another vegas buffet

So we did 4 buffets in 24hrs. For lunch today, we went to another buffet, this time at the Cosmopolitan. We can see the hotel very clearly from the room, but walking there took 15mins, having to walk through the Bellagio then to a thankfully covered walkway.

The Cosmo is modern and very pretty. My friend J told me that they advertise themselves using the slogan the right amount of wrong, and there is that feel.

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What I liked about the buffet was the food was different from the buffetofbuffets one, because it didn’t come from the same group of companies. There was a kale salad, of course. Different varieties of cauliflower. A brussels sprout salad that was really good, so good that I had it with the main course. Roast was prime rib and a sirloin, both of which I enjoyed. Skipped the asian and italian food sections.

Dessert was also small bites which I sampled lightly. The highlight in terms of dessert was ice cream. I had berry frozen yoghurt, salted caramel peanut and thai tea. The salted caramel peanut was very good, salty enough for me and the peanut butter came through. The surprise delight was thai tea, or their version of the type of tea found in asia–strong black tea with sweet condensed milk. The creamy and sweet milk came first, then the tea afterwards.

Went back to the hotel after lunch and even though we had intentions to go to downtown, we ended up staying inside the hotel for the rest of the day. Helped a little bit with conference setup, mostly hung around the registration desk talking to people. Dinner with friends at the mexican place inside the hotel. Back to the room by 8pm and caught up with mkr videos.

ate at 3 buffets, walked 13km

tl;dr: spent the day eating, walked 13km in between going from one buffet to another.

Since we activated the buffet of buffets pass at 6.27pm last night, we have until that time today to fit as many buffets as possible. We figured we can do breakfast, lunch and dinner today and planned it out accordingly.

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Breakfast was at Flamingo, just across the street from our hotel. At 8am it was already very hot outside. A showed me how to crush up watermelon and add to iced tea, which was delicious. I had honey roasted ham, sausage, bacon, egg white omelette, and kale salad. Strange to have kale salad for breakfast, it was very tasty. There were blueberries, strawberries, quinoa, cheese and a sweet dressing. I went back for seconds. Also had small bites of a smores pie and cheesecake. Tried to be picky about what to get and stayed away from carbs.

The morning was spent walking south from Flamingo. Past our hotel, then to Planet Hollywood, eventually to MGM Grand. Escaped the heat by visiting the shops too–coke, m&m both have large presence. Caught a lot of common pokémons, and battled in gyms. Distance walked over 3km, including walking around inside casinos.

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At the MGM Grand we crossed the road to New York New York and explored inside. Walked back north via that side of the road, our destination was Spice Market inside Planet Hollywood, perfect timing for lunch. My immediate requirement was a large soft drink, it was hot work walking in the 40ºC sun. They had one of those machines where you can make your own soft drink so I mixed a vanilla, lemon and lime diet pepsi, then followed with root beer.

The buffet has a nice variety of food. Breakfast (brunch) items were still available and there was Mexican, Asian, Middle-Eastern. Started with shrimps and middle-eastern dips. The roast counter had lamb shish kebab, tandoori chicken and courgette on a skewer. The lamb went quickly and I had to wait till the next batch was ready, which was great because it came fresh off the grill and was nicely medium rare.

Dessert is the usual small cakes and tarts, the cheesecake was good. The ice cream was soft serve and melty so I only had one tiny spoonful then gave up.

Again, full but not stuffed. Between being careful what to get, lots of walking and the heat, having so many buffets didn’t seem excessive.

Walked back to Bally’s, stopping off at cvs to get two large 3l jugs of water. Rested in the room for a bit, to allow phones and cameras and people to recharge.

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Plan for dinner was the bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s Palace. There was an additional charge for this on top of the pass, and we could see why. There were so many different sections with enormous selection of food. Just the asisn food section is the same size as entire buffets at other places. The cold seafood section had oyster, clam, crab and alaskan king crab. I was lucky, when it was my turn at the alaskan king crab, the server just brought out a new tray. 10 legs gave a lot of meat, much more than at Paris yesterday.

I skipped the Asian and Italian food sections. The roast meat counter had 3-4 types of beef, turkey and bacon. I asked for small slices of wagyu hangar steak, prime rib and tri-tip and the slices were anything but small! There was also, to my utter delight, roast bone marrow. I think I had 6 portions, forget about cholesterol.

