China Bar originally started in 1996 as a table service restaurant in Chinatown, Melbourne. The restaurant served up popular dishes from Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. They were authentic and reminded the locals of home.
So when the old Zagames on the corner of Springvale Rd and Burwood Highway was revamped into a gigantic China Bar restaurant, I didn't think such a large space was required as originally these restaurants were always quite a modest size. However the concept of China Bar has since evolved to become the largest Asian buffet restaurant in Melbourne!
The entrance to China Bar - Burwood East
I visited this establishment for lunch on a Friday afternoon at a set price per head of $30 and I certainly was not disappointed. They offered up the best of Asian cuisine, prepared by some of the finest chefs from all over Asia, including China, Vietnam, Japan, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The restaurant is great for large group, but make sure to book
The experience was a buffet and yum cha experience rolled into one, as upon arrival the lovely attendees push around trolleys full of authentic yum cha food, from dumplings to congee and egg tarts to dim sums. Apart from the trolleys of food that come right to your table, diners are free to explore the large variety of foods.
I tackled the large buffet selection in a very systematic order. Following a clockwise direction, I started off with a fancy platter of sushi and then it was off to Indian curry with coconut rice, which was delicious. Now be advised to pace yourself and if you really want to try a bit of everything, make sure you are taking only small servings only.
The sushi bar selection
My favourite part of the buffet was probably the section that holds all foods that you would get at yum cha. They come in those little bamboo baskets as well, but instead of getting a serving of 3 of the same dishes like normal yum cha, you get one to try and move on to others.
All you can eat yum cha
For those of you who just love stir fry, you can get a dish freshly made just for you by the chefs behind the counter. Also, no Asian buffet would be complete without a selection of fried rice, roast duck and a huge selection of traditional Asian dishes.
An endless supply of Roast Duck, Chicken and Pork
Finally when you are stuffed full and you think you cannot get anymore food into your stomach, you find the dessert cabinet and miraculously you find a separate compartment in your stomach that is reserved just for sweets. But hey it's okay; they are all miniature servings, so it's not that bad right!
A large array of miniature desserts
For those of you who want to offset the bad calories with some healthier ones, they do also have a lovely selection of fruit and salad on offer as well.
The Salad Bar
Healthier options are also available
Make sure on weekends you book
to avoid disappointment, and there are 3 different locations to choose from.
Please be aware you won't walk out - you'll waddle!