Toronto’s Top Three All You Can Eat
Hungry? For real food this time?
Tanya fills us in — and up — with the best All You Can Eat dining destinations to be found in our fair city. So if you’re feeling peckish, give one of these places a try.
255 Queen St. W.
From 11 am until 3 pm
Little India is the best Indian buffet in Toronto, hands down; it’s available only at lunch for only $8.95. It isn’t the biggest buffet Toronto has to offer, but it boasts four or five main dishes, a wide variety of salads, and the little extras like mango ice cream and fresh fruit that make it a great choice. The quality of the food is amazing, and I believe it’s the best butter chicken I have ever tasted. Beverages are a little pricier than I’d like, but the Chai tea is freshly made with real ginger, and its spicy flavour really complements the food. The staff at Little India are friendly and beyond courteous, and they pay attention to the level of water in your glass (to me, that is of the utmost importance if you’re not having any other beverage). They also refill every item before it runs out, so that you’re rarely left waiting for a particular item. The naan runs out sometimes, but the waiters bring it fresh to your table when it’s ready. The only downside to eating at Little India is its popularity. The tables are almost always full, and you usually have to wait 5 – 10 minutes before being seated. But trust me, it’s worth it. Oh, and extra points for real tablecloths on the tables and cloth napkins, as well as the fancy water pitchers. Best Item – Butter Chicken.
571 College St. W.
Sushi sushi sushi! Going to Sushi Island requires some planning. First, eat here only if you are definitely hungry, because for the price, you should get your money’s worth. The menu has three levels, depending on how many options you want. Pay $12.99 for a decent selection of sushi and vegetarian sushi options. The second, at $18.99 is the one I usually go for. It gives you a selection of anything on the menu excluding the sashimi and nigiri items. This includes appetizers (of which there are plenty delectable choices) and desserts. I recommend the bananas with green tea ice cream. I have yet to try the banana pancake for two, because I’m usually too full when the time comes to order. The third option at $20.99 is everything including the sashimi and nigiri, with a few exceptions for the fresh raw stuff. Take into account who you will be dining with, because the whole table has to pick the same priced option. Remember also that Sushi Island is all you can eat, but you have to eat everything you order. It’s best to go with at least one other person who will share with you, because most orders are 8 pieces, and you can become full without sampling a variety of options. The downsides — don’t be in a hurry because the service can be really, really slow, and it can take forever to get a refill on tea or water. UPDATE: It appears Sushi Island has really gone downhill in terms of service since this review was written. I still think the sushi selection is good, but it might not be worth it if service is a high priority for you (see comments below).
Best item – Jade Island Roll (tempura shrimp and grapes, plus a few other things).
The Hot House Café
35 Church St.
Wednesdays starting at 5pm
For a great buffet when in need of some comfort food, or “down-home cookin’,” go to The Hot House Café on a Wednesday night. I can’t begin to explain how many great things they have to eat in this place. You walk up to the buffet and it’s sort of overpowering – it makes you want to hop from foot to foot with an empty plate in your hand, savouring the delight of eating so much. To start — soups, fresh rolls of various colours and flavours, cold salmon, and a selection of fruits and cheeses. There’s a really great pasta salad, and a really delicious potato salad — oh and the Thai salad! God, I wish it was Wednesday today. And for main courses – cheese lasagne, mussels, BBQ chicken, ribs, and roast beef. The buffet is $17.95, and they’ve raised their prices since I started going there. The service is usually really good, and the dining room is nicely decorated. They recommend that you make reservations, and I would also suggest calling ahead because it can get very busy. Bonus points for the crazy wax build-up candle sticks on the bar. Downside — it’s really far from my house, and afterwards I’m almost too full to walk back. Oh — and they have a Sunday Breakfast Buffet as well. I just haven’t tried it yet, because I’m afraid it would be so good that I’d have to go every Sunday. Best Item – Everything.ydennekaynat