Dessert was again small portions of cakes, tarts, pannacotta, mousse, macaron and ice cream. By then I was pretty full and also full of alcohol. I ordered the all-you-can-drink package and had a mimosa, half a white sangria and 2 glasses of red wine already.

We entered the buffet around 4-4.30pm and there was no wait. By the time we left, around 6.30pm, the queue was extremely long. I can see why, the food is excellent and I’d go back there again.

So, we completed 4 buffets in 24hrs. Definitely worth it. With weekend and 4th of July weekend the price was $75 instead of the usual $50 and the upcharge at Caesars more than usual (can’t remember the exact price). Overall, I’d say around $120 per person for 4 buffets. Considering breakfast buffets are something like $30-40, we probably got over $200 value. But it’s not just about money, the food was enjoyable too. Normally when visiting buffets, there’s a pressure to stuff ourselves and eat too much; with the pass I was able to just get what I really want to eat and not feel guilty because I stopped eating. Highly recommend looking into the pass for anyone who like food.

According to A’s app, we walked over 13km all day. That definitely helped digest all the food.

What else apart from eating? We also saw the robot bartender at work, visited the conservatory and stayed for the fountain show at the Bellagio. When I signed up for the rewards card at the hotel I got a drinks coupon so I redeemed it for a vodka lime soda. The casino at the hotel was too noisy, too crowded and too bright. We sat at the foodcourt for a while and chatted with a few friends who had come in. Nice end to the night.

CNY Indian dinner

CNY dinner was at an Indian vegetarian restaurant. I saw a poster that they are having a promotion every Monday in February: eat and pay as you like. They don’t take reservations for this promotion so we got there at around 5.50pm. There was already a queue on the street. We were lucky enough to get a table. The restaurant was full, but everyone was polite and orderly when getting the food (no mainlanders, that’s why).

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I filled up my plate on my first visit, with almost everything available at the buffet. The familiar paneer, aloo gobi (cauliflower), aloo chaat (potato curry) and the less familiar idli sambar (white cake with sauce) and medu vada (fried doughnut). For dessert there were the very sweet gulab and gaajar ka halwa, made from grated carrot, milk, sugar and we tasted something like semolina inside.

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We asked for something not spicy and the manager brought us a huge dosa. That was definitely the highlight of the meal, crispy and flavoursome.

We had a couple of bottles of wine, nice but a bit pricey. The pay as you like was a bit strange, they presented a bill together with an empty lai see envelope and didn’t explain anything. Apparently the amount on the bill is the suggested payment and you’re supposed to put it in the envelope.

Overall, not a bad meal. Didn’t blow me away. When we left at around 8pm the queue downstairs was still going strong. Looks like they will have a very full house.

new year’s eve

Went with Sis to the New Year’s Eve event at the FCC. They have unlimited food & drink from 7pm, so we got there early and found our table. Luckily it’s in the quiet room. The FCC is a narrow building so guests were seated in all the different restaurants and bars. The food was also spread out: cold buffet at the bistro on the ground floor, hot food in the main restaurant upstairs, dessert downstairs at the bar. The wait staff kept the prosecco and wine coming.

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The food was a bit hit and miss. The cold seafood was great. Sashimi cut fresh and oysters shucked fresh too. It meant a long queue, but no one seemed to mind. Other seafood included prawns, crab legs and lobster. All very good. The hot food consisted of roast (a dry-looking beef, another dry-looking ham and lamb rack that was really rare), an entire row of deep fried food, an Indian station and pasta. There was no hot veg. Seriously, I got the lamb and was looking around for something simple like carrots but nope. I ended up snagging some sag paneer. Dessert was nothing to write home about either. But again, no one seemed to mind. Free flow alcohol and a good atmosphere made up for the mediocre food.

There was a band upstairs and a DJ on the ground floor. At close to midnight, everyone congregated in the main areas and there was a big cheer during the countdown.

A video posted by invisiblecompany (@mal088) on

True to tradition (it is the FCC after all), a real bagpiper played Auld Lang Syne.

We left around 12.30am. Sis got a taxi and I walked a mile uphill back home. I think I had 4 proseccos, 3 (or 4?) red wine, 1 whisky (glenfarclas 12) and a mint tea. Sounds like a lot but it was over 6 hours with food.

all-you-can-order japanese buffet

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Mum decided we should have japanese for lunch. Casual japanese restaurants are almost all all-you-can-order buffets: they have a thick stack of order sheets for various categories of food and we just tick what we want. We had 3 platters of sashimi, some sushi, tempura, grilled food, salad, soup, grilled pineapple, ice cream mochi. Drinks included too, mum had soft drinks and my dad and I ordered loads of hot sake.

