines of the Granville Diggers Club, opened to the public on Christmas day of 2016. Distanced at a mere 300 meters from Clyde Station on one side and 500 meters from Granville Station on the other, Star Buffet is easily accessible by public transport. Parking isn't much of a concern either for the club has ample parking space (which was initially meant for members only but is now open for all) and if full, you can always park at the Granville station public parking.
Inside the restaurant it is a traffic network of sorts, and as you weave through you find yourself at islands of salad, hot buffet, and desserts; a roundabout of oriental favorites; sidewalks of tea/coffee, waffles, barbecues, carvery, steamed buns; a station for the sushi train; and last but not the least, a chocolate fountain. Plates in hand, our group were soon lost in the maze.
Italian section of hot buffet area (photo by writer)
The salad station was filled with the usual garden salads, some contemporary combinations (of pasta, tofu, seafood or roasted vegetables) varying on a weekday-weekend basis, along with choices of leafy greens, vegetables and dressings for the diners to toss into a mix of their own liking. Inch-sized crab meat tarts had a spontaneous dalliance with my taste buds. The section with steamed rice, naan and roti with a choice of curries was next. The rich thai chicken curry was the best.
Their hot buffet area with its backstage situation had barbecued pork, baked vegetables, roasted duck and an assortment of dim sims. The char sui pork from the Chinese barbecue struck the right cords so some of us could not resist a second serve. The soups (a chicken sweet corn and a tofu-based) were thick and lacked the appetising silkiness. Adjacent to soup was a section of the hot buffet dedicated to pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, parmigiana and a creamy baked fish dish painting the feast with some Italian hues. The creamy fish and fish parmigiana got happy nods from all of us.
For me, the deep fried and stir fried section was a major attraction. Yeah, I know that's a lot of fat stuffed in one sentence. Despite the calorie count, our group had a sneaky moment of escapade from dietary regime. The vegetable and tofu stir fry, the fried rice and the Singapore noodles - each had the pleasing saucy and savoury oriental taste. The station with the deep fried munchies boasted of money bags, spring rolls, succulent sweet and sour chicken and pork, chips, deep fried scallops, battered fish, chicken balls and nuggets - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, everything here was a cracking goodie.
The dessert island was my last and most anticipated stopover. To one side of it was tea/coffee self-serve machine. To go with the hot brews were cakes, cookies, macaroons, puddings, apple pie, pavlova, custard, tarts, delights, bavarois, panna cotta, and fresh fruits. Lacking a rock-solid sweet tooth, the pavlova and the chocolate pudding proved hyper-sweet for me. As for rest of the desserts, they all tasted good with the mixed fruit delight and bavarois cubes, and panna cotta topping the list. The chocolate fountain with accompanying skewered marshmallows to dip in kept the kids going for more as did the teeny-weeny cupcakes and mixed fruit jelly.
Digging into the hillocks on my plate, I must say I had a number of joie de vivre filled bites. Though not every single item left a memorable taste, but most dishes did. And given the price (click here to see all the deals) and diversity, its a no-loss-bet as the probability of finding a good lot of delectables strongly inclines towards you. (Just be advised to drop by at the earliest possible because the last 45 minutes is marked by a drought of replenishments).