Thursday, 16 September 2010

Chinese Buffet that is relaxed and unhurried

Crown Buffet, Leeds

This place to eat has made it into the top ten places for the over thirties to go in Leeds and Yorkshire because of its relaxed, unhurried atmosphere. We stayed for over two hours, consumed at least three buffet plates each and trawled through our French holiday photos on the laptop. Refreshingly there was no constant hassling from the staff about buying more drinks or hints about moving on as there can be in some establishments.

The Crown Buffet is located on Gower Street which is just on the edge of Leeds’ poor excuse for a China Town, at the north end of the city centre. The website map is very helpful. There is a handy car park and the entrance is welcoming. The surroundings are bright and clean. A member of staff showed us to a table and took our drink orders immediately. We opted for the two for one offer on Bejiing bottled beer which was crisp, light and refreshing.

The starter highlights of the self service buffet were the soft, tasty prawn balls in a sesame crumb, crunchy, crisp seaweed and succulent prawn toast. Plus the plates were nice and hot. For the mains mushroom and chilli was salty and hot with a beefy depth, prawn in oyster sauce was resplendent in its garlic laden broth and light Singapore style vermicelli dotted with shrimp and char su pork nuggets were highlights. Dessert did not disappoint with creamy profriteroles, minature slices of black forest gateau and two cheescakes, fruit including lychees and fruit jelly, coconut milk pudding, crunchy toffee banana (banana fritters) and the piece de resistance soft vanilla ice cream from a dispenser evoking childhood memories of summer afternoons.

During our visit the restaurant got quite busy with several people choosing the serve yourself takeaway option. There is some lack of atmosphere here perhaps due to the fact that the building used to house a cookery school and this was the canteen. However good company will always compensate and the toilets are modern and clean with paper towels, always a bonus.

The food isn’t outstanding but it’s good and there’s plenty of it, including vegetarian and vegetable only dishes. However what makes the Crown Buffet well worth visiting is that it is slightly off the beaten track and so doesn’t tend to get over crowded and you are never rushed or pressured in any way. These days that makes this a rare find.

The Crown Buffet (Chinese), Gower Street, Leeds LS2 7PX

Tel:0113 242778

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I have always enjoyed problem solving for friends and family and as a teacher for the last 18 years this is part of what I do every day. During the last year I have been rediscovering a passion for writing and I have recently produced a short story and several reviews for my blog - Places to visit and eat/drink in Leeds, Yorkshire UK. I am also offering my services as a freelance writer.