This type of buffet normally has a time limit of around 2hrs at dinner. At lunch, they gave us 3hrs. Even better.

The sake got my head spinning a little when I got home so I decided against going running. Too full for dinner, just had some fruit.

more hotel buffet

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Lounged around the room in the morning, watching some of the tour de France. Breakfast was back at the buffet restaurant, more like brunch. Had a roast ham, bacon, sausages, mushroom & spinach omelette, half a french toast to start. They were starting to bring out lunch so I had some of the roast beef, a small piece of steak and salad.

Didn’t feel like any of the pies for dessert, so asked the server at the yogurt counter for just blackberries and had another root beer float.

buffet, slots, fireworks

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Overnight trip to Blue Chip hotel resort in Michigan City, Indiana. It’s a very large hotel that consists mainly of a casino and spa. We checked in mid-afternoon and wandered around to meet Carleen’s cousin inside the casino. Mainly slot machines with some table games. Not really tempted to play, I put in $5 each into 2 machines and lost very quickly. Ah well, it’s interesting to watch other people play anyway. Not too comfortable inside the casino as smoking is allowed, and towards the end of the evening when the place was crowded, the smoke was heavy.

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The hotel also had a buffet, and the daily theme was crab legs and steak. The crab legs were good, I had 2 platefuls. The steak was so-so, small pieces grilled and piled into a serving dish made them get cooked quickly. There were other food too, like chicken, pizza, a roast and chinese, but I didn’t try them. Dessert was ice cream and lots of pies: apple, lemon meringue, pumpkin, pecan, chocolate, cheesecake. There were also warm puddings like apple cobbler and bread pudding. I had a little of a pumpkin pie (standard) and bread pudding (good) as well as a root beer float. Overall, a good meal, definitely ate more than the meal’s worth in crab legs.

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Went upstairs to cousin’s room with a great view of the different fireworks going on around the hotel. Put my camera on the windowsill and set the shutter to 1 second. The trick was to press the shutter at the right time, I managed to get a couple of halfway decent pics.

early father’s day lunch

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We had father’s day lunch a day early to avoid the crowds. Went to a German restaurant that had recently moved a few doors down; I like the new place, it’s about the same size but brighter and more airy. Weekends they have a lunch buffet: seafood, salad, cold meats, soup, pork knuckle, roast beef, sausages, curry, vegetables, dessert. Plus a small beer is included. Everybody enjoyed it.

It was too hot to do anything else so we all went home afterwards. I went running or rather, slow plodding runwalking.<

30in30 #21: activity with family

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Task #21 in 30 in 30 is family activity.

Most of our family activity is around food. Yesterday we had an outing to a small diner for…egg and beef sandwich, which seems too mundane for an outing, but really, it was very, very good. Softly scrambled eggs with juicy beef and toasted bread. Yum.

Today we went to the lunch buffet at one of the crowne plaza hotels. I’d heard that they had a birthday month discount offer, where during the month of someone’s birthday, they get age decade % discount. So someone who celebrates their 60-69th birthday this month gets 60% off. Someone who is 100 eats free (if I had a restaurant, I’d let every 100 year old eat free year round). Parents get senior discount anyway so it’s great that all 3 of us had a discount.

Food was okay. Typical buffet food of salad, oysters, sashimi, roast, pasta, noodles, dessert, ice cream. Not a great deal of choice and fairly mediocre in taste. The best were the oysters, I had 9, but I had to yell at the chef to not rinse mine in water before serving. I mean, gee.

They had a chocolate fountain with the usual cake and marshmallow and fruit for dipping. I took the ice cream mochi and made my own chocolate coated ice cream mochi, it was one of the better food. Our conclusion was that it’s nice to try a new place but we’ll likely not return.

papa birthday part 1

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It’s my dad’s birthday. I went over for lunch, then in the afternoon made a chilled cheesecake. It used to be a signature dish of mine, I need to make it more.

