Last year I did an extensive report on Victoria buffet's for Nexus Newspaper, a student run publication out of Camosun College. Out of the six or seven places I tried for that report, Crystal Jade was undoubtedly the best. But my, how time changes everything; even myself (I must be at least forty pounds heavier). So, like myself, Crystal Jades stock has safely fallen - unless your into the sumo look. I really want to go to Japan.
Why has Crystal Jade gone downhill? I have no idea. But when I start seeing things like rice krispie squares being shoved into the middle of the dinner section, I naturally start to ask questions. For a buffet of Crystal Jades size, and for the price of almost 20 dollars after taxes, you expect a little more than sweet and sour pork and ginger beef as your main meat dishes. Sure they had fatty duck, and those prawns cooked with all the flavour ontop of the outer shell (why!!!!), but the only good seconds worthy item was the deep fried chicken, eerily reminscint of the chicken that onced graced the buffet line of a certain "Uncle Willys" buffet restaurant, which existed in the same spot as Crystal Jade for many years.
One of Crystal Jades attractions last year was its extensive fried food section. The fried food was there tonight, but man was it shit. Doughy deep fried prawns, lukewarm over battered spring rolls with little taste, and a seafood dish which looked like it was trying very hard to look expensive. The pieces of white fish strewn about this vegetable medley were cut into tiny pieces, making it very difficult to get your moneys worth without spending ten minutes fishing through the tray. This place was so off, it couldn't even make tasty, mayonaisy macaroni salad. It was like eating Kraft Dinner without the cheese sauce and with extra water. Oh but they had orange jello right beside the fucking deep fried chicken. Do me a favour, put some honey garlic something in there. What the fuck is desert doing in the middle of an entree bar. Put that shit beside the ice cream. Ice cream on tap that is. Put some caramel and chocolate syrup on that shit and you salvage something out of what was overall a very disapointing second visit to Crystal Jade.
Final words: this place will always have a few things going for it; a large dining area, a large buffet area, and the dubious honor of playing in the same court as Uncle Willys. But for fucks sake, twenty dollars? If this place was 10, maybe 12 dollars, It would get a higher grade. But major marks off for charging way to much for way to little.
Price for Dinner 15.99 + tax