Monday, April 7, 2008

Szechuan Palace Restaurant, 103 - 106 Burnside Road West, Victoria B.C - - (250) 382- 2823

If any of you remember the original Szechuan City restaurant, it was located where the Szechuan Palace is now located. The transition took place about a year ago, and it was something the Darkness and I had not prepared for. In fact it was so much for Auggie to take in at once, I had to stop him from acting out before we even got inside.

Once we entered, greetings were sprung upon us by a very friendly waitress who sat us down and got us drinks. Throughout our buffet lunch, the service was excellent. Plates were removed right away when they were finished, drinks were refilled 3 times at no extra charge, and she wouldn't stop talking to us. We were tended to like we were the only people in the restaurant. Come to think of it, I think we were the only people there.

Being only 1 o'clock in the afternoon, it was shocking to see nobody there, especially considering the amount of business the previous Szechuan buffet had at the same location. It was hard to find a seat back when the old Szech was still kicking around. I understand fads change, but something bad must have happened to see the place go from full capacity to nobody.

Such a nice lady

The food was half o.k, half bad. The egg rolls were decent and possessed a traditional Chinese five spice blend, which gave it a hint of cinnamon.

Their sweet and sour pork was average tasting, but the pieces were big.

The honey garlic spareribs tasted like the honey came straight from the bees nest, and was the only saving grace from an otherwise lackluster buffet.

Another item that deserves some mention is the deep fried chicken balls, which were actually quite good. The batter was chewy and has some flavor which can only be described as "oily goodness".

Something I couldn't stop noticing was the lack of palatable selection. A vegetable dish with green beans in black bean sauce was dried up and looking dead.

The black bean mussels were also dried up and shriveling away to nothing.

They had hash brown patties, the kind you get at fast food places like McDonalds and A&W, not to say those patties are a bad thing, in fact I enjoy them all the time, but they taste sour after sitting for 2 hours.

Not one, not two, but THREE separate trays for onion rings. I mean as unoriginal as onion rings at a Chinese buffet are, these guys went the extra mile and used three containers dedicated too onion rings; containers that could have been used for fried fish, fried prawns, even sesame balls would have gained this spiritless buffet some respect.

And just as things were really starting to roll downhill for Szechuan Palace, I witnessed an act of disparity.
Pictured below, an older couple walked into the restaurant and approached the buffet, only to be intercepted by our friendly waitress who tried to convince them that the buffet was still good enough to eat. The buffet is so poor and unappetizing, the staff has to try and convince customers to try it.

I should have said something to this couple.

O.K, so how about desert? Something has to give. Woah, look!


Well, I cant say I expected anything less. The jello was warm.

The events which have taken place over the past year at 103 - 106 Burnside Road West, are equivalent to events such as the New York Yankees collapse in the 2004 playoffs and the 2007-2008 Ottawa Senators. The location has gone from housing one of the most spectacular Victoria buffets, to housing, quite possibly, one of the poorest presented buffets I have ever eaten. Good chicken balls, spring rolls and honey garlic spare ribs, barely keep the food selection intact, while exceptional customer service, induced by a low number of customers, keep the establishment as a whole above a failing grade.

Price for lunch: $9.50 + tax


dk said...

The lowest mark since Wing's. This place looks pretty damn mediocre.

Very thorough review by the way.

ps. T.Marts is jonesing for a buffet trip, as am I

Weblo said...

I've had take-out from here 3 times. The first time it was wonderful, absolutely delicious. The second time [some months later] the fried food was twice fried to warm up old crap. The rest was mediocre. The last time [over two years ago] the food was again twice fried but also spoiled! Putting any chicken or pork dish into our mouths caused a gag reflex. It was horrible. I tried phoning with the idea to warn them that the food was spoiled and was yelled at by a woman. Bagged it up and went to restaurant, which was empty. Started to explain about it being spoiled and the woman started yelling with the occasional scream [all in Chinese]. I just dropped the bag and left.

Since then it's been Wing's where everything tastes like chicken due to the cooking oil. But at least it's fresh.

Anonymous said...

No thanks, never again. Ate there a few years back and got FUCKING MOSQUITO LARVAE SHELLS in my water.

Wanna try it ?
Enjoy the waterfall that comes out your ass in the coming hours.