Dinner was at an all-you-can-eat Japanese place that my parents came across. They eat half price, so it’s a good deal. Quite a bit of a trek, long bus ride followed by more walking. To order, there is a huge stack of different coloured order slips, each with a different type of food like sashimi, tempura, yakitori, noodles. We ordered lots of sashimi and Japanese salad: crab roe, seaweed, whelks. Skewers, vegetables and a little tempura. Drinks are included, not only soft drinks but beer and sake. We polished off a couple of servings of warm sake.

blue butcher brunch

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flickr set: here

Went to brunch with Sis and niece to a new restaurant, Blue Butcher. They describe themselves as a meat specialist; the dark concrete & wood décor and the ageing room with its blackboard pronouncement of where the meat comes from all goes towards projecting that specialism. Brunch was a semi-buffet and included a salad bar, oyster station, unlimited foie gras(!!). We chose roast rib-eye-on-the-bone for main course and since there were 3 desserts, had all three to share. Paid extra for the rib-eye, and to add free flow prosecco too. Ended up drinking more than one bottle, so it was worth the extra. (The question is, did we drink more to justify the additional course or would we have polished off a bottle anyway? Hmm.)

The salad bar was nicely done: beef salad, tomato & mozzarella, proscuitto with watermelon, smoked salmon salad. Lots of leaves, not heavy on the dressing. The oysters were fresh, Coffin Bay from Australia I think. The surprise was the unlimited foie gras station — we just told the chef how many pieces and he cooked them to order. Served with toast and jams. Quite rich, but I still got a plate with 6 pieces.

By the time the roast rib-eye appeared we were pretty full. Big steak, big bone. Tasted pretty good. The carrots were under done and I didn’t eat the potato. Next time I may skip it and go for one of the simpler mains. Took the beef home.

Dessert was waffle (part of the buffet). The menu desserts were chocolate bread & butter pudding, strawberry shortbread and mango sorbet. The bread pudding was a disappointment, no taste, even a bit sour. The mango sorbet was the best. Would we go again? Yes, definitely. Not cheap, but in this town to get food of this quality we have to be prepared to pay a bit more.

buffet seafood

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Went with parents to a hotel buffet, they have senior discount and we all get 25% off with our credit cards. The main attraction is alaskan king crab legs. I got a whole plateful, they keep refilling so there was no danger of running out. Initially I just peeled and ate them like everyone else, then I decided to shell it all and save it to eat in one go. Made a nice salad with the crab leg meat and fresh prawns.

There were other food too. Other salads, pasta to order, various skewers, chicken rice and hot dishes like braised beef, lamb curry, chicken. For dessert it was pancake, ice cream, chocolate fountain and fruits. The cakes pastries were disappointing, they were too sweet, too dry, or generally not tasty at all.

indian lunch buffet

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We had indian buffet for lunch, a place near the office. Good value, US$11 including one drink. We ordered lassi and beer respectively. The selection was pretty good: chickpea & potato salad, regular salad, poppadums, dips for starters. A grill tray including tandoori chicken, lamb and chicken skewer. Another couple of hot trays of curry: chicken curry, butter chicken, mud-cooked lamb, lamb rogan josh, vegetables and daal. We love the okra and the mushroom was slightly spicy. For dessert there was watermelon, rice pudding and the very sweet gulab jamun.

We’ll definitely go again.

hyatt buffet

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Met up with mm and took the train to SZ. Lunch was the extensive buffet at Grand Hyatt, located next to this empty luxury shopping mall.

Huge restaurant with high ceilings and a multitude of stations. Cold meat, salad, the seafood counter had blue swimmer crabs, prawns, clams, scampi and mussels. There was also a rather tasteless salmon tartar. The Japanese station had soba, sushi, sashimi and chefs grilling skewers to order. The choices were chicken, chicken heart and okra. The western station had roast beef and lamb with the usual veg as well as pizza. Banana pizza was great, the roasts had no seasoning and was a bit tough.

Free juice, coffee, 6 types of tea and another station of Chinese food and the dessert station. Overall a good buffet, with enough good food outweighing the small number of misses. Pluses for me: cold seafood, grilled okra, banana pizza. Minuses: some food lacked flavour, I think it’s a question of palate and taste; dessert station rather mediocre. Still, relaxing environment so we had a good time.

Here’s the flickr set.

korean lunch, shopping, sunset

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Korean bbq with family. It’s the first time my niece has tried it, and she said it’s “fun.” This is an all-you-can-eat so there was a neverending selection of vegetables, meat, noodles, rice, fruit, dessert and drink. I started doing the beef Korean style, wrapped in lettuce with kimchee and bean paste. Less meat, more filling.

Met up with mm in the afternoon for another drive, this time to an industrial building that had lots of outlets. Clothes and furniture and food. The one thing about this building is the lifts are very inefficient so there are people walking up and down the stairs. There are different stairwells and on some floors the doors don’t open. It’s a sort of adventure.

