Every time the extended family—jokingly known as the clan among insiders—gathers, dining buffet style has been the most popular choice. We often number 30 people or more, with an age range between toddlers and seniors and with ethnic diversity due to inter-culture marriages. Only buffet restaurants can cater to our very different tastes for food.
We picked Wok Of Fame in Brampton, Ontario for our holiday gathering this year. Cooking live in front of the patrons was the selling point of this restaurant. This was nothing new, since many buffet restaurants prepared pasta, omelettes, waffles on order for their customers. With Wok On Fame, given its focus on Japanese cuisine, a lot of the cooking was done tapanyaki style, like the chef at the shrimp station, where you picked the sizzling hot shrimps as soon as they were cooked. There were also a station for fish serving basa and salmon. as well as a meat station.
I selected for my udon (noodles) and other ingredients from a display of vegetables and meat, brought them over to the chef and selected my sauce—the house “wok” sauce. He dipped everything into a boiling pot of hot water for a quick blanche, drained the ingredients and did a stir fry. Up went the flame, a few quick stirs and my delicious udon with vegetables and chicken was ready for my enjoyment.
I loved Japanese food, and so the sashimi boat was a welcome feature for me. The sashimi was fresh and the slices were of an appropriate thickness. I was very satisfied with this offer, especially when I compared this to some “all you can eat” Japanese restaurants which served skimpy slices of sashimi.
There was a good balance of salads, snacks, soups, cooked food–including roast beef, Peking duck, barbecue ribs and some cooked vegetables– and desserts. There was always the caveat that some buffet restaurants spread themselves thin by offering too many varieties of food on the menu. Wok of Fame was close to falling into the same pitfall. For example, the dim sum would not be missed. As well, the deep-fried food could well focus on the teriyaki style offerings.
I created my own menu into a primarily Japanese meal, but I was happy to taste the Peking duck with its very tender meat and avoided the trouble of pulling apart the slices of wrapping which had stuck together after watching the problem with the person in line before me.
The entire family had a wonderful time. I enjoyed my food as much as I watched with amusement the younger members of the family piling their plates after plates. From the point of view of value for money, you need the young to get your money’s worth with a buffet restaurant. Economic musing aside, it was an evening of good food, good cheer and family fun.
Wok Of Fame, Unit 602, 7700 Hurontario Street, Brampton, Ontario.