Off to the races, I managed to find kindred spirits in the land of the Lucky Force 8 Pack. After much speculation and hard thinking, Rose Bowl would be the location to break myself into the Campbell River buffet scene.
I hobbled pass the diagonally positioned salads that screamed to be eaten; creamy caesar, Greek salad w/ chick peas and fruit salad.
At first glance, the busy restaurant appeared to be crammed as the buffet was tucked in the very back left-hand corner, and was not easily accessible; however, the line-ups were not horrid, making the trips to the buffet table quick and easy. In an even busier situation, it would be scary to think of what would happen in the traffic jams filled with overweight, very-hungry people who have been waiting all day to wrap their fat lips around spring rolls.
Thats why I was actually happy they didn't have spring rolls.
WHAT---NO F!%$ING ROLLS? ...shit
No spring rolls will cost this place serious marks, especially since they had plum sauce packets taking up their very own item tray in the line just to tease you with.
The no-spring-roll-fiasco has nothing to do with this buffet's lack of items. Even small buffets put out spring rolls. If anything, adding spring rolls may offset the disappointment garnered from a small selection. Kind of a, "Hey, I'm sorry, but our spring rolls are absolutely fantastic," kinda deal.
There were some "I don't care" items, like boiled carrot slices and chicken wings.
Rose Bowls premier items are it's deep fried battered shrimps, waffle fries, cooked ham and seasoned pork chunks.
The shrimps adhered nicely to the soft, sweet tasting batter, and had their tails removed. This allowed for popping the shrimp into your mouth without having to bite down on the base of the tail, which we all know is almost never cleanly done.
The waffle fries were piping hot and seasoned to perfection, while crunchy yet soft. It's always nice to see something other than onion rings or straight cut fries.
The cooked ham was sliced thick and presented beside a pineapple lemon glaze. I poured this glaze on top of my ham; it was wonderful.
The seasoned pork chunks were hot and malleable. Since they were naked, you could've covered them in sweet and sour, pineapple lemon or any of the many salad dressings they offered, if you dare.
Their satay spicy chicken was not very good. I found it to be soggy and tasteless: kind of like a watered down sweet and sour dish with a hint of black pepper.
The chow mein and rice dishes were below average, but I rarely put these dishes into consideration when I'm deciding what grade to give a buffet... unless its something incredible like ostrich meat fried rice or kangaroo chow mein. Alas, this was not the case, so I was left indifferent in the land of rice and noodles.
When it came to drinks, the seven dollars per pitcher of coke was quite ridiculous, but at least the ice water was abundant. The service was laid back, kind and pleasant. No horror stories here (except for the no spring roll fiasco).
I guess my main concern with Rose Bowls buffet is simply it's lack of selection. When I sat down and looked at my plate, their was almost no color differential between the dishes. When I ate the food, I was not blown away by the taste. Everything pretty much tasted the same; not saying it was a bad taste, in fact nothing wanted to make me hurl. Some of the dishes were very well done, but no spring rolls? Come on.
Price for dinner: $12 plus tax