We were there till late, caught this sunset when browsing through a furniture store and took this on my iphone through their window. Nice.

one meal a day

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Went to Korean bbq lunch with parents, an all-you-can-eat affair. Small banchan selection (kimchi, spinach, potato etc), hot food, lots of meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, squid) and vegetables. Dessert included sweet tofu, coconut pudding, ice cream, fruit. Plum juice and soy milk at the fountain. Very full. Enough for the whole day, we all just had a little fruit for dinner.

shabu shabu

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Went with mm to a shabu shabu restaurant called something like Mou Mou club. Fun name. It’s an all-you-can-eat affair, with pricing depending on the quality of beef and pork you want — it goes from the normal sliced beef all the way to wagyu beef. There’s also a buffet counter with lots of vegetables, noodles, miniature sausages, fish balls and rice. We picked a tomato soup base. Unlimited soft drinks and ice cream included too. The only downside is the time limit of 90mins, which meant we couldn’t linger. A good deal overall.

icon 2, amo eno

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My parents invited mm to hotel icon for buffet lunch (my second icon buffet). I can’t say they took her, because although it was their intention, she trumped them by sneakily paying in the middle of lunch, how naughty! I was much more selective this time round, and we all agreed that this is one of the best buffet places, even better than café too yesterday.

Spent the afternoon with mm, just ambling. Looked at mba vs mbp for her. And then it was time to say goodbye. ::cry:: She went with me on the train, and we have to console ourselves that we’ll see each other in August.

Met up with Sis for drinks at a new wine bar. Its selling gimmick is a touchscreen bar table where customers can get wine recommendations. Unfortunately it wasn’t working. The wine came in 3 sizes: tasting, medium and regular. I thought the place is on the expensive side, the wine selection seems to be uneven.

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Dinner at a Vietnamese fusion type of place. Spring rolls and chicken wings. Something called complicated noodles which was a plate of plain noodle sheets, meat and sauce so we made our own noodle package. Dessert I had mango sticky rice with mango and mango ice cream.

bbmm cafe too, tapeo

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Lunch buffet at Café Too at the Island Shangri-la. When mm rang up to book, they told us that the table would be in a high traffic area and do we mind? She asked them to move us to a better table if one is available, and when got there they took me to one next to the window and definitely low traffic, so good for them.

What can I say about that buffet? I’ve always liked it, many different stations: Japanese, salad, seafood, cold meats, dim sum, hot dishes, roasts, noodle bar, curry station and lots of dessert. I started with salad, sashimi and seafood, hot appetisers including dim sum, and a couple of bowls of chicken soup. The soup was made individually and steamed in this giant vat, when it was ready they rang this bell and people rushed to get the fresh soup.

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Didn’t have too much main course, they had these freshly grilled sliders and I had a slice of the roast beef. I was pretty full by then, so had the noodle station make me some vegetables (no noodles). Had a plate of colourful desserts and a waffle cone of mango and green tea ice cream. Stuffed!

The quality seems to have diminished a little though, no oyster, no lobster, and the desserts are either small bowls, the standard cake or mousses. Still a very nice lunch, especially since it was with mm.

Did a little more shopping, but not much. I don’t have a lot to buy this time round. Early evening we made it back to her place for a rest — I tackled playing on her pb2 and she practiced piano. Dinner wasn’t really dinner, we went to a tapas place, had some wine and a few tapas. She has to go to work tomorrow morning, so not a late night.

wii, japanese food

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My niece was already up when I woke up. We had lunch at home (ahhhh, so great to eat some simple home cooked food) and then spent the afternoon playing on the wii. Mostly, she played and I joined in a little, in between uploading pics.

They had to go home for dinner so it was just me and my parents. We went to another all-you-can-eat Japanese place. Sat at the sushi bar and ordered our little hearts out. Soft drinks and beer were free. We ended up having a ton of sashimi, a handroll each, some beef sushi, tempura, grilled vegetables, salad and ice cream. My favourites were sashimi and the whole sweet beef tomato. Not a lot of meat, just fish and vegetables.

After dinner, Mum and I went to the computer centre to get some flashdrives. We also went to the “sneaker street” but I was so disappointed. Nike Free 2.0 and Lunarglide 3 were more expensive than if I used a coupon at runningwarehouse. No Sauconys in sight whatsoever. Of course it means I have to be in the US to pick up the delivered shoes.

big lunch, big dinner

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Lunch buffet at hotel icon which is part of the tourism and hotel management school at one of the universities. The hotel is staffed by students at the school, nice concept. The buffet has one of the biggest spreads we’ve ever tried, and we’ve tried many many hotel buffets. There were: all sorts of freshly made bread, salad, parma ham, singaporean yu sheng, alaskan king crab legs, prawns, lobster, sushi station, noodles station, grilled steak, lamb chop, sausages, salmon head, ribs, duck breast, ribs, too many hot food to mention.

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There were 2 dessert stations. One with the more traditional cny type desserts, plus ice kacang; the other had cakes, cheesecakes, macaroons, ice cream and bread & butter pudding. We left there, impossibly full.

Then we tried to walk the food off at the science museum. Had to avoid the trick mirror that gave us all additional 300 pounds and doubled our waistline! My niece had taekwondo practice at 6pm so we went to see that. Amazing that the master and his 2 assistants can fit a class of 12 kids in a squash court. There were toddlers who had just started, intermediates like my niece and a couple of older kids with black belts. Very impressive.

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And to top it off, my sis had reservations at peking garden for peking duck dinner. The rest we stuck to vegetables, but we were too full to finish. Took 3 containers’ worth of food home, plus the duck carcass. They had spares so they gave us one more carcass too. Luckily, my mum has 3 fridges.

#67(7) new restaurant in toronto

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My previous experience with chinese buffets in the US was in NYC. All I remember was the sheer amount of food, the crowds, and it bears repeating, the sheer amount of food. This one in Toronto, Imperial Buffet, is no different.

Except there was even more food.

My relatives took us to the one at Ajax, apparently it’s the best. The main attraction was the mountain of alaskan king crab legs. Cold and hot. Clams, mussels, sushi, fish, salad, prime rib, 3 stations of hot food, chocolate fountain, huge dessert station, ice cream.

Everything was good. I tried to limit to only the food I wanted to try, and to limit the size of the portions. Easier said than done. The crab legs were as good as expected. The prime rib was tender but a bit tasteless. The vietnamese rice roll was scrumptious. And there was a coconut ice cream that was particularly nice.

Gah. I’m stuffed.

home leave day 13 | food

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The eating continues. I’ve been over my calorie goal, and no exercising, for more than 2 weeks. But, I’m on holiday, right?

Went with parents to the café marco for lunch buffet. Seniors get a discount so there were quite a few there taking advantage. It was well worth even the full price. Everything was so well done — salad, seafood, sashimi, 3 hot dish stations, extensive desserts, chocolate fountain, movenpick ice cream. Amazing.

After all the gorging, Mum and I spent our energy hunting for a wii. Went to the golden arcade, but the ones on offer there were too “fixed” — she couldn’t use regular disks, had to download into a flashdrive — I didn’t know where to do that. So we went back to 188 and got the proper version for a higher price. I got a couple of games myself too — lego star wars and sports resort.

Dinner with sis and my niece at tokio joe. I was stuffed from lunch but couldn’t pass up more fresh delicious japanese food.

buffet

My folks like going to buffets, so I grew up on a diet of them. I’m a pretty discerning buffeteer now, I’ll only take a little of whatever item I want to eat, I don’t over-fill or take food that is too filling.

I was bumming around online tech news magazines today at work, and came across How to fill up a Buffet Plate. Pretty okay advice, except this is for people who eat a lot of no value buffet food. Don’t go for the bread and potatoes, they’ll just fill you up nad you won’t have room for dessert!

  1. Work in reverse. Smart buffet operators position the cheapest stuff (bread, pasta salad, last week’s lettuce) at the front of the table so you’ll fill up on it. That’s why savvy chowhounds start loading from the back end.
  2. Keep a low center of gravity. Remember your high school physics: Torque equals force times distance from the fulcrum – in this case, the plate center. Start by laying down a ballast of solid meat in the middle to prevent tipping. Reserve the outer rim for lighter fare.
  3. Think vertically. Diners squander valuable real estate by spreading salad alongside the entree. Get over your irrational feelings about different foods touching – it goes on top.
  4. Stick to flat or malleable foods. When stacked, meatballs and baked spuds behave like ball bearings. This can result in an embarrassing demo of kinetics. That’s why God created Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes.
  5. Flood-control your sauces. Gravies are prone to sloshing, so ladle the stuff behind a mashed-potato levee – and hope it holds.
  6. Pocket the bread. Duh! That’s what cargo pants are for.